5 Things You Need to Know About Moving to Canada

September 6, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

Between the wealth of job opportunities, superb quality of life, and a society that embraces diversity and multiculturalism, Canada is a good destination for many international immigrants seeking a better life overseas.

If you think of moving to Canada, like so many growing numbers of international immigrants, you need to be aware of a set of expectations about moving to Canada.

Ready to move to Canada but don’t know what to expect from the North American nation? Here is a list of five things you need to know about moving to Canada!

5 Things You Need to Know About Moving to Canada

Moving to Canada can be a complex process that requires careful planning and preparation. From securing a job offer to understanding the immigration process, the outline below presents valuable insights that will adequately help you prepare for the move to Canada.

1. Getting a Job Offer Can Improve Your Chances of Receiving Canada PR

One of the most effective ways to increase your chances of obtaining permanent residency (PR) in Canada is by securing a job offer. The Canadian government places high value on skilled workers who can contribute to the country's economy.

By securing a job offer from a Canadian employer, you demonstrate your value and potential to positively impact Canadian society. This can significantly enhance your profile in the Express Entry system, especially for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), where a job offer forms part of its minimum eligibility requirements. the primary pathway for skilled foreign workers to immigrate to Canada.

The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) does not have a job offer as an eligibility requirement but receiving a job offer will increase your chances of acceptance into this stream.

2. You Should Arrange Short-term Housing Before Moving to Canada

Securing short-term accommodation should be a top priority when moving to Canada! This temporary residence provides a comfortable haven while you navigate the complex and often lengthy process of finding a permanent dwelling. Canada boasts a variety of short-term housing options such as:

  • Hotels
  • Bed and Breakfasts
  • Serviced apartments
  • Rental properties

When looking for short-term housing, we recommend researching the area you plan to move to and considering factors such as proximity to your workplace, amenities, and transportation options. Having this short-term housing set up before you arrive reduces stress and allows you to focus on the exciting aspects of your Canadian adventure.

3. Your Immigration Location in Canada Affects Your Chances of Landing a Job and Buying/Renting a Home

Canada is a vast country with diverse regions and cities. Each offers unique opportunities and challenges. Where you settle in Canada can significantly impact your chances of finding employment and securing housing. Major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal offer vibrant job markets and multicultural communities, making them prime immigration destinations in Canada.

However, the popularity of Canada’s top cities also means that securing accommodation/real estate and employment in them is very difficult due to the high demand of their large populations.

Smaller cities and rural areas in Canada often provide more affordable housing options and secure employment opportunities. This is particularly true for in-demand occupations where the lower population creates a labor gap filled by individuals with the requisite job skills and experience.

Research the different Canadian provinces to find the best fit for your personal and professional goals.

4. Get A Social Insurance Number (SIN) So You’re Eligible to Receive Permanent Residency Benefits in Canada

A unique nine-digit SIN allows you to work and access government programs and benefits in Canada. A SIN is needed for:

As a result, applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) is vital. You can apply for a SIN on the Canadian government website. You can also visit a Service Canada Centre or apply by mail. Ensure you provide the necessary documents, such as your passport and Canada work permit.

5. Canadian CVs May Be Different To Your Country's

Regarding applying for jobs in Canada, it's crucial to understand that Canadian CVs can significantly differ from those in other parts of the world. While CVs in the United Kingdom, Europe, and many other regions often require personal details such as age, nationality, marital status, and even a photo, Canadian CVs focus more on professional experience and qualifications.

Therefore, updating your curriculum vitae (CV) to align with Canadian standards and the local labor market when moving to Canada is essential. This includes elements such as formatting, content, and terminology. Updating your CV ensures that the information conveyed in your CV is aligned with the present demands of Canada’s labor market.

It also ensures that the presentation of your CV is in keeping with current Canadian standards and that your CV submission is not rejected out of hand. The Canadian job market prioritizes skills and accomplishments over personal information, leading to a distinct difference in the structure and content of a Canadian CV compared to its international counterparts.. Always tailor your CV to each job application, emphasizing your qualifications that align with the duties and requirements of the position.

Learn more about how to get work in Canada faster with the perfect resume.

  • Accessing healthcare
  • Opening a bank account
  • Filing taxes
  • Receiving Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

What Documents Do I Need to Bring When Moving to Canada?

The Canadian government requires specific documentation for immigration or visa programs to verify your identity, confirm your eligibility, and ensure you fulfill the necessary criteria to gain legal entry and access to social benefits and services within the country. These documents include:

  • Your passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Educational certificates
  • Employment records
  • Police Clearance report
  • Medical records

Ensure you have both physical and digital copies of these documents, as they will be required for various purposes, such as applying for a work permit, renting a home, or enrolling in healthcare services in Canada.

How Can I Move to Canada?

Moving to Canada can be a complex process, but several immigration programs can help you make your dream a reality. Here are some of the most common pathways to immigrate to Canada:

Express Entry

Express Entry is a points-based system that allows skilled workers to apply for permanent residency in Canada. It consists of three main programs:

Applicants are evaluated based on age, education, work experience, language proficiency and adaptability to Canadian society. Should you accumulate enough Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) points, you may receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residency in Canada.

Learn more about how to maximize your CRS score.

Provincial Nominee Programs

11 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories offer Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). They allow provinces to nominate individuals with the skills and experience needed in their local labor markets. Each province has its own set of criteria and streams. Hence, we recommend researching and applying to the PNP that aligns with your qualifications, needs, and goals.

Immigration Pilot

The Immigration Pilot programs are designed to address specific labor market needs in certain regions, industries, and economic sectors in Canada. This helps to spread the economic benefits of skilled labor immigration to the communities and regional labor markets in Canada that need them most. Canada’s main four immigration pilots are:

Immigration pilots provide an added opportunity for foreign individuals willing to live and work in specific communities in Canada.

Business Immigration (Start-up, Self-Employed Visa Program)

Canada offers various options for individuals who want to start or invest in a business in Canada.

Start-up Visa Program

The Start-up Visa Program is designed for entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas that can create jobs and contribute to the overall economic growth in Canada.

Self-Employed Visa Program

The Self-Employed Visa Program is for individuals with valid athletic or artistic experience and expertise and intend to become self-employed in cultural or athletic activities in Canada, thereby contributing to the flourishing of Canada’s athletic and artistic industries.

Find out more about how to apply for permanent residency in Canada if you’re self-employed.

Family Sponsorship

If you have a close family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and over 18, they may be able to sponsor you for Canadian permanent residency. The Family Sponsorship Visa program allows eligible sponsors to bring them:

  • Spouse
  • Partner
  • Dependent children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents to Canada

Find out more about the three ways to move to Canada with family.

Work Permits

If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, you may be eligible to apply for a Canada work permit. There are different types of work permits in Canada. They are as follows:

Open Work Permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada for a stipulated duration of time. Open work permit immigration visa programs include.

Learn more about the four ways to get a Canadian open work permit.

Employer-Specific Work Permit

An employer-specific work permit ties your working life in Canada to a singular employer and location.


What is the Best Place to Move to in Canada?

The best place to move to in Canada depends on your personal preferences and goals. Each province and territory offers unique advantages and opportunities. Popular immigration destinations in Canada include:

  • Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia, which offer a vibrant city life
  • Montreal, Quebec, where you can explore its rich French culture and bilingualism
  • Calgary, Alberta has a strong job market and its proximity to the Rocky Mountains fuels its popularity.

Is it Difficult to Move to Canada?

Moving to Canada can be a complex process, but with proper planning and preparation, it is achievable. Canada has a well-established immigration system administered via Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The IRCC institutes immigration visa programs designed to attract skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and families to Canada. These immigration visa programs can be difficult to navigate. However, by using a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) and conducting proper research into Canada's immigration visa system, you can.