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Considerations before moving to Canada

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[edit] Before you leave the UK

  • The preparations that you make before you leave the UK will not guarantee the success of your migration journey.
  • However, preparation can go a long way towards creating a generally happy outcome and avoiding a disaster.
  • Even if you end up progressing from Plan A to Plan B and then on to Plan C, it is much better to do so in a proactive manner. Knee-jerk reactions can be extremely costly, in every sense of the word.
  • So, with all this in mind, this section will list measures that you can take while you're still in the UK.


[edit] Be honest with yourself

  • Look deep inside yourself and look at your relationships with your immediate and extended family members and friends.
  • Sit quietly and analyse your reasons for emigrating.


[edit] Canada is not Shangri-La

  • It has been observed on the forums that many people who complained bitterly about the UK and the way it had gone to the dogs later had to eat their words and return. They received a very expensive lesson in the fact that the UK wasn't so bad after all.
  • There are crap places in Canada, there is poverty, there are tiresome and unpleasant people. Nowhere near as many as the UK, granted (in the opinion of at least one co-author of this article), but if that is what you are running away from, that is what you will confront again.
  • Think of the decision to emigrate in the same light as the decision to have a baby. In the same way that it’s a mistake to view a baby as the solution to relationship problems, it’s a mistake to view emigration from the UK as the “silver bullet” that will turn a miserable life into an ideal one.


[edit] Research your chosen destination

  • On the expat forums one sees newcomers being astonished by, and complaining about, this or that aspect of Canadian life that even a modicum of research would have brought to light in advance.
  • Do your family and yourself a favour and research, research, research.


[edit] Consider your personality type

  • Are you and your family members a flexible bunch who are able to compromise?
  • If so, those traits will stand you in good stead when you get to Canada.
  • If you are rigid and find it difficult to compromise, you should really think twice about emigrating.
  • This advice is hard to follow, however, because it's tough to be objective about yourself.
  • But you can at least try to assess your own flexibility and the flexibility of your family members.


[edit] What kind of move?

  • There are, of course, different types of moves, and the amount of thought that needs to go into them differs.
  • It’s one thing to be a 19-year-old who’s heading off to the ski slopes of Whistler on a working holiday visa.
  • It’s quite another thing to be a middle aged couple who are making a permanent move with teenaged children in tow.


[edit] Worst case scenario

  • Accept, from the outset, that if things don't work out you can go home again and it might simply boil down to being a very expensive experiment.
  • Can you graciously shrug your shoulders and take it on the chin?
  • Be honest.


[edit] Potential homesickness

  • Homesickness is an element that is difficult to predict.
  • Some people who expected to be homesick turn out not to be.
  • Conversely, people who did not anticipate it can be blindsided by it.
  • A serious case of homesickness can be very debilitating.
  • Although it is difficult to predict, you can try to figure out the chances of your being crippled by it.
  • Are you really, really close to your parents, or do you see them occasionally, or under sufferance? Are they an integral part of your lives with daily/weekly visits and child-care?
  • Is your brother your best mate?
  • Is your best mate someone you've never been apart from for more than three weeks?
  • Do you absolutely love your home town, even knowing the horrible parts?
  • What do you fundamentally like doing with your time, given the choice? Is any of that available at your new destination?
  • None of these points is, on its own, a make or break issue.
  • But they are things to which you should give a lot of thought before you go off into the wild blue yonder.


[edit] Potential career challenges

You also should be aware of the types of obstacles that some expats encounter in the Canadian workplace. They are described in the BE Wiki article called Potential Career Challenges-Canada.


[edit] Is everyone in the family a British citizen?

To find out more about the importance of this topic, please see the BE Wiki article entitled Get British citizenship before emigrating.


[edit] Related information

  • It is highly recommended that you read them as part of your due diligence process.
  • Of those articles, the most critical one probably is Risk-Canada.

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