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Canada is widely known as one of the safest, most relaxed places in the world, with an abundance of snow, mountains and wide open natural environments to explore. Despite being the second largest country in the world, (Canada is 1.02x the size of the USA, beating it by just 59,984 square miles,) Canada has an incredibly low population density. If you’re thinking about moving to Canada, there are a few things that you should know.

For a start, Canada has a massive expat population. In fact, Canada has one of the highest immigration rates per capita, with large expat communities in major cities all across the country. As part of the British Commonwealth, the country is also extremely popular with British expats. With French Canada also being a massive part of the country’s history culture, the country is also very popular with French expats, too.

One of the biggest appeals that Canada holds is its massively high quality of life. The 2015 Mercer Report, for example, scored Vancouver as the fifth best city in the world for expat quality of life, with Toronto in 15th place, Ottawa in 16th and Montreal in 24th. To put that in perspective, Paris and San Francisco are ranked joint 27th, Barcelona is ranked 38th and London is ranked 40th.

A big part of this massive appeal can be attributed not only to how safe Canada is as a country, but Canada’s affordable healthcare system, free public school, and long list of job vacancies requiring skilled workers in everything from healthcare and finance to real estate and communications. Wages can also seem fairly high when compared to your home country too – just be sure to check how your tax rates compare; tax rates vary depending on where you are in Canada, and they can be fairly high. The exceptional standard of living more than makes up for this however.

The biggest drawback to moving to Canada is, of course, winter. If you’re not a lover of winter weather, Canada may not hold an instant appeal. While you can avoid the worst of winter by heading to the coastal regions of British Columbia and Ontario, anyone moving to innermost parts of the country are looking at an average winter temperature of -15°C, with an extreme winter getting down to -40°C. While people some may be excited about the idea of constant ski holidays in the Canadian mountains, it’s worth noting on the coasts, you’re looking at summer average of 25-30°C, or 40°C in an extreme summer. Whatever kind weather you’re looking for in Canada, the chances are that you’re going to find it if you look in the right parts of the country. There really is something for everyone in Canada.

Despite all this, and despite Canada’s reputation as being extremely welcome to the expat community, getting a Canadian visa approved isn’t the simplest thing in the world. A visa application can take up to three years to process, so make sure you start on your paperwork early. On the other hand, there are several professions in Canada which you don’t need a permit – a list of which can be found on the Canadian government website. Of course, if you need any help with this, feel free to contact a member of our AMEA team today.

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