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Toronto Canada City Skyline

Canada is an amazing destination for anyone who wants to move to a completely new country to start afresh. It has a very dynamic economy and diverse culture, with pleasant people who strive to make foreigners feel comfortable and welcomed. Be it a bubbly city or a quiet life, Canada offers both realities. Moving to a brand new country can be difficult, especially if you have no friends or acquaintances living in the area. Read on for more information about moving to Canada and get settled in!

Diversity

Over the years, Canada has welcomed a large number of immigrants from different parts of the world with different languages and cultural backgrounds. Presently, more than 40 members of the Canadian parliament were all born abroad and came into the country as immigrants.

In many major cities in Canada, you will see a myriad of religions, languages and cultures all existing and thriving together in the same space. The Canadian people do not require that immigrants lose touch of their culture while in Canada; however, you would need to evolve and adjust to the different way of life in order to make the most of the resources available to you. Keeping an open mind will therefore be of great benefit to you because a lot of people around will be willing to learn from you and hope that you teach them something as well.

Jobs

It is advisable that you apply for jobs in Canada prior to your move, as it would be a lot easier for you to settle down with a steady source of income. In the case when you have troubles getting a job or establishing any helpful professional connections early enough, here are some steps you can take:

  • Have enough cash to see you through the first few months in the country. This should cover rent, food and transportation for a while before you get a job.
  • Be open-minded to all job opportunities even if they deviate from your career path. This would help keep your head above water at least for a short period of time while you keep searching for a career-inclined job opportunity.
  • Research and understand the resumé format. Network more and be very proactive.
  • Increase your chances by tweaking your skills and accomplishments to meet the specifications of Canadian jobs in your field.
  • Apply to accredited companies that are allowed to hire foreigners.

You may also check out various websites dedicated to helping foreigners locate good jobs in Canada. These tips will help you land a good job in Canada in no time. As earlier stated, keep an open mind, be spontaneous and ready to work.

Taxation

The decentralised nature of the Canadian federation system makes it possible for Taxes to be levied at different levels. Taxes on income are collected by both the provincial and federal governments. Some immigrants might be eligible for a tax refund at the end of each fiscal year. However, this depends on your terms of employment and economic status.

Taxes on sales differ in each province with some as low as 5% in provinces like Alberta and others high up to 14% in provinces like Quebec. Sales taxes are not added to the price tags of the items you buy but are collected at the point of payment. This basically means that you would pay more for a $10 item at the counter because of tax.

Visa and citizenship

The Canadian immigration website offers all the necessary information immigrants need to know prior to their trip. It is therefore important that you take enough time reading through the website to ensure you know the right documents to carry. Immigration laws in Canada have definitely improved over the years in the bid to attract more immigrants.

The Canadian Government mainly admits new immigrants based on two categories: the family class and Economic class. The Economic class category brings in immigrants based on their professional skills and qualifications. The family class category promotes the unity of Canadian families with their spouses, or close family members by allowing them to migrate to the country for visitation or on a permanent basis.

Healthcare

The Canadian healthcare system is known for its excellence and is one of the major reasons why a lot of people migrate to the area. Healthcare in Canada is delivered via a publicly funded system, which makes cost mostly free or very low at the point of use. Since Canada is divided into different provinces, healthcare, which is mostly funded by federal funds are divided amongst these provinces. A health card is then issued to every citizen who has been registered by the provincial ministry of health. Every registered individual receives the same level of healthcare.

Permanent residents are eligible to receive provincial heath care but might have to wait some time before coverage begins. During this period, comprehensive private healthcare options are available. Temporary residents on the other hand would need a private healthcare policy that can cover their needs for the duration of their stay.

Buying Property

Purchasing a property in Canada is rather straightforward. The open-door housing policy makes it very easy for foreigners to buy properties too. Compared to other global locations, properties in Canada are considered quite affordable. Canada’s current housing market is very attractive even in the big cities like Toronto and Vancouver, and are a great form of investment.

Once you have decided on the location, the next step would be to do a little research on housing prices in your chosen area. You would also need to decide on the kind of property you want to buy. You can start by searching online for available properties or in the local newspaper.

In Canada, the property purchasing process takes about 60–90 days. The following are the steps for buying a property in Canada:

  • Find a local, professional realtor to search for available houses according to your specifications and in your desired area. Your realtor will be responsible for liaising with the seller’s realtor and coming up with a great deal that would be favourable to you.
  • Get mortgage qualified from the bank on time so you have a clear picture of what you can afford to pay for a home. This would help narrow down the search for your realtor.
  • Work closely with your realtor and ensure that you see all the available houses so you can make a choice. Be in the loop for all discussions with the seller too.
  • Once you have agreed on a property, your realtor will draft a sale contract and have you sign on it. He will then contact a Canadian real estate lawyer who would then work on registration of the property in your name and sort out other necessary details.

For more information on buying property in Canada, you can read more here.

Cost of living

Downtown areas like Vancouver and Toronto are quite expensive. On the other hand, Montreal is rent-controlled and more affordable in terms of rent and transportation. However, the salaries for jobs in this area tend to be lower since the cost of living is lower as compared to the bigger cities. There are many helpful websites that can help you compare the cost of living in different areas of the country to help you decide where you’ll be settling in prior to your journey.

Education

The Canadian education system is made up of both publicly funded schools and privately funded ones. The education system might have specific differences in each province. Children attend kindergarten voluntarily between the ages of 4 and 6. They then proceed on to grade school at about 6 years old. The normal school year runs from September through June, even though new students can be admitted in January. Secondary school classes go up to grade 11 and 12 depending on the needs of the different provinces. From this level, students can then attend college or get cégep (general and vocational studies) qualifications.

Getting around

Driving

The driving tests you took in your home country may not be entirely valid in Canada. In the case where it is valid, you might need to convert it in order for it to be accepted by the Canadian law enforcement agencies. To get a driver’s license in Canada , you need to be aware of the following information:

  • Licences are not issued to residents by the federal government. Instead they are issued by individual provinces and each province has its own set of laws, testing procedures and regulations. We advise that you research the procedure for your own province to stay on the right track.
  • Some provinces have laid out agreements with different countries in the world that make it possible for immigrants from the said countries to use their old driver’s licence on arrival. Sometimes, residents from these countries might just need their license converted to fit the provincial format before they can start driving in their province.

To avoid stress of any kind, you should take enough time to look over the provincial driving laws pertaining to international driving licences. This would give you a clear picture of the kind of documentation you need and what to expect on arrival. If you are moving to cities like Vancouver or Toronto, having a car might be a necessity to move around quickly.

Smoking

In Canada, public smoking is illegal. You may not smoke in schools, restaurants, offices, shared apartment complexes etc.. However, you may smoke outdoors, in your own living space, or in your car, provided a minor is not with you.

To avoid any problems that may affect your move to Canada, do check out and stay up to date with the latest immigration news. Canada is such a beautiful country with a healthy economy, accommodating people, cultural diversity and amazing tourist attractions. With all the shared information in this post, moving to and settling in Canada should be very easy for you.

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