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Visa Requirements: Moving to Canada from the UK

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Snow covered mountain surrounded by pine trees in Banff, Canada

With its dramatic seasons, stunning scenery, and notoriously friendly population, it’s no wonder that hundreds of Brits make the decision to move to Canada every year. No matter how easy the decision is to make, the process is a little more tricky. With so many moving parts to consider, one of the largest challenges is to be approved for a visa for Canada from the UK.

A Canadian visa should be the first thing on your to-do list as the process can be lengthy and full of administrative hurdles. While it is, of course, possible to be accepted into Canada, you will need to do your research to find out which visa you qualify for. This will depend on how long you intend to move to Canada for, who you wish to move with, and your circumstances around work.

To help, we’ve selected some of the most popular immigration routes for British expats moving to Canada:

  • International Experience Canada Program
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Work Permits

In this article, you’ll find the requirements for these visas for Canada to help you prepare for the Canada visa application online process.

There are countless types of work visas that specify which occupation you can enter Canada to take up. You should conduct your research into which would be best for your specific skills and situation, but there is a list of work visa requirements for Canada that you must fulfil for every work visa. These are as follows: Prove you will leave once your permit expires. Prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family. Obey Canadian law and have no existing criminal record. Be of good health. Have no plans to work for an “ineligible” employer in Canada. Provide any other required documents when requested. You should also check that you meet all the requirements for Covid-19 testing and quarantine in Canada, unless you are exempt for any reason. If you have further questions about Canadian visa requirements, the Canadian Government website is an excellent resource, with many tools to help you ascertain your eligibility for certain immigration paths. For more assistance on moving to Canada, Global Moving Servicescan provide advice for your immigration process, from international moving advice to our international removal services. Get a free quote today and see how we can help you!

International Experience Canada Program

Cost: From $156

Process Time: Around 8 weeks

The International Experience Canada Program is just one of the ways that you can acquire a visa for Canada from the UK. The program is designed to allow younger people the chance to travel and work in Canada for up to 2 years. The UK is a partner country in this scheme for the category of ‘Working Holiday’, meaning you will acquire an ‘open work permit’ to work for just about any employer in Canada, so long as you:

  • Hold no Canadian job offer
  • Want to work for more than one Canadian employer
  • Would like to work in more than one Canadian location
  • Plan to earn money so that you can travel

You should be aware that this program doesn’t cover any people that are dependent on you, who would need to begin their own applications to visit, work, or study in Canada.

To enter Canada via a work permit through the International Experience Canada Program, you’ll need to create an IEC profile to submit into the pools which you are eligible for – for UK citizens moving to Canada, this will just be the Working Holiday pool. If you are successful and are then invited to apply, you will then be asked to provide proof of the information provided, any required additional details on your education & working history, and put forth any supporting documents that are needed. Your profile will remain in the pool until you receive an invitation to apply or you become ineligible for the visa.

mage of Toronto’s skyline taken from one of the city’s islands in Canada

Federal Skilled Worker Program

This is another way for British citizens to move to Canada for work on a permanent basis. The Federal Skilled Worker Program is managed through Express Entry system to Canada, which is the Canada visa application online system for skilled workers. You must be a skilled worker with work experience in a foreign country and meet the program’s minimum requirements for:

  • Skilled work experience
  • Language skills
  • Education levels

You might be wondering what these all mean. Here’s a breakdown of the initial requirements that must be met for this visa program.

Required: Skilled work experience

This term might seem vague on paper, but there are certain job levels which this term refers to in this case. You should be able to prove that you’ve worked in at least one position within the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) job groups:

  • Managerial jobs (skill type 0)
  • Professional jobs (skill level A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (skill level B)

The job you are choosing to use as your skilled work experience for your application should fulfil the following criteria:

  • Within the previous 10 years.
  • Have been paid or earned commission.
  • Minimum of 1 year of continuous work.
  • Same type of job (same NOC) as the job you want to use for your immigration application, known as your primary occupation.

Required: Language ability

To be eligible for this program, you must also demonstrate a minimum language ability, either in English or French. You must take an approved language test that fulfils the following criteria:

  • Includes writing, reading, listening and speaking
  • Achieve a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in all abilities.
  • Be entered in your online Express Entry profile.
  • Have been taken no more than 2 years after the date of test result.

Required: Education

As a British citizen, it’s likely that you received your education outside of Canada. To be eligible for this scheme, you must have:

  • An educational credential (a diploma, degree, or apprenticeship credential issued for completing a program of study or training).
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes from a designated organisation that displays your education is equal to the Canadian equivalent.

Required: Proof of funds

This requirement is to show that you will be able to support yourself and any dependent family members when you move to Canada. To fulfil this requirement, you must prove that you have enough money for your family to settle abroad, or:

  • Prove you are able to legally work in Canada.
  • Provide proof of a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
Mountain range in Kluane National Park in Canada surrounded by green forests

Work Visa Requirements for Canada

There are countless types of work visas that specify which occupation you can enter Canada to take up. You should conduct your research into which would be best for your specific skills and situation, but there is a list of work visa requirements for Canada that you must fulfil for every work visa. These are as follows:

  • Prove you will leave once your permit expires.
  • Prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family.
  • Obey Canadian law and have no existing criminal record.
  • Be of good health.
  • Have no plans to work for an “ineligible” employer in Canada.
  • Provide any other required documents when requested.

You should also check that you meet all the requirements for Covid-19 testing and quarantine in Canada, unless you are exempt for any reason.

If you have further questions about Canadian visa requirements, the Canadian Government website is an excellent resource, with many tools to help you ascertain your eligibility for certain immigration paths. For more assistance on moving to Canada, Global Moving Servicescan provide advice for your immigration process, from international moving advice to our international removal services. Get a free quote today and see how we can help you!

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