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Emigrating to Canada: looking for work, moving, living

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Canada is a popular immigration country. However, there are hurdles to overcome for immigrants; a residence permit is only granted to those who meet certain requirements. The following article explains how emigrants should proceed, how the move and the job and apartment search work.

Wealthy, constitutional, overwhelming nature: this is how Canada presents itself and is one of the most popular immigration countries. However, if you want to emigrate to Canada, you have to overcome a few hurdles.

facts and figures

  • Canada is the second largest country in the world by area: with around 9.98 million square kilometers, it is around 28 times the size of Germany, but with around 36.5 million inhabitants, it has a population that is less than half the size of Germany.
  • The two national and official languages ​​are English and French, in Nunavut also the Inu language Inuktitut. The capital is Ottawa. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories (Provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Québec, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Territories that are directly subordinate to the federal government are: Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut).
  • The only neighboring state is the USA with borders both in the south and in the northwest.
  • Because of its size, Canada has different climate and time zones. With the exception of the relatively mild British Columbia, winters are long and cold everywhere.

Obtaining a residence or work permit

German citizens who want to vacation in Canada for up to six months do not need a visitor visa. It looks different if you want to emigrate to Canada.

Because anyone who wants to work in Canada needs a work permit. There are a number of options for obtaining a temporary residence and work permit - for example as part of work and travel programs or when a foreign company sends an employee to its Canadian branch abroad for a limited period of time.

However, emigrants strive for permanent work and residence permits. There are also several programs here, but in each case there are some hurdles to overcome. A workable path may be to start with one temporary work permit to obtain. However, this is only possible if a Canadian employer, based on the qualifications of the designated emigrant, is interested and offers him a job and at the same time no Canadian citizen can be filled with the job. Such an initially temporary work permit can be extended and it is also possible to switch to another program that allows permanent residence while in Canada.

The most relevant program is that "Skilled worker and professionals" program. A point system is used to determine whether the test person is useful for the Canadian job market. In order to be eligible for permanent residence, the test person must achieve a minimum number of points from a catalog of various criteria. Qualifications, work experience, language skills (English / French), age and marital status are relevant. There is also a catalog of certain qualifications (Priority Occupation List) that are particularly in demand on the Canadian labor market. These are, for example, medical and also some manual professions. The following applies: the more popular the qualification, the greater the chances of a positive decision. In addition, the immigrant must not have a criminal record. This must be proven by a police clearance certificate. In addition, the immigrant must also have financial reserves so that there is no risk of becoming a financial burden on the Canadian state. For a single, for example, that's 10,000 Canadian dollars (around 6,500 euros).

But there are other ways to emigrate to Canada, for example through a Family visa. Children, spouses, parents, and grandparents can all have one Permanent residence status receive. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the Canadian relatives provide a guarantee. This is to ensure that the new citizen does not become a financial burden on the state.

Investors and entrepreneurs are also welcome immigrants in Canada if they meet certain requirements. This requires proof that you have already successfully run a company or were managing directors of a company. In addition, it is necessary to invest a larger amount of money in Canada, or to provide evidence that you have one. Depending on the program, however, this involves at least a higher six-digit sum in Canadian dollars.

Not only does the state have multiple routes to allow immigration, the individual provinces also have different programs for immigration. These are mostly linked to professional qualifications that are particularly in demand in the respective provinces.

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Moving to Canada

Anyone who emigrates to Canada should prepare well and proceed systematically. Unlike moving within Germany or within the EU, moving to Canada can be really expensive.

If you want to live permanently in Canada, you have to de-register before you leave Germany. To make sure that you receive important shipments, you should place a forwarding order with the post office. Also don't forget: cancel all subscriptions, gym and mobile phone contracts in Germany in good time.

Even when it comes to your own seven things, the effort is higher than when moving within Germany. You will not be able to avoid having your belongings transported to Canada in a shipping container. This usually takes about two to three weeks. For this alone, costs of around 4,000 to 5,000 euros for a standard container can also be expected. If you have few things, you can share the container with others. It can therefore be advisable to hire a moving company to take care of everything.

work and job

Anyone who has received a work permit can go looking for a job. This often works a little differently than is the case in this country. The first step: research what the official job title in Canada is. The definition of National Occupational Classification (NOC) helps here.

It is advantageous to contact potential Canadian employers before sending the application documents in order to get a first impression. Employers expect a cover letter and a brief curriculum vitae as a cover letter, which, unlike in Germany, should be created antichronologically - so the latest first. Copies of school and work references are not expected, references that are added at the end of the résumé are much more important.

Applications are handled anonymously in Canada in order to avoid discrimination. The application documents themselves therefore do not contain: the name, information on age, citizenship, marital status or religion. Furthermore, no application photo is attached.

How many vacation days the employee is legally entitled to depends on several factors. Among other things, from the respective province. The minimum is ten days, plus around eight or nine public holidays. The longer someone has been working, the higher the vacation entitlement. In Canada, however, you will have to do without the 30 days vacation that is usual in Germany in addition to the public holidays.

The protection against dismissal in Canada is much weaker than in this country. The employer can terminate the contract at any time during the first three months. After that, the period of notice is often just one week, depending on the province. The earning potential is as high as in Germany.

Living in Canada

The regulations of tenancy law differ from province to province. In some provinces the landlord can ask for a deposit, in others not. Then it is customary for the landlord to demand the first and the last rent at the start of the rental, whereby this is not intended as security for any damage, but only as security for rent payments.

Depending on the province, there are also rental protection laws that protect tenants from high rent increases or unjustified terminations. Overall, however, tenant protection is not as pronounced as in Germany.

In Canada, rental contracts are usually concluded for a limited period of time, usually for an initial year, with extensions being common. It is common for landlords in Canada to carry out a credit check. Since immigrants in Canada usually have no credit history, problems can arise here. Alternatively, the tenant can also name a guarantor.

If you prefer to buy instead of renting, you should only do so if you have a permanent residence permit. It should be noted that a preliminary contract is already legally binding. Usually a broker handles the entire sales process, only the entry in the land register is carried out by a lawyer. The additional purchase costs should not be forgotten, which differ depending on the province. There are also costs for a later sale - in the form of a capital appreciation tax.

Cost of Living in Canada

Some things are cheaper in Canada than in Germany, some are more expensive. As a rule, higher prices have to be paid for food than in Germany. Petrol is cheaper, for example, and taxes are also relatively low. The cost of living also differs depending on the region. In rural areas, life is much cheaper than in metropolises such as Toronto or Vancouver. High rents and purchase prices are demanded in metropolitan areas, especially for living. Those who want to live in rural regions, on the other hand, will find affordable real estate there, which is often characterized by the size of property that few in this country could afford.

Basic health care in Canada is tax-financed and free of charge in most provinces after a three-month period, provided you have a permanent residence permit, and health insurance contributions are only paid in Alberta and British Columbia. However, only medically necessary treatments are paid for, although there are differences depending on the province. Cosmetic surgery, dental treatments and often medication have to be paid for out of pocket. If you want full coverage, you have to take out private health insurance.

Popular immigration country

Canada is very popular with immigrants because of its vast and often pristine nature. However, it is not that easy to meet the many requirements for immigration. Often only those who are useful for Canada because of their qualifications have a good chance of being allowed to live in Canada permanently.

Frank Kemter

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