How to move to Canada from the UK permanently is a question that many try to answer. Here, we will deal with different options that UK citizens have at their disposal, for both those with Canadian work experience and those who do not have that. With this in mind, let’s hop right into the topic. 

First of all, as a UK citizen, you will need to choose the program that works for you. There is the Expres Entry, the PNP programs, as well as family immigration and student temporary immigration. Each of these programs has its eligibility criteria that you should meet. Based on the criteria, you choose the program, collect all the documents, and upload them online. After a few months, if all eligibility criteria are met and the payment of fees has been realized, you, too, will be on your way to Canada. 

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Ways on How To Move to Canada From UK Permanently

So, is it easy to move to Canada from the UK? Both yes and no. Canadian immigration authorities follow relatively lax procedures and many immigration streams allow you to choose the best option for you. With over 80 immigration options, a good educational system, and universal healthcare, Canada is one of the best countries to immigrate to. On top of that, the Express Entry program can offer a short processing time of around six months (with some applications being processed even faster). 

With this in mind, it remains to be seen what each of these programs has to offer and what eligibility requirements are. You will also be able to see how to bring your family with you, whatever your immigration reasons may be. Canadian immigration policies allow almost everybody to immigrate there, but this does not mean that the overall eligibility criteria are not strict or that they should not be met. 

Express Entry or Worker Immigration to Canada

If you know a Canadian employer who has offered you a job offer, or would like to work in Canada, the Canadian Express Entry program is the best program for you. It offers a streamlined immigration application, where you apply in two steps: the first step (which is free) is simply entering your data in an online form. Then, if you pass in a draw cycle, you will be asked to actually submit the documents. If everything is OK, and the data in the documents matches or exceeds the data entered in the first application step, you will be given your residence permit, which you can collect at one of the designated Points of Entry. 

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

While Express Entry is the most popular immigration program with high immigration targets (300,000 immigrants per year), and it enables you to immigrate anywhere in Canada, it is clear that a single program is simply not enough. for this reason, almost all provinces have their own Provincial Nominee Programs, which work hand in hand with the Express Entry, to ensure that their specific needs are being met. 

And although it is possible to apply for a specific PNP only, while avoiding the Express Entry altogether (non-Express Entry application), we have to advise you to apply for the Express Entry first. This will allow you to apply for PNPs as well, and all in the same process. The only advantage that PNPs have is that they are cheaper, with some offering a free application. 

PNPs offer both online and on-paper applications. You will need to fulfill the entire application package, a medical exam, and a police check, and to pay the fees that come with the PNP programs. You will also need to submit the application all at once and with the proof of payment, especially as any documents missing will significantly delay the process. 

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Express Entry program allows those with skilled work experience to migrate to Canada in a short time using one of the three immigration streams: 

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) 
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC or FST)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP or FSW) 

The first stream, the CEC, is aimed at all who have minimum experience requirements at work in Canada. It aims to enable an alternative and a fast immigration pathway to those who have been to Canada, for work immigration purposes. What you will need is to be applying for a managerial job, a professional job, or a technical job and skilled trades. 

When it comes to skilled work experience, if you are coming from the UK and are a British national, you will need to find the correct NOC code for the job that you would like to do. You will need to have at least 1 year of work experience in the same expertise area as you are applying to through the program in the past three years to be able to immigrate. 

You will also need to meet some language demands. These include level 5 on language skills in the CLB scale for TEER 2 and TEER 3 jobs, or CLB 7 scores for jobs in TEER 00, 0, 1. You will also need to find the corresponding educational level and will need to present your certificate, diploma, or degree. You may not enter Canada with a criminal file if you have any connections to terrorist organizations or human trafficking or if you have been involved in human rights violations. If you have been deemed inadmissible to enter Canada before, you may need help entering again. 

Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)

The Federal Skilled Trades Class is a type of Canadian immigration visa program and the second stream of Express Entry. This program allows British applicants who have experience and/or education in specific trades to apply and possibly get permanent residence in Canada. This alternative immigration pathway is available to all who would work in the following job groups: 

  • Major Group 72 – electrical trades and construction
  • Major Group 73 – maintenance trades and equipment operation (esp. heavy equipment)
  • Major Group 82 – work supervisors and technical workplaces, agriculture and related fields
  • Major Group 92 – processing operators, manufacturers, utility supervisors, and central control operators
  • Minor Group 632 – chefs and cooks
  • Minor Group 633 – butchers, bakers, etc. 

Unlike the other two streams, the current immigration form dictates a minimum score for language skills of CLB5 for listening and speaking and CLB4 for reading and writing. There are no educational requirements, but they can give you more CRS points if you go through the ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) if you got an education outside of Canada or even if you got an education on Canadian soil. 

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

This is the third stream of the Express Entry application and a third possibility for you to move from the UK to Canada. This program tests your English (or French or both) language abilities, education, and admissibility factors and asks for proof of funds, as you do not need a job offer to apply. Each of these is assigned a specific number of CRS points that you will be ranked on. 

This stream is meant for all who would like to permanently settle and work in Canada. You will need to have a year of work experience in the job category/industry that you are applying to, and you will need to have gained it through paid work, within the last 10 years. The same language prerequisites apply as in the CEC class, and you will need to have a certificate, diploma or degree in the relevant industry to apply. 

Family Immigration

Can I live in Canada as a UK citizen if my spouse lives and works there? Yes, you can. There is a separate program of family immigration, where a whole family can immigrate at once (you can do this through Express Entry), or where a single family member goes to Canada and then sponsors other family members, such as the spouse, children, and grandchildren. These are two different immigration pathways and have different minimum requirements for admissibility and getting the permit in the first place. 

International Experience Canada

When it comes to the International Experience Canada (IEC) programs, they are the result of Canada having signed agreements with some other countries, including the UK that allow citizens of those countries to work in Canada, usually for a set period of time. These programs are sometimes also called International Mobility Canada, and in the UK, there are organizations that can help you with collecting your documents and applying to them. The program is similar to the US program of Work and Travel, aimed at students of different educational backgrounds who go to the US to experience culture and work on their language skills. 

Student Immigration Program

When it comes to student options, getting a study permit is the best option to immigrate to Canada. This way, you can finish international studies, but you will need to have a previous study program step finished, or at least a high school diploma. With these, you will need to apply for secondary education studies for the upcoming study term and for programs that are longer than 6 months. 

All the programs that you apply to will also need to end with a diploma or a degree (3-4 years long), and you will need to be enrolled as a full-time student. You cannot apply for completion of study or to study at all anywhere, but rather in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Only after you are accepted will you be able to apply for a study permit. The usual processing time is around 20 days. Here are the prerequisites to apply for this type of permit as a UK citizen: 

  • you will need to be enrolled in a DLI in Canada
  • must provide proof of funds for the first year of studies, as well as proof of payment for the first school year
  • must be willing to return home after the studies are finished
  • must not have a criminal record or a police investigation against you when applying 
  • must be able to meet the demand for immigration medical examination when asked, especially if you’ve traveled to some countries known for poor health care programs or active epidemic outbreaks
  • must be able to comply with and respect all Canadian laws during your stay there
  • must provide language testing results when asked – usually in English or French (official languages in Canada) or in any other language that your studies will be conducted in
what do i need to move to canada from uk
Studying in Canada

Entrepreneur or Investor Immigration Programs

 The Entrepreneur or Investor Immigration Programs are also known as business immigration programs. These two programs allow everybody who has a high net worth to immigrate to Canada and start a business there. Alternatively, the investor immigration programs allow you to take your family with you as well, for as long as you are ready to invest a significant amount of money into a pre-approved fund for a period of five years and expect no interest on it. When it comes to moving options, this is a very popular one, but not available to many people. 

Family Sponsorships

As with spousal sponsorship, there are two options for sponsorship of family members as well. These include In-Canada sponsorships (while the person being sponsored is in Canada) and Family-Class sponsorships (while the person being sponsored is outside of Canada). Each of these has minimum program requirements, but you will be able to sponsor your grandchildren, children, siblings, spouse (explained in more detail further on), as well as your parents and grandparents. This is true regardless of the fact that you or a family member you are trying to sponsor has been adopted.

Spousal or Common-law Sponsorship 

As many people who are wed or have a common-law partner work and reside in Canada, it has become necessary to enable them to reunite with their families. These programs enable this. Canadian citizens or permanent resident can sponsor their spouses to join them in Canada and become permanent residents. Pay attention and contact immigration consultants to see whether you are better off sponsoring the arrival of a family member or using the In-Canada sponsorship once they already have their visitor visa and are on Canadian soil. 

Based on this, there are two basic forms of family immigration: In-Canada Class Immigration Program and Family Class (for all residing outside of Canada). As this is a form of sponsorship, applications for sponsorship can be submitted only if financial requirements (and some more) are met. Here are the basic requirements that your sponsor has to fulfill to be able to apply for the spousal sponsorship: 

  • The sponsor has to be of age (a minimum of 18 years)
  • They have to be a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen living in Canada or living abroad and planning to return
  • They may not apply for sponsorship if they have done jail time, have declared bankruptcy, or are under a removal order
  • They may not be receiving any form of social financial support, with a notable exception of those citizens and residents receiving it for disability
  • They need to be able to provide proof of funds to showcase that they are capable of supporting you during your arrival
  • If their arrival to Canada has been sponsored, they cannot sponsor anyone for the first five years upon their arrival
  • they need to be legally married to the spouse (not for common-law partners) if they wish to sponsor them
  • they will need to have lived with the sponsored person for a period of at least 12 months

UK Citizen’s Permanent Residence in Canada

So, there are many ways to immigrate to Canada. Canadian Work Permit Options, study permits and many other ways exist that you can use to move from the UK and into a place with a more stable economy and better living standards. The most popular program of all of them is definitely the Express Entry program, which offers a two-step process for all – but only the highest-ranking candidates will be able to become permanent residents. 

Even a non-resident of Canada can turn their status to permanent residency, either after student work experience, by being sponsored by a family member, or by asking for permanent residence once they are on Canadian soil. Being there, present physically, does not mean that your chances of getting a permanent residence are higher – quite on the contrary, they are exactly the same as with any other applicant. 

Retiring to Canada

If you would like to move to Canada once you are retired, you should know that Canada does not offer retirement visas. However, there are many other ways to get to Canada, and one of them is through a PNP program as an investor. This way, you can set aside one part of your retirement fund for investments, while the other part will easily help support your livelihood. When it comes to these investments, you should understand that the investment has to be made for a period of five years minimum and that you will be receiving no interest during this period. 

What Does it Cost to Relocate to Canada?

‘How much does it cost to move to Canada from the UK’ is a common question that bothers many, as there are many online sources naming different costs associated with moving. The fact is that the process costs, and the more family members you will be taking with you, the costlier it will get. 

So, depending don’t the type of visa or permit that you are looking for, you will be paying different fees. In addition to these, you will have to pay CAD7 for an eTA (electronic Travel Authorization). International Experience Canada programs cost CAD161, while study permits cost CAD150. If you have lost your status as a student, it will cost CAD200 to get it back, plus CAD150 for a new study permit. 

A temporary resident permit will cost you CAD200 per person going with you, and a visitor visa (including a super visa for parents and grandparents accompanying their children and grandchildren during their studies, will cost CAD100 per person. At the same time, you can expect to pay a flat fee of CAD500 for families of five or more, while an extension of your stay will cost CAD100 per person. To restore your visitor status, you will have to cash out CAD200. 

A work permit generally costs CAD155, while an open work permit holder costs CAD100. CAD355 is the fee to be settled if you want to restore your status as a worker. Here is a breakdown of temporary visa fees and costs for Canadian immigration of UK citizens: 

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Electronic Travel Authorization7
International Experience Canada161
Study Permit per Person150
Restoring Student Status 350
Temporary Resident Permit200
Visitor Visa (including Super Visa)100
Group Visitor Visa (min 5 members)500
Extending your Stay as a Visitor100
Restoring Visitor Status200
Work Permit per Person155
Open Work Permit Holder100
Restoring Worker Status355

When it comes to permanent residence, there are many options and each of these visa process options comes with its own fees. When it comes to the selection process, it is important to focus on the program that works for you,r rather than fees, as there are no programs that guarantee passing – only the highest-ranking candidates will pass. Likewise, saving a few dollars on an application that can cost you not receiving your resident status is simply not worth it. Here is the breakdown of some common fees for processing applications for a British person looking to move to Canada. 

work in canada from uk

Business Immigration Program Application

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Processing Fee for Principal Applicant1,625
Permanent Residence Fee per Person515
Processing Fee for a Partner or a Spouse850
Including a Child in the Application – per Dependent Child230

Caregiver Program Application

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Processing Fee for Principal Applicant570
Permanent Residence Fee per Person515
Processing Fee for a Partner or a Spouse570
Including a Child in the Application – per Dependent Child155

Economic Program Application Fees 

These fees apply to all who apply for Express Entry and: 

  • Agri-food pilot program
  •  Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • Atlantic Immigration Program
  • Provincial Nominee Programs 
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot 
  • Quebec – Selected Skilled Workers Program
Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Processing Fee for Principal Applicant850
Permanent Residence Fee per Person515
Processing Fee for a Partner or a Spouse850
Including a Child in the Application – per Dependent Child230

Humanitarian and Compassionate Migration Program 

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Processing Fee for Principal Applicant570
Permanent Residence Fee per Person515
Processing Fee for a Partner or a Spouse570
Including a Child in the Application – per Dependent Child155

 Permanent Resident Card

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Permanent Resident Card50

 Permanent Resident Travel Document

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Permanent Resident Travel Document Fee50

 Permit Holder Class

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Processing Fee for Principal Applicant335
Permanent Residence Fee per Person515

 Protected Person

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Processing Fee for Principal Applicant570
Processing Fee for Spouse or Partner570
Including a Child in the Application – per Dependent Child155

 Family Sponsorship Programs

Adopted Children and Other Relatives

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Sponsorship Fee – Relative 75
Processing Fee for Principal Applicant490
Right of Permanent Residence Fee515
Sponsorship Fee – Adopted Child75
Processing Fee for Adopted Child75
Processing Fee for Children Added to a Relative’s Sponsorship – per Child155
Sponsor a Relative under 22665
Include Spouse or Partner of Relative1,085

Parents and Grandparents

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Sponsorship Fee for Parent or Grandparent1,080
Including a Spouse or Partner Fee565
Include a Dependent Child – per Child155

Spouse, Partner, Children Sponsorship Fees (outside of Canada)

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Sponsor a Spouse or Partner1,080
Including Dependent Child – per Child155

 Spouse, Partner, Children Sponsorship Fees (in Canada)

Type of FeeFee Amount in CAD
Sponsor a Spouse or Partner1,080
Including Dependent Child – per Child155

Canada’s Living Expenses

When it comes to the cost of living in Canada, it is comparable to that in the UK. The rent is somewhat cheaper, but other expenses are comparable and vary across the country. In fact, bigger cities and economic centres do not only see an increase in rent price – the price of food and other everyday products differ as well. Let’s consider the costs of transportation, rent, and education. 


When it comes to transportation, the prices vary as much as they do in the UK. The price of gas and public transportation is generally much cheaper, while the price of trains and airplanes is much higher in Canada. This has led to wider adoption of public transportation for in-city moving, while the car is the preferred way to travel between the cities themselves, much like in the US. 


The average rent in Canada is lower than in the UK. In fact, the rent is on average 5% cheaper, although these trends change quickly. If you would like to rent, rather than own a place to live, it is best to move to less populated areas and stay away from large conurbation centres, economic strongholds, and city centres. Just 20 minutes away from these giants, much more affordable housing is affordable mostly for a much larger space. 


When it comes to education, Canada provides free education in public institutions up to the age of 18, or until you finish high school. If you would like to go for a higher education requirement institution or even a private school, you may have to cash out anywhere between CAD12,000 and CAD30,000 per year, depending on the school you would like your child to go to. This is comparable to schooling costs in the UK. 

However, universities and colleges are never paid for. They typically cost up to CAD9,000, with some notable exceptions. However, all those looking to immigrate to study (you cannot simply apply through Canada Express Entry), will have to cash out enough money to pay the tuition fees. However, once the institution accepts you, you can find part-time work (full-time work during the breaks), and seek scholarships and grants, all of which can help you on your way to a degree. 

Reasons to Move to Canada from the United Kingdom

Is Canada a good place to live in? Yes, it is. Considering that the UK is a developed country, many may feel that there is not much to gain by moving to another developed country. However, there is. Canada is known for its pristine nature, good prices (especially for education) when compared to other developed nations, as well as for its great social services, plenty of volunteer service options, and so much more. This makes Canada a great country of residence, regardless of your affinities and your country of origin

There’s No Language Barrier

It is well-known that Canada is a bilingual country: both English and French are spoken in it, although French language abilities are mostly important in Quebec. When it comes to this, an average Brit will have no issues moving, as they speak English already and French is taught in many schools across the UK. When it comes to marital status and all other things that make life life, they are similar or the same as their equivalent in Canada. The dialect accents may be a bit different, but this is easy to get used to. 

Experience Four Seasons

The majority of Canada has a strong continental climate, where all four seasons are very pronounced. For as long as you have your permanent residence or even an acceptance letter from a DLI, you can enjoy them too. Some mind the long and harsh winters, but moving to Victoria or some other city in the vicinity of the Great Lakes will make any British candidate or a PR happy and satisfied. 

Life Expectancy

Canada offers a great quality of living and a lot of chances for all who like it to enjoy outdoor activities. This is coupled with very low pollution levels, pristine water and nature, and a very safe environment to make up for one of the highest life expectancies in the world – an average Canadian will live up to 81.75 years old, much older than an average US citizen (77.3) or a citizen of Indian (70.15 years old). 

Economic Stability

Canada is not very cheap to live in, but it is still cheaper than many other developed countries. When it comes to health conditions, education, and many more complimentary services, it is clear that they all rely on economic stability and hard-earned cash to work. This is exactly what Canada has to offer: its flexible, knowledge and service-based economy is one of the best economic models there are today – to the point that Canada mostly suffers only minor economic consequences even during deep recession periods. 


Around 1/5 or 205 of the Canadian population are immigrants. Many foreign workers and thousands of people in trades, students, and permanent residents come to Canada every year to study, work, and live here. This makes Canada bustling with foreign culture, food, and media. This makes everybody feel welcome, especially as the country is used to so many immigrants – as everybody around you feels at home, so do you. 

Freedom, Healthcare, and Education

With this many foreigners, the question of personal and religious freedoms comes to mind. Canada takes these issues very seriously so that everybody has the right to practice their religious freedoms and freedom of speech in their country of choice. Here we see that Canada takes care of its inhabitants. 

When it comes to healthcare and education, Canada excels as well. With five out of 100 best Universities in the world situated in Canada, you are sure to receive a great education, free until the age of 18. When it comes to healthcare, Canada has universal healthcare, which is accessible to all who are citizens or permanent residents and their families. 

Warm and Inviting

For all those who score the minimum points needed to move to one of the Canadian provinces, this will be a warm and inviting experience. With a lot of foreigners in the country, Canada has grown to love and cherish all these cultures have to offer. This makes many feel at home and it enables everybody to enjoy their stay in this beautiful country. 

Best Scenery

Besides a warm welcome, you will also be greeted with some of the best scenery in the entire country. Canada takes up a third of an entire continent, so there is something for all – mountains and flatlands, lakes, and three access to three oceans. Wildlife is rich, and so are all the forests that cover most of the Canadian surface. 

Best Places to Move to Canada From the UK

jobs in canada for uk citizens

Is it worth moving to Canada from UK? If you are worried about how to find your way in a new country, this is where we come in, to help and to ensure that you know what you are doing even before you step foot in Canada. However, there is more to moving, and finding people from your own country is on the list of things to cover. With this in mind, here are a few cities in Canada where the Brits make up the majority of the immigrant population. 

Hamilton, Ontario

There are over 15,000 Brits living in Hamilton, Ontario. Besides them, there are also Indians, Italians, and Portuguese, making up for a very diverse community. Hamilton is a port city and it is situated on Lake Ontario. It has a strong economy and slightly higher prices. If saving, such as when moving for retirement, is your goal, you may want to choose a smaller place in the vicinity of Hamilton. 

London, Ontario

Yet another place in Ontario, London is home to more than 10,000 Brits. The total population of London is 360,000, so this is a modestly-sized city that offers a perfect cross between a large city and a much smaller and closer-knit community. It has some of the best schools in Canada and is home to the University of Western Ontario. It has a lot of festivals throughout the year and has been voted the 4th best place in Canada to live in. 

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa is yet another city in Canada where Brits make up the majority of the immigrant population. This city is home to some 17,000 Brits and is one of the safest on our list. The pristine environment, good economy, plenty of job opportunities, and a lot more are what make Ottawa a great place to live for all of its 1.2 million residents. 

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada. It is situated between national forests and parks and is shielded from the Pacific Ocean by Vancouver Island. This is a very modern city and a prominent business hub. It bustles with foreign immigrants and is likely to make up for a very good stay here. It is a bit more expensive, but social services, education, and healthcare are all very good. 

Surrey, British Columbia

Surrey in British Columbia is also home to some 10,000 British expats. The city has a lot to offer, as this is a suburban city in the metropolitan area of Vancouver. It is home to more high-income folks, and the city itself is fast growing: some predictions say that it will surpass Vancouver by population by 2030. This is a great place to start a family: great outdoor spaces, good schools and hospitals, and much more await those who decide to move here. 

Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton in Alberta is a slightly larger city, with 900,000 people living in it. The city is large but has a relaxed atmosphere. Its economy is based on oil and gas, but the city also focuses on research and technology. There is a lot to do in the city, as it is packed with museums, galleries, and libraries. It has several festivals and events dispersed throughout the year and is, in general, a sophisticated and modern city with much to offer to all who would like to move here. 

Check Out TOP 10 Best Places to Live in Canada:


Is It Worth Moving to Canada from UK?

As a UK citizen, you can travel to Canada without a visa. However, if you would like to move there permanently, you should know that Canada can be cheaper than the UK – especially when it comes to education. This being said, yes, moving to Canada from the UK is a great choice, as the country is vast and beautiful and property prices are lower than in the UK. 

Can I Live in Canada with A British Passport?

You can visit Canada with a British passport, but you cannot move there permanently. For this, you will need a permanent residency status, and you will need to finish the application process like everyone else. However, there are over 80 programs that you can use to do so, there is something for all British citizens looking to move to Canada. 

How Many Brits Move to Canada?

There are many Brits living in Canada. According to the 2019 census, the total number of British nationals living in Canada is more than 530,000 – that’s more than half a million. However, you should understand that not just about anyone can move there – anyone with a criminal record and without a clear police certificate may have issues getting into the country. 

Who Can Sponsor Me in Canada?

Permanent residents and any Canadian citizen can sponsor your arrival under the Canadian immigration program. There are some eligibility requirements that should be followed, and they will need to submit proof of funds. Your spouse or common-law partner, as well as your children and grandchildren, your parents, and grandparents can all sponsor you. So can your siblings and all related to you through adoption. 

Final Thoughts

With only a handful of things that could make an applicant inadmissible, moving to Canada from the UK is easy and straightforward. With this in mind, for as long as you fulfill all the prerequisites, you will be considered a new resident of this country. As there are many ways to immigrate to Canada, we’ve covered some of the most popular options and have tried to bring the experience of living in Canada one step closer to you.