Moving abroad to live, work or retire to another country can be both exciting and significantly scary all at the same time! After all, emigration is not your typical short holiday abroad is it, and relocation is a huge decision - one that no doubt will have had a huge amount of thought put into it even before you get to the practical planning stages.
Therefore, if you’re seriously thinking about moving to live in Canada specifically for example, we’ve produced the following guide for you, with the help of Global Visas. It contains advice that is pertinent for British people moving to Canada, but it also contains some generic top tips for anyone thinking about moving anywhere abroad!
We appreciate that planning a relocation is a massive undertaking, so we hope that the following wisdom and advice will truly help you to make your move a successful and a smooth one.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Therefore, if you want to turn your wish to live in Canada into a goal that you achieve, you need to put a plan in place that will take you from where you are today, to sitting in a brand new home in Canada with your Canadian residency all sorted out! So, for making your move a successful one it is crucial that you plan, plan, plan!
The most important thing to have in place before you organise your move to somewhere like Canada, where you have to be accepted for immigration as a resident, is your visa…
You will have to have the right type of visa to move to Canada, and the ‘right type’ will be based on your own personal circumstances - there are even different types of Canadian work visa, and the rules about who is eligible are constantly changing. Embassies will give you the relevant forms to fill in, but if you want help and advice it should be sought through a Canada immigration specialist. To get a Canadian working visa will usually take you between 6-12 months…and if you are assisted by an expert service such as the one offered by Global Visas, you can expect to find what is a very complex process a lot more straightforward and understandable.
Before You Move to Canada
I would say that you need to look into the following aspects of your move between six and three months prior to your departure date: -
• Have a clear out and either chuck out or sell unwanted items. Car boot sales are perfect for this. Work out what you want to take with you to Canada.
• Get all the relevant quotes for shipping your stuff abroad in so that you can compare them, and then decide on a carrier.
• If you have a pet, organise for transportation for your animal. This will need to be arranged sooner rather than later as most carriers require plenty of notice and you HAVE to make sure your animal is correctly chipped and vaccinated in advance of your move.
• Make sure you have all the required documentation to hand for when you land in Canada. It seems like common sense - but have a checklist and go through everything that you will need to have to hand so that nothing is forgotten at the last minute.
Decide Where You Want to Live in Canada
Canada is the second largest country in the world, and like it’s southern counterpart the US, it is as vast in size as it is in terms of diversity of people and places. When choosing where to relocate to, consider all the relevant factors such as the fact that the climate differs hugely from coast to coast, as does the landscape. If you have children then schools will have to be chosen, cost of living should be considered, transport links shouldn’t be ignored and anything that will help you feel happier and more confident in your new life abroad should be explored, so do your country specific research.
To appreciate the size and diversity of the country maybe consider visiting different areas of Canada and asking yourself questions about what you want or expect out of the nation. Although this may be an expensive undertaking to have to consider, this could pay massive dividends in the long run as you will have fewer nasty surprises to contend with when you actually move to live in Canada!
The Language Barrier!
One of your reasons for choosing Canada to relocate to may be because you think it is an English speaking nation – however as Canada is a bilingual country, with both English and French widely spoken, one of the most important skills to learn is the language! I.e., to be fully integrated into Canadian life it is important to try and learn at least the basics of French – especially if you’re relocating to Montreal. Of course, French is not totally necessary if you live in the larger cities – but it will help you if you want to get the most out of living in your new nation of choice.
When is the Best Time to Move to Canada?
Moving to Canada in the winter months can throw up a number of problems. Canada is prone to spells of severe weather and during the winter it is normal for it to snow for months at a time, with temperatures falling and remaining well below zero. Arriving at this time of year, unless absolutely necessary, is best avoided as it will just add further stress to an already stressful time.
Money Matters in Canada
For the first few months it can make sense to leave all your existing UK bank accounts open and work through them when you need access to cash. This will give you time to familiarise yourself with the Canadian banking system before switching over to it for the day-to-day management of your money.
When you are settled, visit your preferred local bank and introduce yourself to the manager, explain the situation that you’re a newly arrived expat and establish a banking relationship. Opening a new account should be trouble-free; after you have opened a bank account you may want to apply for a credit card as well.
Adapting to Life in Canada
Canada will not be like England in many fundamental ways - and it is likely that you may feel a little homesick after a period of time when you begin to realise that you will have a lot of adjusting to do to settle in. Don’t worry, these feelings are natural and normal. To help yourself, make a conscious decision to talk to people, make conversation, and join groups you’re interested in, (in fact, join them even if you aren’t that interested), and start meeting new people and making new friends.
Making a new life in a new country won’t happen overnight, and it’s important that you make a conscious decision to try and make new friends on an ongoing basis. Canadians are generally very friendly and your new neighbours and colleagues will probably be very happy to talk to you and help you settle in. Whilst it is critical that you also maintain ties with your old friends and your family back home, it is as critical that you make a real effort to make new friends.
Staying Healthy With Medical Insurance in Canada
In order to get health care in Canada you must have a health insurance plan card, also known as a Health Card. This is very important and should be arranged as soon as you arrive. Each province in Canada administers its own health insurance plan so there are variations from province to province. In most cases, you pay a monthly fee for the insurance. It is worth noting that just like in the UK you will have to pay for dental care, prescription drugs and prescription glasses.
Surviving With No Credit History
When you arrive in Canada you may wish to purchase items such as a car or furniture on credit, and as a newcomer to the country you will find that you have no credit-score! You can use your cards from the UK while you arrange for a new credit card in Canada – and whilst this is not ideal, you basically have to start from scratch and build up your credit history – i.e., your record of borrowing and repayment, in Canada
Moving to a new country is not an easy decision to make and it is not an easy transition to adjust to either – but it can really and truly be more than worth the hassle. While adjusting to any change is strange, hopefully this guide will help to make the transition for you faster and easier. Canada is a friendly, hospitable country and your move is likely to offer you many new and exciting opportunities.
Fri, December 23, 2011 at 10:54 PM
CANADA is a very nice place to live. Like all countries, it has its plus and
minus features. With a little research, and talking to many people, people
can decide whether our country is for them, or no.
For a retiree, of course, he/she needs to be selective as to where to live.
The greatest hurdle is the price of housing, whether a house or apartment or condo.
So, making sure you have sufficient finances to purchase a home or condo is the most vital thing to consider. Naturally, house prices vary very much from
province to province/city to city.
People from the UK will likely miss the pubs, old theaters. classical museums
If you can substitute these for involvement in the natural environment..animal
vegetable.mineral, you will settle with a minimum of stress.