Life in Canada for expat professionals

Life in Canada for expat professionals

Life in Canada for expat professionals

Canada is favoured for its cost of living and its stunning natural beauty.

Canada has long been a destination for British expatriates, but nowadays its appeal is growing amongst other countries’ expat professionals. With the world’s 10th largest economy and diverse sectors of employment, Canada is becoming a destination of choice for expat professionals wanting more out of life than mega-high salaries, gated communities and glittering shopping malls packed with designer gear.

Settling down in Canada isn’t hard, as locals are happy to welcome incomers and help them to become part of the community. As regards housing, engaging an estate agent is the best idea, as attractive city and suburban properties tend to be snapped up very quickly. Healthcare is always a priority when choosing a relocation destination, especially if you’re travelling en famille. The Canadian system parallels the best in the USA and UK but, unfortunately, doesn’t come free for expats, making private medical insurance a necessity unless you’ve a well-filled, very deep pocket.

Education is free for legal residents, but all others will need to finance their children’s education, choosing either public schools or the more expensive private education offerings. As regards getting a good job to pay for the above, most expats find what they’re looking for without much trouble. It helps hugely if you’re fluent in French as well as having excellent English, but once you’ve found a job you’ll need to get a work permit or a permanent residency permit. The majority of expatriates find work in the oil and gas, fishing and forestry sectors and, for those wanting city life, the financial sector, real estate and communications sectors can be fruitful. Start-ups can do well in Canada, with IT the most important sector for getting both finance and practical assistance.

As regards the cost of living, prices in Canada in relation to prices in the UK depend on what you’re buying. Generally, for groceries the UK is slightly cheaper, with Canada cheaper as regards public transport. The cost of utilities varies, with electricity cheaper than in the UK and internet services more expensive. Buying clothing depends on the brand, but on average, costs are very similar between the two countries. It’s the same with eating out, with the UK cheaper for fast food and Canada cheaper for mid-range and inexpensive restaurant meals. For top of the range cuisine, it’s expensive anywhere in the world.

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