would you move overseas with primary age kids just for 12/18 months?

(13 Posts)
flipflopson5thavenue Tue 21-Jan-20 11:40:11

We're considering moving to Canada (Nova Scotia) for a period of min one year, possibly up to 18 months, in order to get Canadian citizenship for our kids.

DP is Canadian, but it's not straight forward. It's a long story but essentially only way to get citizenship is for DP to sponsor us all to move there, and then apply for citizenship on arrival, and live there while the application goes through.

We own a holiday cottage there, close to where DP grew up, so we have a place to live.

We really do want the boys to have Canadian citizenship - but it's a lot of faff just for a year right??

Work isn't TOO much of an issue, I could take a sabbatical and DP could more or less work from home. One way or another we could make it work I think for a fixed period of time.

The advantages seem clear - getting citizenship, adventure, new friends, new experiences, living close to nanna and grampy, skiing, sport, outdoors, cleaner air, living on the lake....

But then I come over all middle-class angst-y and worry about them loosing their place at their school here in London, and the logistics feel insurmountable sometimes.. ..

The earliest we'd do it would mean the kids would be going into Y5 and Y2.

I know that in the context of their whole lives, this will be a tiny portion and they're young and resilient and adaptable. But I worry about the disruption.

Would the kids be ok???

OP’s posts: |
balonzz Tue 21-Jan-20 11:42:47

I personally would do it if I were you because the kids are not at the age where they'll be taking important public examinations. I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to broaden their experiences.

Sadiee88 Tue 21-Jan-20 17:52:05

I’d go for it, great opportunity.

ArnoldBee Tue 21-Jan-20 17:56:50

How interesting citizenship rules are. My friends son has a Canadian passport and hes never been there.

sunshinesupermum Tue 21-Jan-20 17:59:38

Yes we did many years ago to New York. They were 3 and 7 when we arrived and 5 and 9 when we left. The older one remembers it quite well, younger not so much although she made a very close friend at playgroup (whose family we are still in contact with) and came back with an American accent. Go for it. Great experience for us as a family as we travelled as much as we could whilst there.

HelenaJustina Tue 21-Jan-20 18:00:50

I’d go for it. But be prepared for the school place search on your return to be fraught, don’t miss deadlines if your eldest will return to begin secondary.

But definitely go for it, what an adventure!

midwest Wed 22-Jan-20 00:04:22

We did two years in Mexico.
It was hard, very hard at times and coming back was the hardest time of all.
But overall it was really worth it.
But we struggled to settle afterwards and moved away again after a few years so be careful what you start!


HoldMyLobster Sun 26-Jan-20 04:35:28

I moved around like that as a child, as did DH, and I think it made us more open-minded, curious, resilient people.

However, moving back to the UK and finding a school was somewhat difficult (in my case - DH just went to boarding school), and I would think about that carefully.

Nova Scotia for 18 months sounds absolutely wonderful. We are in Maine, so not dissimilar, and the children have an amazing quality of life here.

I also think foreign passports are really valuable. Because DH is a US citizen our children are both US and UK citizens, and we love having the freedom to live in either country. I'm about to get a Maltese passport so I can retain my European citizenship.

HoldMyLobster Sun 26-Jan-20 04:36:58

Actually, looking back, the hardest thing for me as a child who'd lived abroad was coming back to the UK. I think I've been trying to leave ever since, even when I lived in places that I loved I still felt like I didn't really belong.

I doubt I'll ever move permanently back to the UK, having been exposed to life in other countries.

MyDcAreMarvel Sun 26-Jan-20 05:14:12

I would do it and not come back.

Namenic Sun 26-Jan-20 05:27:25

I would do it. Would u ever consider living over there? I mean if you liked to school system etc? Canada scores quite well on the PISAs? Even if you wouldn’t stay - sounds like a great experience

thelongdarkteatimeofthesoul Sun 26-Jan-20 08:18:57

I would have said no, but the citizenship issue makes a huge difference and is an investment in the children's future. Too often parents do things for themselves which cause their children stress and upset and use "everything I do is for the children" as a way to feel beyond (their own internal nagging voice of) criticism. This is not the case here though.

Duel citizenship is a valuable asset and it's very good indeed to have options. Definitely don't leave it any longer than years 1 and 4 as you describe above, but I think it's a good plan.

flipflopson5thavenue Sun 26-Jan-20 11:53:42

Thanks all.
My parents are British but I was born and raised overseas (although we didn’t move around, all my friends did and it was the norm when I was growing up) and came to Uk at 18yo go to uni. I planned to stay 4 yrs.... that was 25yrs ago. I’d love my kids to have a more international up bringing and experience.
I’m heart broken by Brexit and dual nationality can only be good thing.
I think we need to do what we can to make it work - DP feels strongly that both kids should have citizenship (one DS not genetically related to DP which is what makes it complicated)
Thanks everyone - you’ve inspired me to really look into making it a reality!

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