Immigrating to Canada, whether through family sponsorship or the Federal Skilled Workers program, or other permanent residency programs, can take months or years. To ensure immigrating to Canada is the right solution for you, you will need to research carefully. It’s not enough to know how many people are in Canada or what the major attractions are. You will also want to:
1) Consider job markets
If you want to work in Canada, you may wish to know how many jobs are available for someone with your skills and education, where those jobs are, and what the salary range might be like. This will not only help you determine whether you can meet your financial goals in Canada, but it can help you understand where you may wish to settle to have the best career opportunities.
2) Talk to expats and recent arrivals
Speak to friends and family who have moved to Canada or have lived in Canada. What were their experiences like? What did they like and dislike? Try to speak to a wide range of people to get multiple opinions. Let your friends and family know you are considering the move so you get feedback and their ideas.
3) Read the newspapers and media
Read Canadian magazines and newspapers and listen to Canadian broadcasters, such as the CBC, to get a sense of the culture of the country as well as the issues affecting Canadians and residents. There are also government resources to help you understand what life is like in Canada.
4) Canada is diverse, so make your research location specific
Rather than researching Canada as a whole, you will get a more accurate picture if you take a look at a specific province, territory, or city. In Canada, provinces decide on their own health care, education systems, and budgets, and there is a great deal of cultural difference between regions. Provinces and regions even have their own immigration programs. Use pre-arrival services to learn more about Canada and the immigration process.
5) Make a budget
Moving to Canada will require assets. For many visas, you will need to prove you can support yourself and your dependents in Canada. You will also need to pay for transport cost, a new home, transportation, immigration application fees, and more and the costs of living in Canada may be different than what they are in your home country. Make sure you have the money to immigrate.
6) Research based on a list of what is important to you
If you have children, good schools may be important to you. You may also find you want a very diverse community or a community which speaks your language. Make a list of things you would like to experience and have in your Canadian community and then start looking for a location in the country which matches your list.
7) Visit, if possible
If you can, visit Canada or visit different parts of the country. If you are a young professional or student, generally between the ages of 18 and 35, you may be eligible for International Experience Canada (IEC), which allows you to travel and work in Canada and to gain Canadian experience as you explore the country.
Do You Want to Immigrate to Canada?
If your research has shown Canada would be the right location for your new life, you will need to apply to immigrate to Canada or live as a temporary resident in the country. Immigration Direct has resources so you can apply to immigrate to Canada. We also have a free blog with useful information for newcomers.