Moving to Canada is on the minds of many people worldwide. This most northern of North American countries has characteristics that compare positively to other countries where people might choose to immigrate. On top of this, the Canadian government encourages people to move to Canada. The Canadian immigration system has multiple pathways for legal entry, especially for employment or investment purposes.
Canada Second Most Popular Destination for Potential Immigrants
Research by the polling organization Gallup ranked Canada as the second most popular choice for immigration behind the United States. Out of over 126,000 respondents in 122 countries polled about where they would like to move to, 8% made Canada their top choice. Canada ranked ahead of other Western European countries and Japan. The United States remained the number one preferred destination, but Canada’s desirability increased by 5% from 2015 to 2016.
Canada Wants Immigrants
The previous two administrations leading Canada, despite being from opposing political parties, both favored immigration. As an advanced industrialized society, Canada has an aging population and wants fresh influxes of employment-age people to supply labor to keep the country’s economy functional and growing.
Immigrants have responded to the invitation and began moving to Canada in large numbers. In 2022, the country extended permanent resident status to 437,000 people. Since 2019, immigration to Canada rose by 19%.
5 Reasons People Are Moving to Canada
1. Strong Economy
Canada is a large, resource-rich nation that engages in extensive trade with the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and many other countries. The mineral and oil and gas resources in the country reduce its vulnerability to energy shortages. The country also has a large agricultural sector that maintains a steady supply of local foods.
The country is highly developed in terms of infrastructure and well positioned to maintain its position as an economic powerhouse for decades. It ranks as the 9th largest economy in the world. Because the country supplies resources that people need, demand for skilled and unskilled labor is strong, which means that immigrants can find work.
This is not to say that you’re going to get rich working in Canada. The cost of living is high. Expect to work hard to get by, but you would be living and working in a modern, free society.
2. Paid Parental Leave
Permanent residents and temporary foreign workers with current work permits have access to provincial health coverage programs and Employment Insurance (EI). The health coverage pays for a mother’s prenatal and postnatal medical care, and the EI, or the similar program for Quebec residents, provides partial pay for mothers and fathers on maternity or paternity leave.
The parental leave benefits are not immediately available upon arriving in the country. You’ll need to earn them by working at least 600 insurable hours in the year prior to applying for maternity or paternity pay.
3. Universal Health Care
The national health insurance system in Canada provides medical services to citizens and permanent residents. The individual provinces operate their own health plans for residents, and it is taxpayer supported. This means that you can get medical care without paying at the point of service. You have a right to use medical facilities due to belonging to your provincial health plan.
Although complaints about long wait times are rife in the system, the national health care system is much less tortuous than the one south of the border in the United States that is abusive, horrendously expensive, and also plagued by long wait times for care. At least, Canadians do not face complete financial ruin during severe medical crises.
The universal health care in Canada has strong appeal for people in the United States who move to Canada. Although people moving to Canada have to pay high taxes for health coverage, they escape the exorbitant annual premium increases and benefit reductions that U.S. residents have to put up with, and their access to health care is not tied to their employment. This translates into greater freedom for people and much less risk of financial hardship due to medical conditions.
4. Respected Higher Education System
Canada is home to a globally recognized higher education system that attracts international students. For this reason, immigrants moving to Canada do not have to compromise about access to education for themselves or their children.
Counting both trade schools and universities, Canada boasts of a highly educated population with 56% of people possessing post-secondary education.
University education in Canada is comparable to that obtained in the United States, but tuition is lower. Attending university in Canada is a viable way to immigrate to the country because you have a good chance of getting a job in Canada after you graduate.
5. Safe and Stable Society
Many people choose to move to a new country to escape high crime rates or political or ethnic persecution. By this standard, Canada is very attractive due to its relatively low crime rate. Violent gun crimes are much less of a problem than in the neighboring United States.
Crime exists in Canada, but most people report feeling safe in their daily lives. U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the seventh safest country in the world.
The country also has a stable political system and is not at any obvious risk or upheaval, revolution, or widespread campaigns against minorities. Canadians largely have a tolerant view of immigrants and recognize that they have a positive role to play in Canadian society.
How Can I Learn About the Canadian Immigration System?
Your first step is to visit the Canadian government’s immigration website. You’ll get an immediate overview of the available immigration programs and which one you might choose.
Immigration pathways include:
- Express entry for skilled workers
- Immigration for caregivers
- Immigration for entrepreneurs
- Immigration for self-employed
- Family sponsorship
- Various provincial programs
Like any immigration system, it gets complicated in its details, but you may find a program that you qualify for. Your next step is to start an account so that you can apply for entry.
You have the option of hiring a personal representative or Canadian immigration lawyer to assist you with the process. Even if you choose to employ a specialist, you should read all of the available information provided by the government to gain a good understanding of your rights and which pathway will work for you.
How Do I Move to Canada and Get a Job?
For the most part, you will find more success if you get a job and then move to Canada. Once you have a job offer, you can apply for a temporary work permit so that you can start working and earning. You would then seek permission to become a permanent resident. This is much easier if an employer has already taken you on.
Before arriving in Canada, you can improve your chances of landing a job by:
- Meeting Canadian requirements for your professional or trade credentials
- Networking with professional immigrant groups
- Taking advantage of programs government programs for pre-arrival immigrants
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