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:
- Emigrating to Canada
- Moving to Canada
- Moving tips
- Checklist: What to remember when moving to Canada
- Moving pets or cars
- Cost of living in Canada
- Finding a place to live
- More information about Canada
- Requesting free moving quote
Moving to Canada offers a wealth of opportunities and a structured lifestyle. The cities are clean and modern inspired by French and British architecture. Both locals and foreigners enjoy high standards of living, education and excellent healthcare in Canada. People are generally very tolerant and belong to different religious groups. Despite the tightened immigration policies, many skilled foreign workers are able to find satisfying jobs.
Rules for visas
British Citizens do not usually need a visa for Canada if they plan to stay there for a short period. However, visitors travelling to Canada by air are expected to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada from the 9 November 2016. For British Citizens and passport holders who wish to move to Canada for a longer period, need to apply for an immigrant visa. You can read more about this on our visas for Canada page. Those who are in possession of permanent residency permit are able to apply for citizenship after three years spent in Canada. If you successfully obtain the right to be a Canadian citizen, then you can enjoy a Canadian pension plan, access to student loans and publicly funded healthcare.
Canada is a long way away from the UK, therefore can be some adventure for your belongings when moving your household there. There are four major ports in Canada, in the east and the west coast, so getting your items shipped to the most convenient location is easy. Sirelo can help you find the right moving company to help move your belongings safely and securely, whether you are staring a new life in Vancouver or Toronto. The table below gives a rough estimate to how much different sized households will cost and the timing when shipping to Canada by sea.
|1 bed flat||9 – 12 days||£5,877 – £6,075|
|3 bed house||9 – 12 days||£6,888 – £7,192|
|5 bed house||9- 12 days||£8,332 – £8,788|
Making your move cheaper
There are many factors that can make your move cheaper for you. Below you will find the top 4 features that can vary your costs.
- Size of household – Of course a larger house means more to transport = higher costs
- Type of transport – Air may be faster than sea transport but will incur much higher costs
- Choice of insurance – Very good insurance can cost you an arm and a leg, especially with the far distance
- Additional options (Storage, packing, assembly) – These extra additions can cost extra but can make your move less stressful
Some of these factors can be controlled to help reduce costs; however it is dependant on how much work you are willing to put in. For example it would be a lot easier and stress free if the removal companies pack and assemble all your belongings; but obviously these services will cost. In some cases, because removal companies are experts in moving, it is sometimes better if they are to pack certain items securely to prevent any damage.
To make your move less stressful and easier we will discuss some tips from experience. Firstly insurance, this can have a large impact of the price of your move. Our advice, the route to Canada is quite long and many situations can have a negative impact on your move, so it’s better to be safe and incur this extra charge. This way you can be stress free about any of your belongings breaking or getting lost.
For more advice on how to pack take a look at our page on moving tips to make your life easier.
Unusual restricted items
The following items are restricted in Canada so make sure they don’t sneak in with your belongings
- Used mattresses
- Baby walkers
- Lawn darts
- Infant self feeding devices
- Live birds
The most important thing to consider when moving to Canada is the visa! It is a necessity to have a valid visa if you are wanting to move there. After this is in place there are still a number of things you will need to arrange:
- Health and travel insurance – Health care in Canada can be very expensive without health insurance. Therefore it is better to be safe than sorry in case something bad occurs. There are 3 main health care plans, basic, standard and advanced. For more information visit our page on healthcare in Canada
- Diplomas – Make sure your degrees and certificates are recognized in Canada. For certain work you will need to get an ECA for your foreign diplomas and certificates. For more information to see if you are required to get an ECA visit Government of Canada’s website.
- Documents in order – Your passport must be in date and it is important to realize that applying for a visa can take several months. Each province and territory in Canada issues its own driving licence. You will be able to exchange your UK licence issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in one of the following provinces.
- British Columbia
- Finance – Make sure you are able to transfer and receive money, whether this means setting up a new bank account in Canada or using certain transferring methods. For advise and easy transferals, visit out page about transferring money abroad
- Tax – We strongly recommend to contact the tax authorities before departure. They can help you with tax situations you still have to deal with before you leave.
- Pets vaccinated -Your pets must be vaccinated in order to enter Canada
- Cancellations – Cancel any utilities or subscriptions you may currently have
- Redirect mail – Make sure your mail is redirected to your new address so you don’t miss any important mail.
Moving companies are able to move your furniture and most of your other belongings you own. But when it comes to your pets or cars, there are slightly different rules. Some moving companies able to do this, but is usually quite difficult and costly!
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. Please note that there are different requirements for different pets. For example cats under the age of 3 months old are exempt from entering Canada. The following requirements are necessary:
- 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.
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
Canada is known for its high quality of life. Prices differentiate tremendously, similarly to the UK, depending on which city you pick to live in. Primary and luxury products also vary in price depending whether you live central of cities or on the outskirts in rural areas. For more specific details visit our page, living in Canada for more information.
House prices in Canada
Similarly to the UK, the price of houses vary depending on where you move. The capital cities, for example, will be a lot more costly 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
An important aspect of living in Canada is Securing a suitable and affordable accommodation. This process could be quite lengthy and expensive for those moving to Canada. Due to accommodation shortage in the country, foreigners are advised to start looking for properties well in advance before actual arrival on Canadian soil. Failing to secure accommodation would mean that you have to stay in hotels. This can become a very expensive practice and unless it is an emergency it is not recommended. Those who are not knowledgeable about the Canadian property market may need to obtain the services of real estate agents located in the area where the accommodation is wanted. Agents usually charge a fee between 10% of the monthly rent to a whole month´s rent.
Real estate websites and online rental classifieds could help a great deal in extending information on prices and types of accommodation available on the market. Standalone and detached houses are the most common types of properties in Canada and around one-third are apartment properties. Property prices and competition in Canada is generally very high. It is, therefore, important to make a good first impression when viewing a property. Head over to our friends at BREL for information on how to purchase property as a non-resident.
Complicated lease agreements
People moving to Canada need to keep in mind that lease agreements in Canada are extremely binding. Reading the clauses carefully and making sure you understand each of them, is absolutely crucial. Usually, the agreements consist of information on duration of the contract and financial responsibilities of the tenant. Examples of tenant’s responsibilities are paying for gas and electricity as well as a deposit (usually two month´s rent). The water supply is usually included in the monthly rent, however, do ensure this is indeed the case. Any breach of the contract could possibly result in losing your accommodation.
For reliable information about renting the website of the Government of Canada have a wide variety of useful information offering help to expats wanting to buy or rent property.
In addition to the information on this page, visit our other pages for more information:
- Taxes in Canada – Find all information about the tax system in the country.
- Education in Canada – Everything about the different schools, education etc.
- Working in Canada – Are you an expat and need to move for your work? Read here all about working cultures, finding a job, etc.
Are you thinking about moving to Canada? We compare the best services for your move. All you have to do here is to fill in the quote form. This will only take a few minutes and you can receive up to 5 quotes from moving companies that specialise in removals to Canada. This way you save soon up to 40% extra on your moving costs.