Canada has always had been considered one of the most welcoming countries. If you’re relocating to Canada to study or work, you can expect the transition to be smooth in general. However, it’s crucial to conduct some research in advance about various aspects of Canadian life and all the steps you need to take upon your arrival. To enjoy your time in the north, you need to know how to navigate challenges related to housing, transportation, work permits, or health insurance.
Here are five essential things to know about relocating to Canada.
1. You May Need Private Health Insurance
Canada provides free healthcare services to its citizens and residents. However, you may not be eligible to join this universal healthcare system if you’re not a permanent resident. Moreover, the quality of healthcare services varies from one location to another, and long waiting times are commonplace. For greater peace of mind and quick access to high-quality medical services everywhere in the country, you may need to consider private health insurance. You can find affordable Canadian Health Insurance for Non Residents that offers excellent benefits for the whole duration of your stay in the country.
2. The Housing Market May Seem Out of Control
There is not a single real estate market in Canada because prices vary immensely from one city to another and from one province to another. If you will be working or studying in a major city like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, or Calgary, expect high prices and housing scarcity. You may be able to figure out accommodation in Canada quickly if you are flexible about budget and location. Many services offer assistance to foreigners who don’t have the time to arrange their accommodation. To settle into your new life, you will need to research rental contracts, average rental fees, deposits, and utility contracts. It can also be helpful to decide in advance whether you prefer a short- or long-term rental and a furnished or unfurnished apartment. Being flexible is important because the housing crisis in various parts of Canada may limit your options.
3. You Can Buy a Property as a Non-Resident
Another essential thing to know about relocating to Canada is that non-residents have the legal right to purchase a property in the country. If you wish to buy a property, you can do it regardless of your residency status. You can get a local mortgage like any Canadian citizen. However, you will be required to pay a larger down-payment, which can be up to 35% of the property value. If you plan to stay in Canada long-term, buying a property instead of renting one can be a wise financial decision. Prices have been going up steadily in recent decades and are expected to increase even more.
4. Adapting to the Weather Can Be Difficult
Depending on your country of origin, moving to Canada may also mean adapting to a different climate and geography. The bigger the differences between your country and Canada, the more challenging the adaption process can be. Unless you are relocating to the coast of British Columbia, you will experience long, harsh, and snowy winters. The densely populated areas where expats are more likely to move are located near the southern border and get the highest number of bright sunshine hours annually. In the northern parts, the weather is significantly more extreme. As a newcomer, it’s essential to be aware of these differences because adapting to cold weather is not easy. Various studies show that cold weather can negatively affect mental health. By forcing people to spend most of their time indoors, cold weather contributes to depression. If you come from a warm or mild climate, the harshness of Canadian winters can demoralize you.
5. There Are Two Official Languages
Another essential thing to know about relocating to Canada is that both English and French are official languages. Statistics show that more than 50% of Canadians predominantly speak English. French is the first language of almost 20% of Canadians. If you only speak one of the two languages, consider moving to a region that speaks the same language. Importantly, in Quebec, 78% of the residents speak French predominantly or exclusively. In eastern provinces, you are more likely to hear French. Language can be an obstacle to quick integration, so it’s vital to research language differences before relocating.
Relocating to Canada can be a defining step for your career, academic future, or personal life. Read as much as possible about the differences between your country of origin and Canada so you can adapt to the new environment effortlessly. The more you research in advance, the more prepared you’ll be to tackle any challenges that come your way. From cost of living to weather patterns, many things may surprise you either positively or negatively, depending on your expectations.