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Moving to Canada

(17 Posts)
FatBottomedGal Wed 25-Jan-17 12:52:57

My partner and I have been wanting to move to Canada for a while now and are just about to start the application process. Neither of us have job offers abroad, so are trying the Express Entry route for Permanent Residency. Also, as we've been saving up for 2+ years to do this, we've not lived together, so have to apply separately - major bummer.

Has anyone on here made the move from UK to Canada? Where did you move to? How are you finding it?

Our ideal would be Vancouver, but I'm worried about how expensive it is. My partner worked in Van for a year about 8 years ago and said he had no issue with paying rent etc. but all I've really read is people saying it's difficult to live there without really high paid jobs.

Any guidance or advice would be really appreciated!

SnowBells Wed 25-Jan-17 19:47:35

DH is soon going to be interviewing for a job in Vancouver. He was contacted by the company he's interviewing for out of the blue. I googled, and the pay would be well over CAD100k... more than he'd earn here. However, a move to Canada may well mean I will need to give up my (well-paid) job... and right now, I do earn more than him. Chances of me getting a similar job over there is zilch - particularly because I may need to do Canada-specific exams.

However, from what I have gathered on this forum (and others), is that you need far more than CAD150k to be comfortable. On another forum, someone even questioned a CAD200k offer. The housing market is just ridiculously out of control - and unlike London, there aren't many cheaper places outside of Vancouver that you can commute from via trains, etc.

We're not sure what we will do, and whether Canada is a good idea at all now.

Vancitybrit Thu 26-Jan-17 05:04:13

We moved to Vancouver from the UK last summer but a bit different from your situation as only a temporary move for 18 months.

Pros - amazing city, family friendly, so much to do, great restaurants, travel opportunities, public transport.

Cons - property prices/rents, lack of decent annual leave, childcare waiting lists, grocery shopping cost.

We are having an amazing time but partly because we know we will be home in a year so want to make the most of it.

It's expensive but comparable to the UK - some stuff cheaper and some more expensive.

Vancouver is green and clean and has a great feel. You can walk, cycle and get around without a car.

It rained a lot this winter which seemed relentless but it's nice now and access to the mountains to ski is so easy.

The landscape is spectacular. They call it Beautiful British Columbia for very good reason!

For your personal situation I would recommend asking on British Expats. Have you checked your EE scores? It's a shame you can't apply joint. How old are you? If under 30 IEC might be a better option.

Good luck with your plans though!

MooseBeTimeForSnow Thu 26-Jan-17 05:52:11

I've been here almost 7 years. I'm in Northern Alberta in the "infamous" oil sands. We came over for my husband's job through the Alberta nominee program with what is now an LMIA.
I was a lawyer in the U.K. I haven't requalified here as it means starting from almost scratch. But I was earning more here as a legal secretary than I was in the U.K.
Housing prices are nuts here too. A 2 bed townhouse is $400,000. An average 3 bed detached is around $650,000.
Weather veers between -45 and +30. It doesn't rain much though, which is not great in wildfire season. 2,200 homes were destroyed here last May.

FatBottomedGal Thu 26-Jan-17 09:05:43

Good morning all - thank you for the replies!

So a bit more background. Unfortunately, I'm turning 30 in March, and cannot take the IETLTs test until a couple weeks after my birthday. My partner is 32 in April. We're going for the Express Entry route, but even estimating full points on our English tests, we're currently looking at 435 and 425 respectively which isn't anywhere near enough to get us in sad

I work in Marketing for a Bank, and my partner is a retail manager. Our salaries at the moment add up to £75k, but the job sites in Canada that I've looked at haven't given me much of an idea about the salary I could expect for a similar role.

We visited Vancouver together in September and I did absolutely love it. We both live on the outskirts of London at the moment, so housing prices aren't a huge shock to us - here it's around £1,200-£1,500 for a decent one bedroom flat. Hence why we've not lived together yet!!

MooseBeTimeForSnow Thu 26-Jan-17 14:05:25

Sorry to provide more negative feedback but your occupations aren't likely to produce an LMIA with any job offer. Your employer would have to satisfy the Canadian government that there were no available and suitably qualified Canadians to do the job.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Thu 26-Jan-17 14:07:32

I know Walmart isn't glorious but here's some info

oldlaundbooth Thu 26-Jan-17 14:13:25

Just seen that you are both under 35 - you are both eligible for working holiday visas.

Might be a way to try it? You may get offered jobs once in Vancouver.

Vancitybrit Thu 26-Jan-17 16:06:37

I think OP is eligible for the IEC and doesn't need IELTS for that so could apply asap but unless her DP is Irish not British I think he's too old.

FatBottomedGal Thu 26-Jan-17 16:14:27

Vancitybrit yes, I would be eligible but DP definitely not! Plus he already did a year's working Visa in Canada a few years back so not sure he'd be able to do it again anyway.

MooseBeTimeForSnow I'd much rather have realistic feedback than false hope! I'm starting to wonder whether it's worth spending £160 on the IELTs if there's little chance of us being accepted. It seems the only way to get our points up is to get a job offer first - both of us - which seems incredibly unlikely!

All feedback is welcome - thanks all smile

SnowBells Fri 27-Jan-17 17:33:20

FatBottomedGirl Are you guys married? If one of you gets in through a job offer, the other can get an Open Work Permit.

DH is interviewing but with his credentials, he can work pretty much everywhere he wants (although he never believes me when I say that). Other people with similar backgrounds have moved to the US instead.

lizzieoak Sat 28-Jan-17 05:56:06

Young people in Vancouver have to accept fairly reduced living circumstances in exchange for living on the coast. The cost of housing is eye-watering. I'd say it is the main issue in the upcoming election.

Pros to the prairie cities: affordability. Cons: weather. Also, Vancouver is hugely multicultural compared to a city like Saskatoon.

I wouldn't recommend Nanaimo (reasons too many to get into), but if you fancy the coast what about the capital? It's expensive but nowhere near as bad as Vancouver, plus Victoria being the seat of govt there's govt jobs + it has a healthy tourist economy (& less rain). Both cities have a big problem w addiction, partly because if you're addicted & homeless you're less likely to freeze to death on the south coast than anywhere else in Canada. Victoria is clean, very walkable, beautiful natural location. Def lacks Vancouver's big city vibe though, so depends what you like.

nooka Sat 28-Jan-17 06:09:45

We moved to interior BC eight years ago, and are just waiting to be able to apply for citizenship. We really enjoy it here, but are planning a move to Vancouver at the moment for a bit of city living. dh is having a second interview for a post paying $90K which he thinks is pretty good. I hope to get something for a bit more and yes we'll have to have a huge mortgage (or a tiny apartment or both!) But that's not that dissimilar to London where we lived before.

Job sites here never give salaries which I think is ridiculous, but I think the issue for you is that your roles aren't that specialist so it would probably be hard to get work permits approved (the labour market opinion).

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 28-Jan-17 15:07:02

I'm in sunny Victoria on Vancouver Island.

Pros; weather, pleasant to walk/bike, pretty safe, superficially charming people, water, outdoor space, cheaper than Van.

Cons; parochial, hard to make friends, still unaffordable for housing, lots of homelessness (my job), nepotistic, expensive to get anywhere. Full of NIMBYs.

The West Coast is where everyone wants to be so that's why it's expensive. Albertans, people from China, immigrants (me!) all buying property.

I just back from Edmonton and it's lovely. But gets down to minus 40!!!

crazywriter Thu 02-Feb-17 18:04:26

We made the move last year to canada. It's been a little easier for us as I'm canadian and we're married so been easier for husband to get permanent residency through me.

We opted for south Western ontario, close to family and where I'm originally from. It's a lot cheaper than the west and right on the border to the states. DH is a SAHD and I'm a freelancer and we're currently in the midst of saving for a house. Property prices are good where we are: $200,000 for 3beds and den. There's a good British section where we are too based from the 70s.

I ruled out vancouver from the costs right away (and with it being on the west of canada rather than the east close to family).

SweetChickadee Thu 02-Feb-17 18:20:30

A chap on a ski lift once said to me that Vancouver is a city where 99% of the population watch 1% of the population having a fantastic time.

It's true grin

You need a LOT of money to live a comfortable life there - if you're in the 'burbs you're still looking at ridiculous house prices, plus quite possibly a 2 hour commute each way (the bridges are a nightmare!)

We lived there for 3 yrs and then moved to Calgary with DH's job. Yes it's not so pretty here, but its very, very sunny and we have a really nice house, with a garden, and are within 1.5 hours of Banff/Rockies. We ski and camp and kayak and we're very happy here.

I don't know much about the visas, it's all changed since my day. But I wish you luck.

lizzieoak Fri 03-Feb-17 00:20:54

Some people do find the rain hard to handle. It often does not rain for 2+ months in the summer, but makes up for it November-March when it seems to rain non-stop.

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