Canada Destination Guide
Posted on 26th February 2018
Fact file on Canada
Capital city: Ottawa
Population: 36.6 million
Currency: Canadian Dollar
Official languages: English and French
Business Opportunities: Canada has an ageing population, and as such many sectors of business are looking to hire workers. Employers are reported to have struggled finding candidates for a range of roles, including: skilled trades workers, technicians, sales representatives, admin professionals, engineers and management/executive positions.
Climate: Most Canadian cities are situated within 300km of the southern border, where summers are hot, winters are cold, and spring and autumn are pleasantly crisp. Towards the North however, Canada extends into the Arctic Circle, and experiences a subarctic, tundra climate.
Average life expectancy: 82 years
The Canadian Way of Life
Strong political and cultural values: the social indicators of Canada’s ideology is evident across many different facets of daily life, including publicly funded health care, progressive taxation, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, strict gun control and most recently, the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Distance is relative: Coming from the UK with one of the highest population densities in the world, the extra space and comparatively low number of people in Canada will be one of the first things you notice. If a Canadian says they’re just popping down the road, they could mean the next town many miles away, or even the next province. As such, the attitude to life is generally much more open and free than the UK; why not explore the seemingly endless landscape stretching out in front of you?
Friendly people: Whilst somewhat a cliché, with a varied social and cultural diversity, it is no wonder that Canadians are among the friendliest people in the world. You’ll be sure to find people you fit in with when living in a society with such vibrant and multicultural values.
The weather: If those three days of English summer we have in mid June are not really working for you, worry not: you’ll experience long, hot summers in most Canadian cities. The rest of the year, the seasons are much more clearly defined – with crisp springs and autumns, and deep snowfall in winter.
Ease of moving
Emigrating to Canada as a British citizen is a straightforward and accessible process compared to many other countries, and in many cases you don’t necessarily need a job offer before you arrive. Check the Canadian government’s site for more detailed information.
Young people: if you’re a British or Irish citizen aged 18 – 30 (or up to 35 if you’re Irish), you’re eligible to apply for an IEC work permit – meaning you can live and work in Canada for up to 2 years. It’s a very popular way of experiencing life in Canada, especially if the prospect of a permanent move feels a little daunting.
It’s a largely hassle-free process: you apply, and if you’re accepted, your name goes into a ‘pool’, from which invitations are selected at random. Once you have been selected, you complete the application, then have a year (from the date of your invitation) to enter Canada.
Moving abroad checklist
- Collect all documents: passport, birth, marriage or divorce certificates, educational diplomas, medical records and bank statements.
- Apply for your visa: your profession, experience and qualifications will all aid in the process, and having everything you need to hand will speed up the process.
- Book your flight: generally speaking, the sooner you do this, the cheaper it’ll be. Check key times of year to plan your move, as this could save significant amounts in flight costs if you move at an off-peak time.
- Book a reputable removals company: an ocean is a large distance to transport your beloved possessions from the UK, and finding the best company to be trusted with this task needs careful research.
- Research your local area: moving to a new place can be daunting, so planning for your first couple of weeks there and finding some fun things to do can be a great way to aid the transition.
- Learn some French: as one of Canada’s official languages, your job prospects will be greatly enhanced if you have at least a reasonable level of French on your résumé.
- Open a bank account: As soon as your immigration papers are in order, and of course you have a valid passport, you’ll be able to open your bank account. Researching the best-suited banks for you before you go will help speed up the process when you arrive.
- Find a job: as with anywhere, it can sometimes take a while to find a job in your ideal profession. Be prepared to work a job that might not be exactly where you want to be for a little while, or bring enough funds to tide you over the first couple of months, just in case.
- Convert your driving license: whilst you can drive in Canada with a UK license, if you’re staying long term it might help with lowering insurance costs (not to mention give you training in conditions you might not be used to, such as icy winters).
- Enjoy yourself! Now all the logistics of moving internationally have been taken care of, you can start to explore all that Canadian life has to offer. Why not take a trip out to the mountains or a stunning lake on your first weekend off? Alternatively, relax with a book in a new coffee shop, or take up a new hobby. The possibilities are endless!
Whittle International Movers
With over 130 years experience in the moving business, you can rest assured your move to Canada is in the best possible care. Our comprehensive services facilitate the whole process including packing, storage to the safe transportation of your belongings across the world.
Our cost-effective and efficient services are also on hand to move you from Canada to the UK, and our specialist international removals department aims to make either process as straightforward as possible – get in touch today to start planning your dream relocation.
Video Credit: Canada: The Ultimate Travel Guide by TourRadar 4/5