Beginner's Guide to Canadian Immigration

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Deer caught in the headlights

  • Okay, so you're thinking about possibly moving to Canada, but don't know where to begin your research.
  • You're so confused that you don't know what you don't know.
  • Hence you don't even know which questions to ask.
  • This checklist has been devised to help you.

Time commitment

  • If you have a job and are trying to do this research in your spare time, please be aware that it will take you about a week to get even a rudimentary grasp of the topics that are discussed here.
  • So ... please slow down to a gallop.
  • Get yourself a cup of tea, settle down in front of your computer, and just go through this stuff, step by step.

Go to Canada or another country?

  • If you have not yet decided on the country to which you'll emigrate, it would be a good idea to read the Wiki article entitled Canada versus Australia.
  • The article compares Canada and Australia, and lists the advantages that they have over each other, when they're viewed through the eyes of a British expat.
  • Furthermore, the article lists the advantages and disadvantages that those two countries share in common, again from the point of view of a British expat.

How to get into Canada


  • If your soul-searching has led you to believe that Canada is the right destination for you, you'll want to know how you can gain entry to this country.

Not just any job

  • Yes, in most cases, it does involve finding a job first.
  • But keep in mind that the job that you find can't be just any old job.
  • To be useful from an immigration point of view, you have to find a job that no qualified Canadian resident wants to do.
  • If you want to enter Canada on a temporary work permit, for example, the employer has to obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).
  • An LMO will be forthcoming only if the employer can demonstrate that he/she has recruited across Canada and has been unable to attract a qualified Canadian resident to the position.
  • In most cases this means that you need to seek work in a part of Canada that is experiencing labour shortages.

Where to live

  • As soon as you start reading about labour shortages in Canada, you'll discover that, in many cases, they are regional.
  • Therefore it's important to target the geographic area in which you look for work.
  • To understand more about this, it would help you if you read the BE Wiki article called Where to live.

Finding work in Canada

  • The recommended next step in your research is acquiring an understanding of job hunting in Canada.
  • The Canadian hiring culture is very different from its UK counterpart.
  • Therefore a thorough understanding of the hiring culture in Canada is critical to your success.
  • Later on, you would be well advised to read all the articles in the Job Hunting section of the BE Wiki.

Other Wiki articles

  • Once you have progressed beyond the basics mentioned here, the Wiki section of the BE website has numerous other articles on Canada.
  • If it is not immediately apparent to you where an article is located or what it's called, just use the Wiki's search feature. It's located in the left hand margin whenever you're in the Wiki section of the BE website.

Beware the rose-coloured specs

  • During the research and decision-making process, try to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.
  • It also is strongly recommended that you read all the articles in the Canada Challenges section of the Wiki.
  • Of those articles, the most critical one probably is Risk-Canada.
  • A reading of all that material is the minimum "due diligence" that you should undertake.

Tips on using the forum

  • Now you're ready to dive into the British Expats discussion forums and ask questions.