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Moving to Canada – How to Immigrate to Canada?

Moving to Canada

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Canada, undoubtedly, stands as one of the world’s most sought-after countries for immigrants. In 2019 alone, the Immigration Office reported a staggering influx of 341,180 permanent residents and 74,586 individuals transitioning from temporary residency to permanent residency. Given the significant demand for immigration, Canada has established various pathways to simplify and streamline the relocation process.

Moving to Canada Checklist:

  1. Determine if you require a visa.
  2. Explore suitable immigration pathways.
  3. Apply for the necessary permits.
  4. Prepare for your move.
  5. Begin your journey to Canada.

Are you considering a move to Canada?

Check If You Need a Visa:

The first step in planning your move to Canada is to determine whether you need an entry visa. Some individuals may be eligible to enter without a visa or with electronic authorization.

For instance, citizens of the United States can enter Canada for up to six months without a visa.

Explore Suitable Immigration Pathways: Canada offers various immigration programs, allowing you to choose the one that best aligns with your goals and aspirations. Here are some of the most popular pathways:

  1. Express Entry Program:
    • The fastest route to Canadian permanent residency.
    • Ideal for highly skilled individuals.
    • Points-based system evaluating experience, qualifications, education, and skills.
  2. Federal Skilled Worker Program (within Express Entry):
    • Requires a minimum of 10 years of work experience in managerial, professional, or technical skilled trades.
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program:
    • Requires at least two years of recent work experience in a skilled trade.
    • Language requirements must be met (speaking, reading, writing, listening).
  4. Provincial Nominee Program:
    • Offers nomination by a specific Canadian province.
    • Each province targets specific groups like students, skilled workers, business people, or semi-skilled workers.
  5. Quebec Selected Skilled Workers:
    • Designed for individuals interested in settling in Quebec.
    • Requires applying to the Government of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate.
  6. Atlantic Immigration Program:
    • Exclusive to Atlantic Canada, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Labrador.
  7. Self-Employment Visa:
    • Suitable for those with relevant work experience in cultural activities or athletics.
    • Must demonstrate the ability to be self-employed in Canada.
  8. Start-Up Visa:
    • Requires a qualifying business idea and a letter of support from a designated organization.
    • Language requirements and the potential to generate sufficient funds for settlement are necessary.

Take the time to carefully review each program’s requirements and determine the best fit for your immigration goals. Canada welcomes you with a variety of pathways to make your dreams come true.

Applying for the Permit

Once you have determined the type of visa you need, it’s time to initiate the Canadian visa application process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Create an Online Account:
    • Visit Canada’s immigration website and create an online account.
    • Answer a few questions to determine your visa eligibility.
  2. Eligibility Confirmation and Reference Code:
    • If you are deemed eligible, provide your email address to receive instructions, a list of required documents, and a reference code.
    • Make sure to note down the reference number for future use.
  3. Application Submission:
    • You will receive instructions on how to submit your application, either online or in person.

    Online Application:

    • Create a Government of Canada login (GCKey) account or use your banking details (if applicable).
    • Follow the instructions provided to complete your application online.

    In-Person Application:

    • Prepare your documents as per the instructions.
    • Submit your application and documents to a local Canadian representative office in your country of residence.
  4. Application Fee:
    • Be prepared to pay the application fee for your visa.
    • Note that fees vary depending on the visa type, and additional charges may apply for translation and courier services.

Ensure that you carefully follow the instructions provided and submit all required documents to facilitate a smooth application process.

Preparing for the Move

Once you have submitted your application, it may take several weeks to receive a response. On average, the processing time is around 6 months, but it can take up to 18 months for in-person applications. During this waiting period, it’s essential to prepare everything you need for your move to Canada.

If you plan to ship your belongings to Canada, make two copies of a detailed list that includes all the items you are bringing with you and those that will arrive later. Include the value, make, model, and serial number, if applicable. To save up to 40% on moving fees, consider reaching out to an international moving company through Sirelo.

In general, everyday goods and services such as clothing, furniture, jewelry, books, computers, etc., are exempt from taxes. However, it’s important to check the entry requirements to ensure a smooth transition.

Moving to Canada

If your application is approved, you will receive an email containing a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent residence visa (if applicable). Upon arrival in Canada, download the ArriveCan app from the Apple Store or Google Play (ensure you have the latest version) to fulfill the necessary immigration requirements.

Canada’s immigration services are available to assist you in settling and adapting to life in Canada. Additionally, Canada offers a “Welcome to Canada Guide” to facilitate a smoother transition process.

Other Immigration Pathways to Canada

Apart from the Express Entry Program, there are alternative ways to move to Canada for family reunification or study purposes:

  1. Immigration Pathway for Family Reunification:
    • You can apply for family reunification if you have a spouse/partner, parent/grandparent, or in specific cases, other relatives residing in Canada.
  2. Immigration Pathway for Study Purposes:
    • To qualify for a student visa, you must be enrolled in a valid educational program. Note that student visas typically cannot be transferred to work or residence visas. However, upon completion of your studies, you can apply for a graduate work permit.

Is Moving to Canada Difficult?

Generally, moving to Canada is not overly challenging. With Canada’s open approach to welcoming immigrants and multiple immigration programs, it is easier to qualify for a suitable pathway. However, meeting the specific requirements of your chosen pathway is crucial.

It’s important to consider that while the process of moving abroad may not be excessively difficult, adjusting to living in a new country requires adequate financial, mental, and social preparation.

Essential Things to Know When Moving to Canada

When relocating to Canada, it is important to be aware of the following key aspects:

Renting/Buying in Canada:

  • Initially, consider temporary housing options like hotels, hostels, or Airbnb while you settle in Canada.
  • Renting is often preferred during the initial stage, as the average price for a one-bedroom apartment is around CAD 1,500. However, prices in larger cities can be higher than the average.

Opening a Bank Account:

  • Upon arrival, you will need a bank account for financial transactions and money transfers.
  • To open a bank account, you typically need an identity card. As a permanent resident, your permanent resident card will serve this purpose.
  • Certain banks offer specific “newcomer” programs to make the process easier, such as the National Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.


  • Canada provides free healthcare to citizens and residents, but coverage may not be available immediately after your arrival. It may take approximately three months.
  • During this period, it is advisable to have private healthcare coverage.
  • Note that national healthcare in Canada does not cover all services, including dental care, ambulance services, and prescription medications.


  • In Canada, you are subject to federal, provincial, and municipal taxes.
  • Income tax is deducted automatically from your salary, but if you are self-employed, you must pay your taxes in one or several payments.
  • Additionally, sales tax is applied to most purchases, so expect the final price to differ at the cash register.

Financial Considerations:

  • To immigrate to Canada, it is recommended to have a minimum of CAD 13,200 for a single person. Costs increase when relocating with family members.
  • Additionally, account for unforeseen expenses such as entry taxes, shipping costs for your belongings, and document legalization.

Can US Citizens Live in Canada?

  • US citizens can stay in Canada visa-free for up to six months with a valid US passport.
  • If you plan to stay longer, you must apply for an immigration program to legally reside in Canada.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Canada

When considering a move to Canada, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of living in the country:


  1. Great Social Benefits: Canada offers excellent social benefits, including universal healthcare, subsidized education, and a robust social welfare system.
  2. Welcoming to Immigrants: Canada has a reputation for being welcoming to immigrants, fostering a multicultural society that embraces diversity.
  3. Low Crime Rates: Compared to many other countries, Canada boasts low crime rates, contributing to a safe and secure living environment.
  4. Abundant Job Opportunities: Canada offers a wide range of job opportunities across various industries, making it an attractive destination for employment.


  1. High Cost of Living: Certain cities in Canada, particularly major urban centers, have a high cost of living, including housing, transportation, and everyday expenses.
  2. Extremely Cold Weather: Canada experiences long and cold winters, which may not suit everyone’s preference or comfort level.
  3. Limited Public Transportation: Public transportation options may vary across different regions in Canada, with some areas having limited coverage or less comprehensive systems.

As with any major decision, carefully consider these factors to determine if Canada aligns with your personal preferences, lifestyle, and goals.

How Can Reliance Immigration Assist You in moving to Canada?

Reliance Immigration Services comprises a team of dedicated and highly skilled professionals who stay updated with the ever-evolving immigration industry. Our primary goal is to provide you and your loved ones with the best possible chances of success in your visa application process, transforming your migration dreams into reality.

Leave the tedious work of case filing and documentation to us while you can relax. With our efficient lawyers and interactive case management team, we ensure a smooth process for you. Our ultimate objective is to assist our clients in accomplishing their immigration-related objectives.

Our comprehensive range of immigration services includes:

  1. Free Consultation and Counselling: We offer personalized consultations to provide guidance and address any concerns you may have about your immigration journey.
  2. Eligibility Assessment: Our team conducts thorough assessments to determine your eligibility for various immigration programs, guiding you towards the most suitable pathway.
  3. Filing and Documentation: We handle all aspects of case filing and ensure that your application is properly prepared and supported with the necessary documentation.
  4. Visa Filing on Approval: Once your application receives approval, we assist you with the visa filing process, ensuring all requirements are met for a successful outcome.

At Reliance Immigration Services, we prioritize your satisfaction and work diligently to make your immigration experience as smooth and efficient as possible.

Enquire Now

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