Moving to a new country is an enormous challenge for anyone. Whether you’re talking about international students or skilled workers, immigration is a big decision.

If you’re looking for permanent residence in Canada, you need to find everything there is to know about Canadian residency, work permits, student visas, Canadian citizenship requirements, and more.

From income tax filings to health insurance to express entry, here is everything you need to know about becoming a Canadian.

Choose the Right City or Province to Immigrate to

People in most Canadian provinces speak English, but in some provinces, like Quebec and New Brunswick, they speak mainly French. If language is an issue for you, consider a province that operates in the language you communicate best in.

You also want to choose a province or Canadian city where you can find a job. To eventually get a permanent residence without family sponsorship, you will need to begin with a work permit or visitor visa. Canadian Immigration Services can help you find immigration programs to facilitate your big move. Moving abroad is a big change, so be sure to do as much research as you can before heading out.

Canadian Healthcare

If you have family members in Canada who can give you some information, that’s a great place to start. If you don’t, you can read the Government of Canada’s website for information about tax laws, healthcare, and citizenship requirements.

Healthcare will only become available to you once you have received citizenship or permanent resident status. Once you are covered under the country’s public health insurance plan, you will have health coverage if you need to see a doctor or receive care of any kind.

5 Financial Tips You Need for Moving to Canada

1. Get ready for a new chapter in your life.

Before you move to a new country, you’ll need to gain some financial information to learn how to start your life there.

2. Open a bank account.

You will also need to build credit for yourself and open up a bank account. Here is what you need to know: How to Open a Bank Account in Canada.

3. Obtain proof of address.

Before you can open up a bank account and get yourself set up as a permanent resident or temporary resident, you’ll need to provide proof of address. Here is an article to explain how to do this: Proof of Address: What Counts?

4. Understand how to transfer money.

Do you plan to transfer money back home after you move to Canada? Find out everything you need to know about transferring money back home right here: Canada Money Transfer Guide.

5. Build your credit and understand how taxes work.

If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer already, this may qualify you for express entry into the country and also make it pretty simple to choose your destination city. Each province has its own set of provincial tax laws, so it’s best to inform yourself about this with your new employer as soon as possible.

Quebec and Ontario may be very close together, but they have their own tax laws that must be respected when filing your income taxes. Building credit in your new home is also very important.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship Requirements

To find out about your eligibility for citizenship in Canada, you can ask your future employer—the HR department may have information. A federal skilled worker will not have the same path to follow for permanent residency as someone immigrating without a job waiting for them.

How to Obtain a Work Permit in Canada

It is easier to obtain a work permit in Canada than permanent residency status. Whether you’re moving to Alberta or British Columbia, you can apply for a work permit from your home country and receive it in as little as two weeks provided that you have:

  • A valid passport
  • Proof of educational qualification
  • Proof of professional qualification (work experience)

How You Can Enter Canada

There are several options for immigrants looking to move to Canada. Here are the programs available for entry into the country:

  • Express Entry
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Family Sponsorship
  • Startup Visa Program
  • Student Study Permit

Express Entry is the fastest way into the country. If you are under the age of 30 and have at least two bachelor’s degrees or one master’s degree, as well as three years of skilled work experience, you may be granted access quickly. The Provincial Nominee Program allows you to apply to a province directly, and if they accept you, they will nominate you to the federal government.

Family Sponsorship is a fast way into the country, but you must be sponsored by a relative who is a citizen and can provide proof they will offer you housing. The visa program applies to business owners who meet the eligibility requirements. Student study permits are provided temporarily to immigrants who plan to study in Canada and then return home. However, if you find a job after graduation, you may then apply for permanent residency or citizenship.

Make a Budget

Before moving to Canada—or any new country—you should make a budget. This can help you account for expenses that may come up before healthcare and other social services in Canada become available to you.

It can also help you ensure you have the funds you need to send money back home to your relatives when you’re living in a new country. Remittance services can help you transfer money quickly.

Further reading: Top Canadian regions where the Philippines’ overseas community is moving to

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