Moving to Canada

Are you moving to Canada and looking for more information about your relocation? On this page you can find information about the prices of shipping belongings, moving pets as well as a checklist of valuable information. Below you will find an overview of the information we will discuss on Sirelo:

Canada is known for having something to offer for everyone. Do you want access to the great outdoors? They’ve got it. A diverse, thriving city filled with unique cultures and cuisine? Take your pick! There hasn’t been a better time to move to the second-best country in the world. Their economy is strong. There’s plenty of employment opportunities for expats from all over the world, and let’s not forget, their prime minister is pretty awesome.

Visas and Immigration

If you’re visiting Canada for a short period of time, you won’t need a visa. However, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) before you go.

You can apply for one here.

However, if you are moving to Canada, you will need a visa. There are a number of permanent immigration visa’s that you can apply for, depending on the reason of your stay. These include:

  • Federal skilled workers
  • Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Family Sponsorship
  • Business Class

After you have received a permanent residency, you can live, work and go to school anywhere in Canada. You can also sponsor family members who may have not yet received their visa. After 3 years, you can apply for a Canadian Citizen.

Before you accept your dream job in Canada, you need to check your eligibility. You may not be allowed to immigrate for one of many reasons. Some examples include:

  • Human or international rights violations
  • Health
  • Criminal record
  • Non-compliance with IRPA
  • Financial reasons

For more information about Visas and Immigration when Moving to Canada, click here.

Moving to Canada

How much does it cost to move to Canada?

Depending on where you will be living in Canada, the cost of shipping your furniture varies. However, there are four major ports in Canada, in the east and the west coast, so getting your items shipped isn’t too difficult.

The table below gives a rough estimate to how much different sized households will cost and the timing when shipping to Canada by sea:

Household sizeTimeCost
1 bed flat9 – 12 days£5,877 – £6,075
3 bed house9 – 12 days£6,888 – £7,192
5 bed house9- 12 days£8,332 – £8,788

If you would like additional information about the price of shipping a 20ft or 40ft container, as well as the factors that determine, visit our dedicated Container Shipping Costs page.

Moving your pets to Canada

In order to move your pet abroad with you they must have a household pet passport. The government can refuse entry to any animal that does not meet its import requirements. Depending on your pet, there are multiple requirements that you must meet. For example, cats under the age of 3 months old are exempt from entering Canada.

The following requirements are a necessity in order to bring your pets with you:

  • Original International Health Certificate issued by an Accredited Vet
  • Original Rabies Vaccination Record
  • Printed History of Pets Vet Records
  • A print of Customs Clearance Form
  • Copy of Owner’s Original Passport
  • Visa or Work Permit copy

Pets can also be taken on the aircraft, depending on the size of the pet of course. But check with your aircraft carrier as they will have their own rules and requirements for taken pets on board.

For more information about transporting pets, have a look at these pages:

Moving your car to Canada

Most cars that are sold in countries other than the United States cannot be imported into Canada. However, there are some special circumstances that allow you to bring certain vehicles into Canada. They are as followed:

  • It is 15 years old or older
  • The vehicle is a bus manufactured before January 1, 1971
  • The car is non-regulated.
  • The vehicle meets all Canadian standards
  • The car is a returning Canadian specification vehicle

For more information about importing your vehicle to Canada, click here.

Moving to Canada from UK

Living Costs in Canada

Compared to the UK and Europe in general, living in Canada’s largest cities is actually not as expensive. Canada’s two biggest cities: Toronto and Vancouver unsurprisingly have the highest costs of living. They are equally both expensive with rent in Vancouver being higher, while consumer prices are more in Toronto. Victoria is the third city with the highest cost of living.

If you’re considering living in more rural areas, the price of living will be much lower than the cities. However, importing certain goods may cost more due to the increase in transport costs.

Housing in Canada

Similarly to the UK, the price of houses fluctuate depending on where you move. The capital cities, for example, will be a lot costlier than a small rural village in the middle of nowhere. The table below will give you a rough estimate on how much a three-bedroom apartment in different cities will cost.

CityAverage rent
Hamilton$1,350
Ottawa$1,700
Montreal$1,802
Victoria$1,856
Calgary$2,512
Toronto$2,693
Vancouver$2,969

Healthcare in Canada

Canada offers their citizens and permanent residents universal public health insurance, which covers low-cost access to doctors and health practitioners. If you have a temporary residency, you are unfortunately not eligible for same benefits.

Despite the rumours about the shortage of doctors and lack of spending, Canada maintains an excellent standard of healthcare. Thus, if you can’t get access to Medicare for a period of time and need to purchase private health insurance, you can rest easy knowing the quality of service will be high.

In order to receive Medicare, you can apply for a medical card online, at the Régie as well as local pharmacies and doctors’ offices. You will need your birth certificate, or passport and confirmation of a permanent residence in Canada.

For more information about healthcare in Canada, click here.

Education in Canada

Every province is responsible for creating its own curriculum and educational system. There are private schools on offer however, as the Canadian education system is so highly regarded, most families choose the public schools.

Like we said previously, French is the mother tongue of around 7.2 million Canadians, which has resulted in both English and French schools being established. In most parts of Canada, students are able to earn their high school diploma at the end of grade 12, but only if they have accumulated enough credits.

The province of Quebec has a different school curriculum than the others. Students graduate high school at the age of 16, and instead then move onto two or three years of CEGEP.

Universities in Canada

Students can either choose to attend college or university after high school. College programmes are generally shorter. With over 100 universities to choose from, you’ll have plenty to choose from. The best ranked universities are located in popular cities. Below you can find the top 3 universities in Canada:

  • University of Toronto – 28
  • McGill university – 33
  • University of British Columbia – 47

For more information about the education in Canada, click here.

Job Market in Canada

The unemployment rate is at the moment the lowest it’s been in four decades (5.7%), which has resulted in high amounts of expats being able to find employment when moving over to Canada. If you are able to speak both French and English, you will find it considerably easier to get a job, especially in areas like Quebec. Employers will expect a high level of education more than anything.

The strongest industries range from financials, science and technology and energy. International trades are also major part of the Canadian economy. If you don’t have a high education, don’t stress. There are high paying careers that don’t require a degree. Certain professions offer on the job training to counteract for the work being so specialised.

You can find more information here.