Every year, thousands of people become Canadian residents. If you want to emigrate you’ll need an Immigrant Visa. The ease of getting this depends a lot on which category you fall under (skilled worker, business class, family member, etc.). The goalposts also move slightly from one province to another, depending on what skills shortages there may be. Again, the best policy is to check the latest requirements on the CIC website.
CIC also produces an excellent 40-page booklet: A Newcomer’s Introduction to Canada, downloadable as a PDF from their site. It contains invaluable advice to help everyone through the pain of relocation. The guide is designed not only to help your forward planning, but also includes sections on such things as preparing to enter the Canadian workforce, choosing where to live, and learning about life in Canada.
Ceri Rees moved to Ontario from Sussex with his family 11 years ago. “We arrived with a visa granting us Full Permanent Resident status,” he says, “which entitled us to all the privileges of Canadian citizens, except the right to vote. Getting the visas before we left the UK took three years, but we chose not to rush as we were still saving up for the move. Once the visa is granted it’s valid for one year – if you don’t land in Canada within that time you must start again. We made it with two days to spare!”
Unfortunately the situation is no longer as simple as when Robert Rogerson arrived 40 years ago: “In 1965 there was no red tape. I went to the Canadian consulate in Liverpool to get a student visa, because I’d been accepted at McGill University in Montreal. They asked me: ‘Have you ever thought of emigrating?’ I said yes, and was given Landed Immigrant Status. They even lent me £50 for my air fare!”