How do I go about moving to Canada from UK?

This is a common question posed by thousands of British citizens who wish to make a move to this North American country. Being highly welcoming to immigrants, Canada is among the most popular destinations for immigrants from the UK, as well as other parts of the world. A major reason behind this popularity is the great advantages this country offers to everyone willing to move into its territory.

Several benefits like a comparatively low crime rate, attractive opportunities for career growth, and a better quality of living make it a preferred country for moving in. In fact, of the millions of foreign immigrants moving into the country each year, several thousand are from the UK.

The country offers several programs for British residents who want to move to Canada, both on a temporary and permanent basis. So if you are wondering how to move from the UK to Canada, you can check out the options mentioned below!

Ways to move from the UK to Canada

Canada is among the top countries in the world when it comes to allowing immigrants to settle within its territory. This attitude of Canadian citizens is mainly based on the fact that these immigrants contribute greatly to the country's economy by filling in shortages of skilled workers and creating many jobs.

Therefore, Canada offers close to 100 different programs to make the immigration process simpler for the people interested in moving into the country. As long as you fulfil all the necessary requirements, you can apply for temporary or permanent residency in Canada by using any of these pathways.

Some of the most popular options that residents of the UK can apply for are given below:

Table of contents

Work in Canada

International Experience Canada (IEC)

If you are a British citizen, you can move to Canada under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Under this program, citizens who belong to a partner country can get a chance to work or travel in Canada for a maximum of 2 years. IEC currently only offers the Working Holiday Program category to UK citizens and one can apply under this program as long as they fulfil the requirements.

Working Holiday Program

If you are a British citizen aged between 18 to 30 years (inclusive), you can apply for this program to travel and gain temporary employment in Canada. You would receive an open work permit which would allow you to work for any employer within Canada for the specified period.

You cannot be accompanied by dependents when entering Canada using this Canadian visa.

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Employer-specific work permits with Labour Market Impact Assessment

In order to apply for a closed work permit, the foreigner must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. The employer must also obtain an LMIA from ESDC before the foreigner can apply for the work permit.

An LMIA, or Labour Market Impact Assessment, is a document that Canadian employers must obtain in order to hire foreign workers for positions that are not exempt from the requirement. The LMIA assesses the impact that the foreign worker will have on the Canadian labour market and can only be obtained through an authorized third party.

Employers must submit an LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) along with the required fee. If the application is approved, the employer will receive a confirmation letter that they can use to apply for a work permit on behalf of the foreign worker.

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Study in Canada

If you are a British national who wants to move to Canada for higher studies, you need to apply for a study permit. To be eligible for this permit, you need to be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada and fulfil all the other requirements.

The study permit is usually valid till 90 days after the end of the study program you have applied for. This additional period is allotted to allow students to either extend their stay or move back to their native country.

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Studying in canada

Permanent residency

There are a number of Canadian immigration programs that are available to residents of the UK. Some of the most popular ones are described below:

Express Entry Program

If you wish to move to Canada as a permanent resident, you can apply for the Express Entry system. This pathway is designed exclusively for skilled workers who can contribute to the economy of Canada.

Being point-based, your chance of getting selected for permanent residency in the country will depend on various factors like your educational qualifications, skill level, work experience, English/French language proficiency, etc.

Below are the 3 categories you can apply for under this program:

1. Federal Skilled Worker Program

If you are a skilled worker with proven work experience, you can apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program to gain permanent residency in Canada. To be eligible for this program, you need to fulfil some educational and language proficiency criteria.

All the applicants under this category are assessed based on different selection criteria, and the individuals scoring the highest are invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

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2. Federal Skilled Trades Program

Skilled workers who hold a qualification proving their expertise in any skilled trade are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada. under the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

To be considered under this category, you need to possess the required language proficiency, work experience and have a valid certification of qualification issued by a Canadian authority or a full-time job offer in the country.

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3. Canadian Experience Class

If you are a skilled worker having Canadian work experience of a minimum period of one year, you are eligible to apply under the Canadian Experience Class program.

You need to have attained the work experience within three years before the date of application and need to possess the required language proficiency.

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Family Sponsorship Program

If you have relatives living inside or outside of Canada, you can apply for permanent residency under the Family Sponsorship Program. To be considered under this category, you need to have relatives who either hold Canadian citizenship or have been granted the status of a permanent resident in the country. In addition, they need to be at least 18 years old to be eligible to sponsor you.

If your relative is a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, they must show that they plan to live in Canada when you become a permanent resident. However, your relative can’t sponsor you if they’re a permanent resident living outside Canada.

Under this program, you can apply for permanent residence if you are the parent, child, spouse, or partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions. Some other categories of relatives are also eligible for sponsorship under extreme circumstances.

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Canadian family

Business Immigration Program

If you are experienced in owning or managing a business, you can apply for permanent residency in Canada under the Business Immigration Program.

The most popular categories under this program are mentioned below:

1. Start-Up Visa Investor Program

You can apply for permanent residence in Canada under the Start-Up Visa Investor Program if you are an entrepreneur willing to establish a new business in the country. The essential prerequisites for this program include having a novel business idea that can help create jobs in Canada and have the potential to compete with global businesses.

Moreover, you need to have a valid letter of support from a designated organisation in Canada, fulfil language requirements, and own enough funds to support the expenses of yourself and your family.

2. Self-Employment Visa

If you hold expertise in athletics or cultural activities and are willing to contribute significantly in the above fields in Canada, you can apply for immigration under the Self-Employment Visa.

To be eligible under this program, you need to fulfil several requirements. These include having at least two years of experience in the relevant field, processing enough funds for settling into the country, and passing the required medical and security checks.

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program is designed for people interested in moving into a certain province within Canada. Most Canadian territories and provinces run their own streams targeting specific groups of people who can contribute to that region.

To be considered for nomination under this program, you must fulfil all the essential criteria specified by the concerned province. While the application can be submitted in both online and offline mode, the procedure for the same varies.

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Atlantic Immigration Program

If you are a graduate from a recognised post-secondary Atlantic institution or hold expertise as a skilled foreign worker, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada under the Atlantic Immigration Program. But, you can only apply for this pathway if you are willing to reside and work in the Atlantic provinces of Canada, which include New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

This immigration pathway is designed to uplift the economy of the region by enabling employers to find skilled individuals for positions that the local residents cannot fill. You need to fulfil certain criteria related to language proficiency, education, and work experience to be chosen under this category.

Quebec Selected Skilled Workers Program

The province of Quebec has a special agreement with the Canadian government, which allows it to set its own rules for selecting skilled immigrants and granting them the status of permanent residents. You can apply for this immigration pathway if you are a skilled worker willing to settle and work in Quebec.

The program has a two-step application process. Firstly you need to submit an application to the provincial government to be considered for a Quebec Selection Certificate. The province of Quebec will assess your application, and the certificate will be issued if you are found to be eligible. After you get the certificate, you can move on to the next step, which involves applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence.

Canadian flag

Things To Know Before You Move To Canada From The UK

1. Healthcare Advantages

If you reside in Canada, you are eligible for some healthcare benefits. Citizens, permanent residents, international students, and some other groups can avail free healthcare services in the country.

But, if you have applied for permanent residence in the country, you may not receive the benefits until 3 months after moving in. You can opt for private health insurance for this period, though, as the cost of healthcare is rather high in the country.

Moreover, the publicly-funded healthcare system does not cover certain types of facilities like eye care, dental care, prescription drugs, ambulance costs, mental health, etc. Getting additional health insurance is a good idea to save some money on any of these treatments.

2. Taxation System

The decentralised federal system of Canada means that you have to pay taxes at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels. If you are a salaried worker, the government will automatically deduct the income tax. Self-employed individuals, on the other hand, have to pay their taxes by themselves.

In addition to this, Canada levies a sales tax on every item purchased by you. In other words, you will have to pay taxes at the specified rate on every bill of purchase. The rate of sales tax varies across the provinces.

3. Weather Conditions

If you are moving from the UK to Canada, you should be aware that the weather conditions are very different from what you are used to. Compared to Canada, the weather in the UK is relatively milder.

For example, the summers in Canada can be scorchingly hot, while the winters are bitterly cold. And by cold, we mean freezing temperatures - you can forget about going outdoors when the weather is unfavourable. The amount of average rainfall in Canada also exceeds that of the UK. In short, the country experiences extreme weather, so make sure you are well prepared before making your move.

4. Cultural Diversity

Canada is landmarked by its diverse population. People from almost every corner of the world are welcome to visit or settle in the country, thereby adding to its multicultural character.

Irrespective of the city or region you decide to settle in, you are bound to meet people from different communities with distinct variations in terms of their food, culture, languages, and religion. Interacting with the diverse people residing in the country will open up a whole new perspective in front of you.

5. You can transfer your UK driving licence

If you have a UK driving licence, you can exchange it for a Canadian driving licence. The process is relatively simple and can be done through the provincial government.

You will need to provide some documents like your passport, driving licence, and proof of residency in Canada. There is a processing fee associated with exchanging your licence, so make sure you


So, if you have been wondering how you go about moving to Canada from UK, hopefully, this article will be useful for you. Check out the different programs offered by the country for both permanent and temporary residence, and choose the one most suitable for your situation. Also, check all the requirements for your chosen program and fill in all the details carefully - you don't want your application to be rejected for a tiny error on your part, after all!

If you need a regulated Canadian immigration consultant don't hesitate to get in touch!