Requirements to Move to Canada
With its high standard of living, first-rate education, and solid economy, it’s easy to see why people from across the globe want to call Canada home. If you’re one of them and wondering, “What do I need to do to move to Canada?”, this article shows you the various methods available to aspiring immigrants. Not all of them will be suitable options for you, but between the Family Class Sponsorship and Economic Immigration categories, there may be a route that meets your goals and situation.
Family Class Sponsorship
Canada makes it easy to reunite Canadian citizens and permanent residents with family members who are still living abroad. What do you have to do to move to Canada under this program?
If you have a relative in Canada who is at least 18 years old, they can sponsor your move, provided they meet one of the following criteria:
- Canadian citizenship
- Permanent residency in Canada
- Registration under the Canadian Indian Act
Several familial relationships are for Canada’s Family Class Sponsorship, such as:
- Common-law partners
- Dependent children (born to you and adopted)
All Canadian sponsors must commit to supporting relatives financially when they arrive and make sure that these relatives do not have to turn to social assistance. If your Canadian spouse or partner is sponsoring you, you may be eligible for a work permit, making it easier to remain financially independent.
The majority of new residents move to Canada via the economic immigration route, typically as an investor or skilled worker. Canada has an Express Entry program that facilitates immigration for skilled professionals or tradespeople based on factors such as:
- Job experience
- Language skills
- Presence of family in Canada
Are you wondering about the requirements for moving to Canada as a skilled worker? The answer is that it is a points-based process. You receive points based on the factors listed above and need to accumulate at least 67 of them to be considered eligible for immigration to Canada.
If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, you can apply for the Start-up Visa Program if you intend to start a business in Canada that is innovative, employs Canadians, and has the potential to compete on a global scale.
Other economic immigration options include:
- The International Mobility Program, which allows Canadian employers to hire temporary employees if doing so represents clear cultural or economic advantages for Canada. This program expedites the permit process and cuts down the amount of paperwork required.
- The Provincial Nominee Program allows certain provinces and territories to nominate skilled and educated immigrants to come to Canada.
- Becoming a skilled worker in Quebec, which has its own standards for eligibility. You apply to the provincial government for a Certificat de sélection du Québec and, if accepted, proceed to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to become a permanent resident.
You’ve Been Accepted!
If you’ve received word that your family sponsorship or economic immigration application has been accepted, congratulations! Now your next question should be “What do I have to do to move to Canada successfully?”
Before leaving, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the cost of living in Canada. This is especially important if you’re moving there only temporarily, as immigration officers will want to see proof that you can cover your living costs while in the country. For a single person, this would be $12,474 while a family of four would require $23,181.
Finding a Place to Live
Depending on where you intend to live, you’re looking at an average monthly rent of $989 for a two-bedroom apartment. Toronto and Vancouver are the most expensive cities in the country, with two bedroom apartments costing an average of $2,500 and $1,552 respectively. The Atlantic provinces and Quebec are comparatively more affordable if you’re looking to rent or even buy. If you don’t have family in Canada, Ottawa has a large immigrant population that may include other newcomers from your country of origin.
Opening a Bank Account
Did you know that Canada has one of the highest numbers of ATMs per capita? There are also literally thousands of bank branches from coast to coast, most of them from the top five banks:
- Bank of Montreal
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
- The Royal Bank of Canada
- Toronto-Dominion Bank
It’s easy for new immigrants to open a Canadian bank account: you can even do so online, although visiting a branch in person once you arrive will likely result in a banking product that’s more tailored to your needs.
If you had a job offer or have plans to start your own company before arriving in Canada, this part is easy. But if you were sponsored by a relative, there are many resources available to make the job hunt smoother for new residents. You can search online at the Canada Job Bank website or use the local programs available in most cities for immigrants seeking work.
Obtaining Health Care Coverage
You should have it as a priority to register for health insurance after you arrive in Canada. Some provinces have a waiting period of up to three months before a health card is issued. Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario charge healthcare premiums (which are deducted from your payroll), while in the other provinces your coverage is funded through taxes. You can apply for your health card online or at a local hospital, doctor’s office, or pharmacy.
There are several different programs and methods you can use when you want to call Canada home. The key is to select one that meets your own credentials and qualifications and follow the requirements to move to Canada. There are a lot of steps to take when you’re relocating to another country, and Canada is no exception. But if you’re looking for a beautiful, vibrant, and welcoming place to live, Canada is the destination of choice for immigrants across the globe.