Considering emigrating to Canada from britain....Help!!!

(88 Posts)
CanadaCalls Mon 23-Jan-12 01:11:49

Basically, we've had enough of England and where it seems to be going - down the bloody pan, and have started looking into Canada......

Initially, we looked at Australia but then several factors and loads of research, we decided it wasn't for us.

Then we got speaking to a friends wife who is Canadian and she sort of helped us make our minds up, Canada it is!

We would be accepted easily as DP has a very desirable job and in high demand in canada and me and DS would be allowed in on the back of this.

My only concern is, how to cope with being homesick?

I have always been really close with my family, same as DP with his, yet since given birth to my PFB 9 months ago, nothing has made me want to move to pastures new and build a better life for us all.

IMHO, todays generation (by all means I don't mean every person) seem to have no drive for life, motivation, respect or ambition.

I want a better life for my child, I dont want him coming home from nursery and using slang words such as 'dat' instead of 'that' (believe me, its happening, my own nephew is doing it!) I dont want to hear him 'kissing his teeth' at me as they call it, nor do I want to look back in 15 years time when he is hanging about on the streets, getting into trouble and refusing to get a job and think 'why didn't we get out??!!'

Everything makes me think there is no question about it, make the jump, but the other part of me is wondering how i'll cope with being away from my family? I keep telling myself that I have my own family now and they have to come first, but I'm still really struggling with the fact that inevitably I am going to get the phone call from my brother telling me 'Mum's not well' and know that it isnt just a cold this time.

Has anybody else been in the same situation? What made you leave? How did you handle being so far away from family and friends?

All answers would be much appreciated smile

RealLifeIsForWimps Mon 23-Jan-12 03:57:06

First of all, I think you need to do a lot more research than "I talked to my friend's friend who is Canadian" especially if she now doesn't live there(maybe you have, but I'm just taking your post as you wrote it). Emigrating is a huge step and you need to make sure that there are big pull factors as well as push factors (i.e. you actively want to live in Canada because of X, Y and Z and not just be desperate to leave the UK.) Canada will have problems just like the UK does. No country is perfect, so make sure you know what the problems are before you go and that the frequently quoted upsides are what you would prioritise. Also, different cities/towns in Canada will vary hugely. Do you know whereabouts you'd want to live?

It's not inevitable that your son will be hanging around the streets getting into trouble in the UK and refusing to get a job. Most kids in fact don't do this, especially if they come from families which value education, promote a work ethic and encourage their kids to have interests. You can be that parent in the UK just as easily as in Canada.

Re homesickness, most people go through it to a certain degree. One of the challenges of being an expat/immigrant is that you don't have family support and it takes a while to build a network of close friends, so things that would have been a drama at home (sick child and you really really need to be at work for a major presentation) become a crisis overseas because you cant just call your mum/sister/cousin/best friend since primary and call in a favour. That can make you feel very isolated/alone. Also, as you mentioned, you cant respond to family crises as quickly, and possibly not at all if you can't easily afford flights home. Skype and email make things a lot easier these days, but it's not the same as a lot of face to face contact time, and you do drift somewhat just because you're now living very different lives.

Finally, check your work status. Would you be allowed to work? If not, would that be a problem for you?

justaboutisnowakiwi Mon 23-Jan-12 04:04:00

Er - I just emigrated (to New Zealand) and I have to say you sound absolutely the kind of emigrant who is going to get a horrible shock on arrival.

You don't emigrate because you don't like the way some UK children behave. There are teenagers everywhere and kids who hang out on streetcorners everywhere. I know a few people who have emigrated on this basis and no matter where they ended up, they had a nasty surprise. You emigrate - in my view - because you have researched a country REALLY REALLY carefully and you have decided that there are so many huge pluses in that country that it will make up for the inevitable homesickness.
If you don't think you can handle the homesickness, don't do it.

mummytime Belgium Mon 23-Jan-12 04:17:04

Someone once told me that when you move you just take your problems with you.
Also Canada is a very very big place. Life is very different in rural Alberta compared to downtown Toronto. I would suggest you read local newspapers (available on line) because some places have problems you would be very unlikely to come across in most of the UK.

Thumbwitch Mon 23-Jan-12 06:03:25

Another one who thinks perhaps a little more research might be advisable. I emigrated to Australia 2.5 years ago because DH is Australian - even though I'd been here a few times before it's still very different when you actually live somewhere, as opposed to just visiting.

Homesickness is a bit of a bugger. We are exceedingly fortunate that we have been able to fly back to the UK 3 times already, and are doing our 4th return visit in 6w time (just me and DS, DH doesn't feel the need). Leaving my family was made easier because my sister is only 10mins up the road from my Dad; if she wasn't, the guilt would have been horrible as well as the missing them.

There are things I miss about the UK but now there are also things I miss about Australia when I'm back in the UK - it can be strangely displacing - but it kind of helps me to know that I do consider Australia as much home now as the UK.

Children in Australia also have similar issues to those in the UK - when you think that most of the English-speaking world seem to share childrens' tv programmes, it's not really that surprising in some respects - and you will probably find the same in Canada.

You also need to be very aware of the weather conditions and what you can cope with - snowy bits can get very very snowy and very very cold - so what you consider to be fun and beautiful to start with can get extremely wearing after a few weeks of it.

You also need to look at the cost of living. I have no idea what it's like in Canada but I do know that with the current exchange rate, Australia is pigging expensive. Good for going back to the UK though! Housing here - very expensive (check online estate agents/realtors in Canada for housing costs).

Jobs - hmmmmm - I'm sure I read on another thread something about you absolutely needing to have a job before you can go - but that could be wrong. Still, if I can find the old thread, it might be worth you having a read...here you are, it doesn't at all start off about Canada, you need to get through to YummyMummy1208 Fri 06-Aug-10 13:35:33 this point before the discussion about emigrating to Canada starts in earnest (don't bother with the rest, it's a nightmare!!)

Well that's taken so long to type there's probably a hundred crossposts now, but I hope there's something useful in here for you.

Fregley Mon 23-Jan-12 06:15:39

You sound nuts

nooka Mon 23-Jan-12 06:25:13

For a relatively fast and secure move to Canada you need to have a job offer, and in order to have a job offer the employer needs to have proved to the authorities that they have offered the position to Canadians and failed to find a suitable person. So your dh needs to be in a field where his skills are not only desirable but in short supply. If you can get an offer like that, and the help with moving costs that should come with it then you should be able to move relatively easily.

The other option is to apply for permanent residency from the UK. This will only work if your dh's occupation is on the official list of occupations that the Canadian authorities have decided they are short of, and it takes I think two years.

We live in Canada, and I've not been homesick although I miss my family (one visit in three years - it's very expensive to fly home with two older children in tow). When my mother broke her leg recently I had to make do with ringing her on the weekends only (8 hour time difference and I work) when they get very frail I won't be there, and although I have two siblings in the UK (and one in Australia) I do feel a bit bad about not being there for them.

Oh, and whilst most children (well people really) are very nice here, I still get the bus with teenagers smelling of weed, and there are still homeless alcoholics on street corners.

lazydog Mon 23-Jan-12 06:53:18

Ever heard the expression, "Same shit, different bucket"...? grin

Auntiestablishment Mon 23-Jan-12 07:55:31

Why are you so set on moving abroad? There are other parts of the UK which might give you what you are looking for lifestyle-wise.

No idea where you are but to give up on all of England, Wales, Scotland and N Ireland based on whichever place (city?) you are currently based in seems a bit extreme. A rural area near a mid-sized city is totally different from the middle of London, for example.

CanadaCalls Mon 23-Jan-12 08:49:38

Morning all!

Ive just read over my OP and realised again, late night posting is not good for me! I always seem to miss out vital details sad

We have done a lot more research than just speaking to a friend, of course we have, we didnt make a life changing decisions based on chit chat over a coffee.

DP has contacted several employers and asked if if he was to apply for a job, would it be something they would be interested in and what would the likely hood be of them employing him and all have come back with the same answer, no problem.

We've also looked at several different provinces and seem to be swayed towards Toronto. It isn't too rural yet life isn't as hectic as it is where we are now.

We are not ignorant people and are more than aware that there is no 'perfect' place, and that no matter where you go, it comes with its own problems, but we just feel that we've both had enough of London and its fast pace, un friendly and sometimes depressing ways. We haven't just moved here and decided it isn't for us, we have both lived here all our lives. We want a more relaxed lifestyle and one that isn't getting you down all the time. You only live once right?

We've looked into property, the aim is to rent first and then if we decide we like the area, eventually buy property. That's another thing, you can get so much more for your money. In London, if your lucky enough you'll be able to buy a studio flat for £250,000!!

Moving further out has been considered (we are doing this in a few weeks time) but it seems to go far enough away, your looking at high prices for not much property, just because it is a desired area to live.

We're being optimistic but nor unrealistic about this, we know that we could up and go, say our goodbyes, pack up and leave, only to get there and decide 2 years later it isn't for us. In that case, we'll just pack up and come back home (albeit with our tails between our legs, or we could just take the attitude that we gave it a go)

We're at a stop gap at the moment and hope to be either setting plans to up and go in about 18 months, or possibly not. We discover that perfect place after all smile

Atomant Mon 23-Jan-12 09:14:03

Toronto is close enough for a visit.

It's a big- ish city so whilst you may have seen properties online you think are good value, they may not be in an area you wish to bring up your children. Until you are there actively looking it's an impossible task.
I was astounded at the amount of homelessness in most Canadian cities, particularly in TO.
It's a great city with lots to offer, but it's problems are no better than of British cities, in fact teenage pregnancy and teenage drug abuse statistics are worse than the UK in many parts of Canada.

Check out the British expats forum online, you'll get a lot of help there & a lot of real stories of going & being a successful and going and coming back to the UK, it's good to have a balanced view but if you can afford it, definitely go for a research trip (as opposed to a holiday).

Good luck.

CanadaCalls Mon 23-Jan-12 09:37:37

Hi Atomant

Thats another reason we was thinking of Toronto, it isn't as far away as some parts of Canada.

I know my DP did go on the forum and was talking with a few ex pats, he's definitely more of a realist than me (I can sometimes be a dreamer so its good that we have that balance) and he said that a lot of people was saying that it was a struggle, but once they settled in, they didn't regret it.

I suppose as you say, we need to set aside some time, possibly a month to go out there and see what it's actually like instead of trying to make a decision based on what other people tell us ( although we know a month is probably still not enough to be able to really see what life in Candad is like)

Are you in Candad then? Did you move from Britain?

Atomant Mon 23-Jan-12 10:37:07

No we're in the UK but a few years ago we nearly moved to Canada. Had visas (which can take a bit of time to obtain if you don't have a job offer) etc had done research trips to ON, BC & AB but something just didn't click for us. We couldn't see really how life would be better for us. Depending on where you go, yes there is amazing outdoor space, but maybe not great schools or jobs that pay well enough for the lifestyle we would eventually want, we couldn't find that place where we thought had the balance. Small towns are just that and it is a big country so they can be quite remote.

It could be that ultimately we just weren't brave enough or ready to make the move, I'm sure with enough determination you could make it work.

You have to be realistic & don't close your eyes to the problems that really do exist, read the local papers (there's a lot of violent crime same as here except there it includes guns every day).

For us we felt ultimately is was better the devil we knew which has worked out well for the moment. We're a short drive to grandparents, walking distance to close friends, great schools on our doorstep, both have good jobs. Never say never though, if our circumstances changed, we probably would reconsider.

Vancouver had everything we would want except jobs at that time. It's a fantastic city but it is far away & very very expensive.

The beaches area in TO is lovely incidentally, but expensive.

I do love Canada, it's a wonderful country but for us, just for a holiday. Can't wait til DD is old enough to take there.

It's a hard decision!

Fregley Mon 23-Jan-12 14:14:38

why moves aborad
Uk doesnt = london

CanadaCalls Mon 23-Jan-12 15:37:03

Of course it doesn't Fregley but as I've said, the further out you go, the more expensive the houses and the less you get for your money.

mummytime Belgium Mon 23-Jan-12 15:46:20

But UK doesn't = south east. Rutland for example, you can get quite large houses with acres and stables for about the same price as my house in the SE.
Also companies saying they would like to employ your DH, doesn't mean that legally they could, are you going for the 2 year shortage area route?

ChunkyPickle Mon 23-Jan-12 15:49:15

I would recommend trying it for a year, and seeing how you go. I've lived in a few places around the world, have my favourites, and my less favourites, and in my experience there's a lot of swings and roundabouts with whatever location you choose.

I lived in Canada for a year, it was fine, but didn't click with the place - you don't want to go through all the hassle properly emigrating to find that you don't like it!

BTW, getting the 1 year work visa with a job offer was a walk in the park - we got agreement in principle in a day, then just had to arrive in person to apply at the border for the actual permit - end to end was 3 weeks (and most of that wait was the Ash cloud stopping flights at the time!)

Fregley Mon 23-Jan-12 15:53:57

i dont like the borderline racism in the OP
if you dont like london - move out

outofbodyexperience Mon 23-Jan-12 15:59:14

that sounds very positive. have the companies who are likely to employ dh got experience with lmo's and twp's? lots of companies are very keen to employ until they gt their legal team to look into lmo and then they disappear, so if you think they are genuine (i have lost count of brits whose 'job offers' disappear into thin air when the realities of securing an lmo hit) then you need to discuss whether they have been through lmo process before, and whether they believe their current vacancies will match the criteria.

all this is lovely, and will potentially entitle you to a max 2 year twp. so you still need to look at how to convert that to pr status. if the employer is in a position to offer you a ft permanent job (as opposed to the max 2 yr contract you will be offered on the back of the lmo) then you can apply after i think 3 mos. if they can't then you need to wait until you qualify under cec, or apply as a sw anyway (if dh's noc code is on the list).

we aren't in to. so i can't offer you regional advice, but do be aware that the whole 'let's move to canada' thing isn't usually quite as easy as it seems on the face of it! grin but alberta is lovely, if fecking cold.

chunky, were you one of the lmo exempt jobs? there are a few, usually catering etc and they fly in mexicans grin. 3 weeks wouldn't happen if you had to go through lmo... i think the wait for lmo is about 6 weeks min at the mo. that said, if you are on the list and meet the other criterai for sw in terms of point s etc, then it's only about 6-12 mos currently. when we applied, the wait for sw was 36-48 mos. grin grin

ChunkyPickle Mon 23-Jan-12 16:11:35

I got my visa under the Temporary Foreign Workers scheme (max 2 years) - the lawyer that the company was using submitted all the stuff we'd had to fill in, and now that I look back, it was actually the same day that we got the agreement in principle and the paperwork we had to submit at the border for the actual permit.

We asked the lawyer about switching to PR after a couple of years if we liked it out there and they didn't anticipate a problem.

I assumed that it was a combination of my profession, and that as Brits we have pretty close ties that made it so quick.

Popbiscuit Mon 23-Jan-12 16:14:11

Toronto is a lovely, cosmopolitan and bustling city. Lots to do, lots of culture but very expensive to live in the city proper and there are lots and lots of dodgy areas. If you're set on Toronto as your city, look at the suburbs: Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga are very nice places to raise a family (very little in the way of the social problems that you are trying to escape), great commuter links to the city and much less expensive than Toronto itself. The public school system is excellent so there's none of the state/private angst that you'd find in the UK.

Have a look on MLS for housing prices in each area to get an idea of the cost of living. I live in Oakville with my family, feel free to PM me if you'd like any more specific information.

We emigrated here when I was a tween (my Dad was transferred). My Mum was very homesick for the first two years or so...there is culture shock. Now however, she wouldn't contemplate going back and I do think that my quality of life growing up was better here than it would have been in our specific location in the UK. There's lots to consider! Good Luck!

ChunkyPickle Mon 23-Jan-12 16:17:10

That's a good point about Culture Shock PopBiscuit - I found it more of a jolt moving to Canada than to any of the other places - I think because everyone was speaking my language, and everything seemed slightly familiar yet slightly wrong.

Popbiscuit Mon 23-Jan-12 16:21:58

Winters are horrible though and probably take quite a bit of getting used to. Best practice is to get out there and embrace it; winter sports are right on your doorstep smile

Popbiscuit Mon 23-Jan-12 16:26:59

That's a good way to put it, Pickle. Slightly familiar, yet slightly wrong.

Canadian culture is an odd mixture of British / American with a slightly quirky twist of it's own that defies description.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 23-Jan-12 16:32:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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