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Whether you’re dreaming of a new home in Calgary, imagining what it might be like to work in Vancouver or picturing the idyllic landscapes of Alberta, we know you’ll have lots of questions about what to expect. Our guide contains everything you’ll need to know about moving to Canada from the UK.

Moving abroad can be challenging, particularly when that move is more than a couple of hundred miles away. Researching your new home country and planning your move is key to making the process easier.

The international removals team at Bishop’s Move have more than 165 years of experience in successfully moving customers to their new homes overseas. Our extensive knowledge in all aspects of relocating to Canada will mean that your move is seamless and stress-free. 

Moving to Canada?


Why Move to Canada?

Picturesque scenery and vast, unspoilt landscapes aside, there are many wonderful reasons why Canada is appealing to those looking to leave the UK permanently. It is a destination that’s renowned for having low levels of crime, a high-quality education offering, expansive career opportunities and a friendly, welcoming community of people.

According to the U.S News Best Countries Report 2021, Canada comes in at number 1 in the top 10 countries with the highest quality of life. This takes into account affordability, safety, the job market, healthcare systems and political stability amongst other factors. It’s no surprise that with rankings like that, Canada is one of the most desirable places for British citizens to immigrate to.

Person holding a maple leaf in Westmount, Canada 

Checklist for Moving to Canada

Moving overseas requires dedication, flexibility, open-mindedness and a sense of adventure. Even armed with all these qualities, it can be a difficult process. The best thing you can do to add simplicity to your relocation is to be prepared. Here are some of the things you can do in advance of your move: 

  1. Understand the immigration requirements to check what visa you’ll need
  2. Find out more about Canada and whether the lifestyle appeals to you
  3. Explore the towns/cities that you think could make a good new home
  4. Embark on a job hunt
  5. Secure somewhere to live temporarily (at the very least)

To get you started on your research and planning journey, let’s discover more about what to expect when setting up a home in Canada.


Humour, the arts, music, politics, respect and community blend to form an eclectic culture worth celebrating, and food, sports and snow are almost as important as being polite. Canadians will offer you a warm welcome, so you can rest assured that you will experience an almost home-from-home feeling in your new community. Traditional delicacies that you can look forward to include poutine, a delicious combination of fries, cheese curds and gravy, tourtière, a spiced minced meat pie, and of course, maple syrup - especially on pancakes and waffles. 

Visas and Residency

There are a variety of options and requirements for those looking to relocate to Canada depending on whether you are planning on working (skilled or unskilled), being sponsored, setting up a business or registering as self-employed. There is also a temporary resident pathway which allows you to work for a set period before applying for permanent residency.  If you’re wondering how to move to Canada from the UK, the best way to explore the options is via the Canadian immigration hub.

Express Entry for UK Citizens

Express Entry as a skilled worker is usually the quickest way to gain entry and settle in the country if you’re a UK citizen. This system takes information about your skills, education and experience in Britain and awards points based on how useful these areas will be to Canada. In summary, if you have the right combination of skills, experience and qualifications, your application will be considered before others.

Canadian flag on a pole near a snow-covered mountain


Canadian Medicare is universal and state-funded, much like the NHS in the UK. Anyone living in Canada with a suitable residency or citizenship is entitled to receive this healthcare, however, Medicare is run by territories, each of which can define its requirements. 

In some cases, it can be almost 3 months from arrival before you can apply for your health insurance card and those on a temporary visa should expect to take out a private healthcare policy until granted residency/citizenship. Immigrants on a work permit should seek further information from their employer regarding their cover. 

Medicare typically covers trips to the doctor, inpatient and outpatient services as well as other services needed to prevent disease and maintain health. There is usually a cost associated with things such as prescriptions, eye care and dental services. 


Large industries that dominate the job market in Canada include agriculture, energy, retail services, education, health, manufacturing and finance. Most working days are around 8 hours, much like in the UK. However, the 2-week general holiday allowance can be quite a shock for those used to 4 weeks+ annual leave. Many employees see an increase in this the longer they work for a company. 

It is wise to secure a job before making your move and whilst there is a variety of jobs available in Canada, it can be beneficial to your visa application process if you are suitable for a job through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class.

Skyline of Edmonton, a metropolitan city in Canada


Whilst the majority of incentives that draw British citizens to Canada are focussed on welcoming people who will contribute to the economy, there is still the opportunity for pensioners to retire to Canada. There are, however, a few things to consider:

  • You can visit for up to 6 months per year without a visa
  • Parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens can have extensive visits of up to 2 years, multiple times within 10 years.
  • Family members can sponsor your stay, but they must be 18+ and have the financial ability to support you (even though that is likely not the intent)
  • Your UK state pension will be static upon moving to Canada, there is no agreement in place for inflationary rises.

Living in Canada

With so many diverse cities to discover, Canada has an offering for pretty much any lifestyle. Whether you’re hoping to find a busy city, a quaint and quiet town or something in between, here are some of the most popular destinations:

  • Ottawa - The capital city offers a high average income, a plethora of skilled job opportunities and a clean, safe place to live. 
  • Regina - Popular for a comparatively lower cost of living, Regina is a popular commercial hub with varied job opportunities, particularly in energy and agriculture. It is worth noting that the weather here can be quite extreme, so isn’t for the faint-hearted!
  • Vancouver - A cosmopolitan city that boasts a slightly milder climate with stunning mountain and ocean views combined with lots of green space. There is a slightly higher cost of living associated with living in Vancouver.
  • Edmonton - Renowned for its contribution to oil and gas, Edmonton is a corporate city with many business links to the US. Edmonton is often referred to as “the city of festivals”, meaning there is always something to celebrate!

Moving with Bishop's Move

Once your heart is set on relocating to Canada and you’ve decided to take the leap, an expert moving company like Bishop’s Move can assist you with the process, so all you need to focus on is getting settled. Take a look at our removals to Canada services and get in touch today.