Moving to Canada from the UK
Are you moving to Canada from the UK and need a helping hand? If you still have things to organise, do not panic! The following article contains information on how to move to Canada from the UK, including costs, visa requirements and top tips. We can therefore help you determine how easy it is to move to Canada, based on your individual needs and desires, and get you over to the Great White North in no time!
You can finish reading this article in the time it takes to listen to the Canadian national anthem!
The Cost of Moving to Canada from the UK
Like most people, we’re sure that the cost of your move to Canada is at the top of your priority list. The table below shows estimations of moving costs to Toronto, dependent on the size of your property. Understanding how international moving costs are calculated is crucial to help you save money in certain areas. Please explore the rest of this page to discover ways of reducing your removal costs. It means you will have more to spend on poutine and maple syrup when you get there!
|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||£8,322-£8,788|
Disclaimer: the rates shown above are just estimates. Costs will vary depending on your actual point of departure and service rates of the company.
There is no universal removal cost as each move is different. Many factors contribute to the overall price. However, familiarising yourself with these factors is the first step to working out how to move to Canada on a budget.
- The size of your move: Naturally, the more you want to move, the more it will cost. We recognise that calculating the volume of your belongings is challenging, so we’ve provided you with our handy volume calculator!
Tip: Consider selling your furniture and buying new furniture upon arrival in Canada; it often saves you money.
- The distance and route: The further and more remote the destination, the more expensive it will be. If a destination is unfamiliar to a removal company, a surplus is sometimes charged.
- Time of year. Try to avoid the summer period. It is the busiest time of year for removal companies, and therefore often more expensive.
- Ask about container shipping costs. Ask your mover for tips and tricks on how to save money on your shipping container.
How to move to Canada: A Checklist
We know that moving country, let alone continents, can be daunting. Therefore, to help you out, we’ve provided you with a moving checklist, outlining what you need to move to Canada from the UK.
Before you move:
- Important documents. Ensure that you have all your important documents prepared, including passports, visas and work permits.
- Organise an international moving company. Request quotes from moving companies to find the best international mover for your needs, and set a moving date. If you haven’t yet done this, be sure to get up to five free quotes from us.
- Pack. Read our expert packing guide for special tips to optimise your move. Be ruthless with your selections, especially with furniture. Let’s be honest, you do not need the broken table that you have been meaning to fix for a decade, or the lamp that has been collecting dust in the cupboard.
- Car transport. Work out if it is in fact possible to move your car to Canada. There is more information on this below.
- Any pets? Determine whether your pets meet the pet import criteria for Canada. Further information on this is provided below.
- Tax. You must inform HMRC when you move abroad. We recommend seeking professional advice on tax payments in Canada.
When you arrive:
- Open a bank account: When you arrive, it is advised that you open a Canadian bank as soon as possible. All of the ‘Big Five’ Canadian banks listed below cater for newcomers, so do some research as to which bank best suits your circumstances:
- Money transfer. Once you have your bank account, transfer money from your UK account over to your Canadian one. TorFX is a great service to help you transfer money abroad.
- Healthcare. More information on this is provided below.
- Driving License. You don’t need to worry about this, hurrah! You can drive in Canada with a full UK license.
If you are still at a loose end, our more general moving abroad checklist should have all the answers!
Before immigrating to Canada from the UK, it is essential that you ensure that you have all the necessary visas and travel documents. If you are planning on staying in Canada for more than six months a visa is required. Below is a basic list of the different types of visas you can obtain when considering a move to Canada.
Canadian Visa Options for British Immigrants:
- Student visas
- Super visas for parents and grandparents
- Visitor visas
- Work permits
For further information for new immigrants regarding residency and citizenship visit the Canadian government website.
Want to Work in Canada?
We know that Brexit has made international moves more complicated. However, you’ll be pleased to know that working in Canada when coming from the UK has not be affected by the referendum. The only change is that Canada has become a more popular destination for British expats, and let’s hope they have brought fish and chips and an old-fashioned pint with them! Furthermore, unemployment rates in Canada are the lowest they have been in four decades, meaning large amounts of expats have been able to find employment when moving to Canada.
Nevertheless, it can be hard to find jobs somewhere that is so far away from the UK. We have therefore provided you with a list of job search websites below:
Top Tips for Moving to Canada from the UK
We hope this article has already provided some clarity regarding how to move to Canada. Just in case you are still overwhelmed, some other key advice on moving to Canada from the UK is outlined below, covering some more obscure (but nonetheless necessary!) concerns.
The Cost of Living in Canada
While our priority is to ensure that we help you keep your cost of moving to Canada from the UK down, we also recognise that you might have anxieties about expenses once you arrive. Like any other country, the cost of living in Canada depends on multiple factors, such as location, and lifestyle. However, here is a list of common cost of living metrics, with a comparison to the UK, so you know what to expect from your new home (and can avoid being ripped off!) For the sake of comparison, all prices are written in GBP.
|Rent for 1 bed apartment in city centre||£771||£758|
|Basic monthly utilities for 85m2 apartment||£91.80||£155.87|
|1L of milk||£1.45||£0.91|
|0.5L draught beer||£3.46||£3.63|
|1L of gasoline||£0.66||£1.27|
The table shows just some rough examples, as an average across the entirety of the country. The most expensive Canadian cities are as follows:
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Toronto, Ontario
- Victoria, British Columbia
- Calgary, Alberta
- Hamilton-Burlington, Ontario
Therefore, if you have a lower budget, consider living outside of these hotspots to minimise the expenses of moving to Canada from the UK. However, even if Calgary is out of your price range, be sure to visit to experience its famous ‘Chinooks’: a weather phenomenon that can raise temperatures by up to ten degrees in just a few minutes!
We know how important furry friends are. To make sure you don’t have to leave them behind, take note. There are several crucial import requirements. Failing to meet these can lead to the refusal of entry for any given animal, no matter how cute they are! There are rules about the following:
- Typical domestic animals: cats, dogs, birds, horses etc.
- Exotic animals
- Pet food
To learn more about the specific criteria for your pet, take a look at these import requirements.
One of the most important things to organise once you arrive in Canada is your healthcare. However, you’re in luck; the Canadian health system bares many resemblances to the UK’s.
For the most part, healthcare is covered by Medicare, which uses funds from the government. All Canadian citizens, permanent residents and residents, are eligible for this public health system, however, expect long waiting times when seeking medical help through Medicare. Therefore, do not rule out private healthcare options if you, like most of us, can’t stand long queues! Moreover, much like the UK, there are a few things you should expect to pay for even if you are covered by Medicare, including:
- Drugs: you will probably have to pay for any drugs and medicine you are prescribed.
- Dentists: you should expect to pay for dental care.
- Opticians: you should expect to pay for any care from opticians.
To enjoy the benefits of the Canadian healthcare system, you should apply for a national healthcare card upon arrival. You may have to wait up to three months to receive it, so make sure you are privately insured in the meantime.
In general, cars sold in countries other than the United States cannot be imported to Canada, except if they meet the following requirements.
- It is 15 years or older (a real golden oldie!)
- 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
Fun fact: in Nunavut in northern Canada, licence plates are shaped like polar bears!
Transport Advice for British Expats in Canada
Much like other top tips, transportation in Canada is hugely dependent on where in the country you live. Given that Canada is the second biggest country in the world, standing at nearly a whopping ten million kilometres squared, you might be in for a bit of a shock when emigrating to Canada from the UK. Below are a list of transport options in Canada:
- By air: travelling between major cities usually involves an aeroplane. This is often the quickest way to travel, due to the size of the country.
- By train: railway lines also exists across the country, but are often expensive and time consuming.
- By bus: frequent buses also run between cities, primarily through the company Greyhound. This is often the cheapest way to travel, and a good option if you are visiting a smaller town or village without an airport.
- By car: most of the country is accessible by car, provided you have the time and means to drive. A coastal drive might be particularly appealing, given that Canada has the longest stretch of coastline in the world. (Provided you’re willing to drive for 243,977km that is!)
For further transportation information, please visit the government website. It’s important you get this right: you can fit the UK into Canada more than forty times over!
We hope that you have found this page informative and have learned a thing or two about how to move to Canada from the UK. Now, to get the ball rolling, please do not hesitate to request up to five free moving quotes from us.
We’ll leave you with one last piece of advice about moving to Canada from the UK: wrap up warm! The coldest temperature ever recorded was in Canada: -63°C is definitely not bikini weather.