Canada and the UK have very close ties that are in part influenced by a shared history, Monarch and culture. The most recent reminder was the outflow of condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the recognized Head of state of both countries. The Canadian government is heavily influenced and structured after the British Parliament, with both states being led by an elected Prime Minister.
More significantly, the two countries have various military, economic and diplomatic ties and have historically fought on the same side during the World Wars. They each occupy important roles on the international stage as members of NATO, the G7, G20, the United Nations and the Commonwealth.
The UK is Canada’s largest commercial partner in Europe, with their two-way merchandise trade valued at $27.8 billion in 2020. The UK was the third largest source of Foreign direct investments to Canada and the Second most important destination for investments from Canada.
An opinion poll conducted by Research Co. showed that 73% of Canadians had a positive opinion of the United Kingdom. The rate topped the poll, narrowly exceeding countries like Germany, France and Japan.
This closeness also extends to culture and language, with over 32.5% of all Canadians reporting at least one origin from the British Isles. The shared ancestry and the common use of English as an official language make it easier for people on either side to assimilate.
This article will attempt to brief you on moving to Canada from the UK, the routes available to you and other things that should concern you as a newcomer.
Guidelines/ Things to remember
You are required to have an eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) when travelling from the UK to Canada unless you’re a citizen or Permanent resident of Canada.
You don’t need a visa as the UK is among the list of visa-exempted countries.
The application for an eTA can be submitted online at the Government of Canada’s official website.
How much does an eTA cost?
The fee for an eTA application is CAD 7.
Moving from the UK to Canada
There are different ways to visit Canada depending on the purpose of your stay. This could be a temporary vacation or visiting family and friends, in which case you only need an eTA and some light paperwork for medical and travel insurance. Other pathways for students, businesses or permanent residency require that you meet eligibility standards and make an application with the IRCC.
We’ll look at some of Canada’s most common routes for Temporary and Permanent residence.
Moving for Work or Business
Different programs allow you to come to Canada as a UK national in a business or work-related capacity.
Your Canadian employer will have to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and your Canadian work permit before you can make the move to Canada.
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment
An LMIA is a document that proves the need for a foreign worker to fill a Canadian job. It shows that there are no Canadian workers available for the job.
Once your employer gets the LMIA, you can apply for a work permit.
Applying for a Canadian Work permit
The work permit is a written authorization that allows a non-Canadian citizen or permanent resident to work in Canada. Interested parties can apply at the IRCC portal. Some requirements for a work permit are:
- A Job offer letter
- A contract
- A copy of the LMIA and the LMIA number
How much does a Canadian Work permit cost?
The fees, as per the official Canadian government website, are as follows:
|Work permit -per person||$155|
|Work permit –per group (3+)||$465|
|Open Work Permit Holder||$100|
|Biometrics- per person||$85|
|Biometrics- per family (2 people)||$170|
|Biometrics- per group (3 people)||$255|
International Experience Canada (IEC)
The International Experience Canada (IEC) is a popular program that allows UK youths to travel and work in Canada for up to 2 years.
It is broadly divided into three kinds of work and travel experience that cater to different categories of applicants:
- Working Holiday: This category fits candidates who want to work for more than one employer in Canada with an Open work permit.
- Young professionals: This category applies to candidates who want to take up a job offer in Canada for their professional development.
- International Co-op (Internship): This category applies to students who have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada and need the experience to complete their studies.
The requirements for British Nationals who apply under this program are as follows. They must:
- Be a British citizen from:
- the UK or
- the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey
- have a UK passport with British citizenship or a valid Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) passport
- be between 18-30
- have a minimum of CAN$2,500 to cover their expenses in Canada
- have health insurance for the duration of stay
- not be inadmissible to Canada
- have the resources to leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay
- not be accompanied by dependants
- clear all fees
You’ll be required to apply for a Canadian work permit once you receive an invitation to apply. The application fee for this program starts at $156 and carries a processing period of 7 weeks.
Global Talent Stream
The program allows a Canadian company to fill a specialized or highly skilled position with foreign workers.
You are eligible to move to Canada under this work-related program if a Canadian Company requires you for a unique and specialized position or as a highly skilled worker for occupations mentioned on their website.
Permanent residency routes
The Canadian Governments Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-24 targets over 431,645 new permanent residents in 2022, with 57% from the Economic Class category (Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Program).
Moving to Canada may be more straightforward as a UK citizen if you apply through these Economic immigration programs. We’ll look at the two biggest ones, the Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program, along with their eligibility requirements.
The Express Entry allows skilled immigrants to apply for permanent residency under three programs, namely:
- The Canadian Experience Class: If you already have at least a year of work experience in Canada through a temporary Work permit.
- Federal Skilled Worker program: If you have work experience as a skilled worker.
- Federal Skilled Trades program: if you are qualified in a skilled trade.
Applicants are placed in a pool with other candidates. The IRCC uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assign candidates’ scores based on factors like age, education, qualifications, Language skills and Nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program.
The IRCC then issues Invitations to apply to elected candidates who score above a certain threshold at each draw.
Provincial Nominee Program
The Provincial Nominee Program allows Canadian provinces to address their workforce requirements by handpicking their candidates for immigration. You can find a stream that caters to your profession and reach out to the province. A nomination counts for 600 CRS points under the Express Entry system and effectively guarantees your selection for Express Entry.
Another way to secure a move from the UK to Canada is through the Family Sponsorship route. However, you must have a Canadian spouse or common-law partner to sponsor your permanent residency. The sponsor must also sign an undertaking to support your basic needs for three years.
The programs covered in this article are just some of the most popular ways to move to Canada from the UK. They cover a variety of eligibility requirements and motivations ranging from professional development, permanent residency and family sponsorship. We hope you’ll find one among them that fits your needs.