There’s so much to do and see in the world, but few of us ever leave the country in which we were born. If you’re looking for a new adventure and a change of scenery, moving to Canada can be the answer.
That said, though Canada shares a border with the United States, moving to the Great White North isn’t as simple as packing up a moving truck and hitting the road.
Moving to a new country, no matter how close, takes quite a bit of preparation. And the first step is to learn how to move to Canada. Your moving checklist is going to be longer than you might think.
But you’re in luck! To learn everything you need to know about becoming a Canadian resident, all you have to do is keep reading.
Choose Your Immigration Route
Question #1: are you at least 18 years old? If you’re not of legal age, immigrating to Canada is more difficult, as you need a guardian to fill out the application for you.
That said, assuming you’re an adult, the first step is to choose your immigration route. There are a few different options here.
The first is to enter the pool for skilled immigrants. If you’re a skilled worker, you’re in luck! Canada has a fast-track system for you.
Each applicant to this system is given a score based on their talents and job prospects. Those with the highest scores are invited to become residents without much additional hassle.
Not a skilled worker? No worries! You can also apply for the fast track as a self-employed worker. You’ll be given a score as well, based on your experience, education, and proficiency with both English and French.
Your next option is to either get a visitor visa, which allows you to stay in the country for up to six months, with no further requirements attached. If six months isn’t long enough, you’ll need a work or study permit. This allows you to stay the length of your job or university program.
Obtain a Permanent Residence
If you want to move to Canada for good, the next step is to find a permanent residence. You can choose a single-family home or condo buildings, as long as you have a place to call your own. After all, living in Canada is kind of tough with nowhere to live.
Canada requires a minimum of three years living in the country before permanent residency is offered. Once you’re a resident, you’ll have healthcare coverage and can work and travel anywhere in Canada. The only restrictions are on voting and running for office.
Once you’ve spent your three years acclimating to the Canadian lifestyle, you can move on to obtaining citizenship, if you so desire. This requires a further three years of residency in the country, as well as a presence in Canada for at least half the year.
In other words, you can split your time between the US and Canada during your transition period, as long as you spend a minimum of 183 days per year up north.
To prove that you have a home and job in Canada, you’ll need to provide Canadian tax returns for three years or more leading up to your date of application.
Brush Up on Canadian History
This should come as no surprise, but Canada requires passing a written or verbal test before citizenship is granted. The test includes questions about Canadian history, values, symbols, and institutions.
Anyone who meets the aforementioned qualifications and is between the ages of 18 and 54 can take this test.
Keep in mind that you must be fluent on a conversational level in either English or French as well, as these are the two official languages of the country.
Now, there are certain factors that can prevent your application from being approved. For example, if you’ve committed a crime within four years of submitting your application, you’ll likely be denied.
Research Places to Live
Next to Russia, Canada is the largest country on Earth – it occupies an area of almost 4 million square miles! Each region of the country is different, with its own weather and set of customs.
It’s easy to assume that because Canada is up north, it’s cold all the time. And for some places, that’s true! For others, however, it’s warm more often than you would think, with summer temperatures reaching the 90s.
Take your time researching the various regions, cities, and towns of Canada to decide which is right for you before taking further steps toward residency or citizenship.
Start Enjoying the Canadian Lifestyle
Because the country is so large and diverse, there’s no shortage of things to do in Canada. Although immersing yourself in Canadian culture isn’t a requirement of being a citizen, it’s the best part of the adventure.
From ice hockey to outdoor activities to iconic cities and ski resorts, it would take years, if not decades, to experience all the best places in Canada and everything the incredible country has to offer.
Learn How to Move to Canada and Start the Next Chapter of Your Life
There’s nothing like the feeling of a fresh start, and moving to a new country is the ultimate way to capture that sensation. As you can see, the answer to how to move to Canada is complex. However, it’s not impossible!
If you’ve been dreaming about a new life up north, there’s no better time to start preparing than now. The next chapter of your life is waiting for you, all you have to do is turn the page.
Looking for more tips for finding the perfect home for you and your family? Be sure to check out our blog!