Canada is a country that offers breathtaking natural beauty, from its picturesque coastlines and glaciers to its mountains, forests, and diverse wildlife. Beyond its stunning landscapes, Canada is also highly regarded for its high standard of living, excellent healthcare, top-notch educational institutions, strong employment market, and safe environment.

UK citizens can explore the possibility of moving to Canada through various immigration programs. With an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), tourists and business travellers can visit Canada visa-free for up to 6 months. For longer stays, UK citizens can apply for permanent residency programs, work permits, or study permits, depending on their plans for the duration of their stay, qualifications, and intentions in Canada.

UK citizens can move to Canada by obtaining a work permit, permanent residency, or study permit. Eligibility assessment, document gathering, familiarizing with the application process and successful submission are crucial steps in the process.

This guide offers a comprehensive overview of Canadian immigration options to help you make a well-informed decision and embark on a new life in Canada.

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Canadian Immigration Consultant

At Wild Mountain Immigration, we understand the journey ahead for UK citizens who aspire to call Canada home. As a Canadian immigration consulting firm founded by English founders, now proud Canadian citizens, we bring a unique and personal touch to our services.

Our team of seasoned immigration experts is dedicated to guiding you through the complex immigration process, ensuring that your application is tailored to your specific needs and circumstances, and submitted with confidence.

Move to Canada from the UK

Move to Canada from the UK

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 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.

Below are some of the most popular routes for people wanting to move to Canada from the UK.

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Working in Canada from the UK

International Experience Canada (IEC)

If you are a British citizen, and under 30 years old, you can move to Canada under the International Experience Canada Program (IEC). 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.

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 a Labour Market Impact Assessment from ESDC before the foreigner can apply for a work permit.

An LMIA 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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Canadian permanent residency from the UK

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

Express Entry is a streamlined immigration system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for permanent residency from skilled workers. It consists of three distinct streams, each catering to a specific group.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is designed for skilled workers who have at least one year of work experience in a qualified occupation and possess a certain level of education and language proficiency.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is for skilled tradespeople who have at least two years of work experience in a specific trade and meet the required language proficiency standards.

Additionally, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream is intended for skilled workers who have accumulated at least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada and possess the necessary language proficiency.

Candidates can create an online profile that will be ranked based on various factors, such as education, work experience, and language proficiency. If a candidate’s profile is selected from the Express Entry pool, they will be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.


Express Entry Ebook

This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know.

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 modes, the procedure for the same varies.

Take a look at the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program or the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.

Spousal Sponsorship Program

The Canadian Spousal Sponsorship program enables citizens or permanent residents of Canada to bring their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to Canada as permanent residents. The sponsored person must pass security and medical checks, and the sponsor must prove that they have the financial means to support their partner and any dependents. This support must be maintained for a specific time frame, regardless of any changes in the future.

To be eligible for the program, the relationship between the sponsor and sponsored person must be genuine. Furthermore, the sponsored individual must not have any inadmissibilities such as security or criminal convictions, or be the subject of a removal order from Canada.

Canadian lake
Image by Jeremy Fokkens via Travel Alberta

Atlantic Immigration Program

If you are a graduate of a recognized 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.

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express entry

Business Immigration from the UK

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:

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 organization in Canada, fulfil language requirements, and own enough funds to support the expenses of yourself and your family.

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 for 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.

Upper Kananaskis Lake
Image by Jeremy Fokkens via Travel Alberta

Study in Canada from the UK

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.

Move to Canada from UK F&Q's

Frequently asked questions to help with your move to Canada from the UK.

The Canadian government prioritizes skilled workers through its economic immigration programs, but there are other options available for UK citizens.

You can visit Canada for up to six months without a visa; if you have a Canadian citizen, child, or grandchild who has permanent resident status, you may be eligible for a Super Visa, allowing extended stays of up to five years.

If you are looking to achieve permanent residency through the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program, you may receive an invitation to apply.

If you’re looking for a permanent solution, consider moving to Canada before you retire. This way, you can work and establish your residency before changing your official status. Or, if you’re an entrepreneur, you can start or purchase a business in Canada and make it the driving force behind your move.

If you have a pension it’s important to research and consider the potential impact on your UK state pension when planning to move to Canada.

You can bring your family with you to Canada, including your spouse or common-law partner, dependent child, and other eligible family members.

If you’re moving to Canada, your child may be able to accompany you, depending on their age, relationship with you, and other factors. If you’re immigrating to Canada as a permanent resident, your dependent children may be eligible to accompany you as dependents. If your child is over the age of 18, they may be able to immigrate as an independent applicant.

It’s best to consult with a Canadian immigration consultant or lawyer to determine the specific requirements and eligibility for your child to immigrate with you to Canada.

The process of immigrating to Canada from the UK involves completing an immigration application, which may include a medical examination, police clearance certificate, and language proficiency test. The specific process depends on the immigration program you choose and your individual circumstances.

To be eligible for immigration to Canada, you must meet the requirements of the specific immigration program you choose. This can include factors such as age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and more.

The time it takes to immigrate to Canada from the UK can vary depending on the immigration program and processing times. On average, the processing time for some programs can take several months to a year or more.

The cost of immigration to Canada can vary depending on the immigration program and your individual circumstances. You may need to pay government processing fees, immigration consulting fees, permanent residence fees, medical examination fees, and more.

The type of work visa you should apply for depends on your individual circumstances and the type of work you plan to do in Canada.

The process of transferring your UK driver’s license to a Canadian license varies depending on the province or territory you are moving to. In some provinces, you can exchange your UK license for a Canadian one without taking a driving test.

It is advisable to have health insurance coverage when moving to Canada from the UK, as the public health insurance system in Canada does not cover all medical expenses. It is important to research and compares the different health insurance options available to you, as the type and amount of coverage will depend on factors such as your age, medical history, and immigration status.

You may be eligible for coverage under the public health insurance plan of the province or territory in which you plan to reside; however, all provinces vary.

Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system that provides universal coverage to all citizens and permanent residents. If you reside in Canada, you are eligible for some healthcare benefits.

Coverage and services can vary by province or territory.

Some of the best cities to live in Canada for UK immigrants include Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary. Factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, cultural attractions, and quality of life will vary and should be considered when choosing a city to live in.


Immigrating to Canada from the UK is a complex process with many factors, including eligibility requirements and processing times. It’s important to research your options and consult with an immigration consultant or lawyer before making any decisions about immigration. With careful planning and preparation, you can make sure that you are ready for the journey ahead of you when it comes to relocating yourself and your family members in pursuit of a new life in Canada.

At Wild Mountain Immigration, our goal is to simplify and streamline the complex process of moving from the UK to Canada. Our experienced immigration consultants are dedicated to guiding you every step of the way and ensuring a smooth and stress-free transition.

Don’t let the daunting task of an immigration hold you back from realizing your dreams. Let Wild Mountain Immigration be your trusted partner on this exciting journey. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help you make Canada your new home.

Nicola Wightman

Nicola Wightman is a regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) under the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Her professional immigration consultant number is R706497.

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