Get 6 FREE Moving Quotes for Shipping to CANADA

Moving to Canada

Moving to Canada

Moving to Canada from Dubai in 2021 takes careful preparation and attention to details and documentation. We provide everything you need to know before moving from Dubai to Canada. Start your move today by obtaining up to 6 competitive moving to Canada quotations FREE.

Moving to Canada suggests spectacular natural beauty, polite and neighbourly locals and... well, maple syrup. But what are the key challenges people face when relocating to Canada?

The key when relocating to Canada is research and preparation. Migrating to Canada is not straight-forward. Finding a job might be a challenge and when you do, taxes are high. Healthcare and cost of living are also notable considerations ahead of your move to this incredible country. Fortunately, we cover all this and much more in our ultimate moving to Canada guide.


The number of people moving into Canada has risen to 300,000 per year since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assumed his post. Between 2015 to 2019, the number of people visiting and settling in Canada for good rose to 14 people for every group of 1,000. If you’ve wanted to move to Canada as well, this guide will help you simplify the moving process. 

Canada is one of the most loved countries in the world because of its people, culture, and views. Canadians are known to be ‘nice’ people that even if you run to them on the street, they immediately apologise even if it’s not their fault. This nature also makes them take care of themselves and others. This may be something natural to them, but to the rest of the world, this is a trait that you’d like you, your kids, and your neighbours to have. 

If you’re seriously considering moving to Canada, know that the process may be tedious. Then again, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Just like moving to any country, it requires thorough planning and research. If you know what to bring, where to apply for a visa, what requirements to prepare, and how much it will cost to live there, you can brace yourself for anything that’ll come

Living/Lifestyle in Canada

Before you pack for the Great White North, you need to understand the Canadian customs laws and regulations.

Find out what limits they set for tobacco and alcohol.

It would also be best if you know what kinds of food are not allowed in the country.

If you love cheese, you’d be glad to know that you can bring it in for as long as it's less than 20 kilos. 

Country Facts

Capital City: Ottawa
Population: 37 Million
Languages: English, French
Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Time: -5 GMT to - 8 GMT
Driving Lane: Right Hand Side
Domain: .ca
Dialing Code: +1

If you want to bring your animal companions with you, you should know that Canada bans breeds like Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terrier, and all other crosses. If your dog is one of the allowed breeds to enter the country, it’s also important to note that Canada requires them to be fully vaccinated. 

Aside from your animal companions, all migrants are required to have themselves vaccinated before entering the country. Later in this guide, we’ll be discussing the immigrant vaccination requirements, along with the necessary medical examination by the Canadian government.

All of the relocation processes you have to go through would certainly be bound to cost some money. In the latter part of this guide, we’ll also be discussing how much you should allocate for your relocation budget.

Here, we’ll give an overview of costs associated with work permits, pet relocation, and duties needed to settle upon arrival. Through this, you’ll have a good sense of how much you need to save so that you can migrate seamlessly.

Let's Start

Click Request Quotes to Obtain 6 Free Moving Quotes

Cost of Living in Canada

There are many advantages associated with living in Canada. In this chapter, we’ll try to discuss both the pros and cons to give you a more realistic approach to making a decision.

You see, even if there are many positives to a new life in a different country, no two people are the same. In one way or another, you’re bound to find something as you start living there. Even so, we still come up with a shortlist of things you should know before you head to the Great White North.

Health Care in Canada

The country’s healthcare system is one of the best in the whole world. The citizens enjoy free government-funded healthcare for everyone. They even have different educational healthcare initiatives wherein they teach their elderlies in avoiding injuries and all other health risks.

As of now, about ⅔ of all Canadians subscribe to private health insurance. This is the same insurance that covers add-on services like eye care, dental care, private hospital rooms, and prescription drugs. You’d be glad to know more than 90% of these insurance premiums are shouldered by unions or employers.

Culturally diverse

Canada is not only very progressive, but it’s also a multicultural, diverse country. If you want to live in Canada, especially in any of its major cities, this fact is especially beneficial to foreigners like you. 

In Toronto, for example, over 140 languages are being spoken. And since more than 20% of its population was born in a different country, expats will most certainly fit in well. Statistics show that most of these expats reside in Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario. 

Abundance of nature

Canada is also known for being abundant in natural resources. You’ll see lakes, mountains, and urban living here. It also has over 20% of the world’s rivers, lakes, and coastlines.

If you’re wondering if you can come across animal species here, you’d be excited to know that bobcats, black bears, and bison can bump into you when you walk in the woods. And if you’re lucky, you might just hear some wolves howling. 

Higher cost of living

Since we’ve given you the advantages, let’s get real with the disadvantages. One of them is that the cost of living in major cities in Canada is way higher compared to other major cities in the world.

If you want a more affordable cost of living, settling in the remote areas of Canada is your best bet. However, if you choose to live in the country’s most populous cities like Vancouver and Toronto, you might as well be ready to spend 33,880 USD per year for Toronto and 30,397 USD per year for Vancouver. 

Cost of living

As mentioned in the previous chapter, if you choose to live in densely populated areas in Canada, you must be prepared to spend at least 33,880 USD per year for Toronto and 30,397 USD per year for Vancouver.

This means that for each month, your expenses would be somewhere within 2,535 USD to 2,830 USD. This accounts for house rent, food, gas, and other utilities. 


Low crime rates with especially low violent crime
Lots of taxes including federal, provincial, and territorial income tax
Canadians are famed for being friendly welcoming people
High cost of living especially Toronto and Vancouver
Very high living standards; regularly ranking in the top 5 countries
The immigration system is challenging and expensive
Amazing social support system especially for new parents
Government and regulation interferes with many aspects of your life
Strong job market within the 10th largest global economy
200 miles north of the border, many locations can have very long winters
The great outdoors - Canada is truly spectacular
The Canadian Dollar is traditionally weak against major currencies

Moving To Canada Requirements

When you’re seriously considering moving to Canada, you also need to think about the things that you need to pack. Here are the essentials you need to take into serious consideration:
  • Work permit or visa
  • Details of your Canada flight or ticket
  • Canadian travel insurance
  • Up-to-date and valid passport 
  • Proof of funds like bank statements 
  • Updated resume or CV in Canadian format 
  • Accommodation references 
  • Work references from past employers 
  • Proof of driving history like a ‘no claims’ letter from your previous insurers 

For a more in-depth look at documentation please check the International Association of Movers.

If the driving license issued in your country of origin has been recently issued and you have been driving for a long time, you need to secure a letter issued by your original country’s licensing authority to show how long you have been driving. And if you need some proof to show that you have overpaid taxes in your home country, you must also secure your tax forms associated with your employment termination. This will come in handy if you need to claim your tax refunds at the end of the tax year.  When you have an existing mobile service contract in your home country, make sure to terminate this earlier before you leave. And if you need to have your phone unlocked for it to work with other telecommunications networks, make arrangements for this early on. 

Logistics Train going through rugged Canadian mountains 

Tax and duty-free items you can bring to Canada

According to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), before entering Canada, you have to prepare at least two copies of the list of all the personal effects you intend to bring to the country. The said list should also include the serial number, model, make, and value of every item.

Make sure to divide your list into two - the first list is for the items you intend to bring along when you travel, while the second list is for the items which will follow. Remember that the goods that will arrive later will still be tax and duty-free, but only if they are included in your original list.

According to the rules laid out by the CBSA, here are the personal effects that are tax and duty-free when they arrive with you in Canada: 

  • antiques
  • appliances
  • books
  • clothing 
  • family heirlooms
  • furnishings
  • furniture
  • hobby tools 
  • jewellery
  • linen
  • mobile trailers that are not more than 2.6 meters wide
  • motor homes
  • musical instruments
  • personal computers
  • personal vehicles
  • pleasure boats and trailers carrying them 
  • private aircraft
  • private collections of art, stamps, and coins
  • silverware
  • tool sheds 
  • utility trailers

It takes less than 1 minute to initiate 6 FREE moving quotations...


Moving to Canada for Work: Legal / Visas

In this part, we’ll be discussing the three types of visas and permits for people who intend to move to Canada. In the latter section, we’ll also include the type of visa that family members of an individual under a temporary work permit should get if they intend to settle in Canada, too. 

Work Permits and Employment Visas

One of the most common ways of entering Canada is through an employment visa. Please know that there are very few jobs in the country that don't require one to secure a work permit. And as for work permits, there are generally two kinds of permits -- employer-specific and open work permits. The former allows the holder to only work for one specific Canada-based employer, while the latter allows you to work for any Canada-based employer.

The good news is applying for a Canadian visa or work permit can be downloaded or filled out online. For those who intend to get a Canadian work visa, it now costs around 117 USD or 155 CAD

Requirements for Canadian Work Visa 

Work permits are issued to permanent workers, business people, and temporary workers. There are various ways to apply for a Canadian work permit, and the requirements for eligibility differ at the point of entry, within Canada, and outside Canada. 

Temporary Workers

Here are the different eligibility requirements applicable to any temporary worker applying for a work permit in Canada:

  • Proof of intention to leave the country after work permit expiry 
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself and your family as you return to your country of origin 
  • Police clearance
  • Proof that you’re not a threat to the country’s security 
  • Proof of good health (issued after the medical exam) 
  • Plan to work under an eligible employer
  • Pertinent documents to enter and work in Canada 

Business People

Canada distinguishes between business visitors and business people. Business people who intend to work in Canada can do so under the free trade agreement. This only means that they fall under any of these three categories -- General Agreement on Trade Services, Other Free Trade Agreements, and USMCA. The last category only applies to citizens of the US and Mexico. 

As far as business people are concerned, there are four different categories -- business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, and traders and investors. Business visitors can stay in the country for a few days or weeks, up to six months, even without a work permit. Professionals, on the other hand, need to have a valid job offer in the country in any of the jobs specified by the USMCA. This group of businesspeople needs to secure a work permit. 

As for intra-company transferees, this includes executives and managers sent to the same company to work. To fall under this category, the said employee must be able to establish that he has been working for the same employer at least one year within the last three years. And for investors and traders, they need to be on an executive or supervisor level involved in large-scale trade planning between their country and Canada. If not, they need to establish that they have to prove that they or their company must have a substantial investment in Canada. They, too, need to get a work permit. 

Permanent Workers

To qualify as a permanent worker, you need to be a skilled worker. Once you pass as a skilled worker, you can enter Canada through the Express Entry system facilitated online.

These are the documents a skilled worker needs to submit under the Express Entry system:

  • Education credential evaluation report
  • Medical exam
  • Police certificate
  • Proof of funds
  • Provincial nomination 
  • Results of the language test
  • Travel document or passport
  • Written job offer drafted by the Canadian employer (if applicable)

Family Visas

Common-law partners, spouses, and dependent children of the permanent worker can accompany them to Canada for as long as they get admitted during screening, and that the worker is capable of meeting the requirements specified for sponsoring his family. 

Money & Taxes

These are the most common requirements for non-residents to open a bank account in Canada: 

  • Immigration papers
  • Passport
  • Secondary ID (like credit card or driver’s license)
  • Social Insurance Number

You have to take note, however, that each bank has a different set of requirements. These are just the basics, so it’s best to directly coordinate with your chosen bank or branch for detailed information. 

In terms of taxes, any employed person residing in Canada is expected to pay taxes. The Canadian government, however, entered into tax treaties with different countries to prevent expats from paying twice for taxes.

This is why we mentioned earlier that you need some proof to show that you have overpaid taxes in your home country.

Aside from claiming tax refunds, this tax document can also act as proof that you’re already paying taxes in your home country. 

Get 6 FREE Moving Quotes for Shipping to CANADA


Canada is generally associated with snow and cold weather. However, in reality, the country’s climate is as varied as its landscape. Canada has four different seasons.

During summer, the country’s daytime temperature can be as high as over 35 degrees Celsius.
During winter, it can be as low as -25 degrees Celsius. During fall and spring, the temperatures become more moderate.  

Summers can be milder on the Canadian coasts, humid in the central parts of Canada, and extra dry and hot on the country’s prairies. Spring is usually pleasant for the entire country. During autumn, you can expect the weather to cool, and crisp accompanied by red leaves and rich orange tree leaves. During winter, you can expect the temperature to be cold, with some periods of snow.

Southern Alberta, by this time, enjoys the dry, warm wind brought by the Rocky Mountains gusting through and melting the snow. In Victoria and Vancouver, you can expect its winter to be wet and mild.


mar - may




Days Per
hours of
per day





june - aug



Days Per
hours of
per day




sep - nov
Days Per
hours of
per day


dec - feb
Days Per
hours of
per day




Housing - Rent/Buy

If you move to Canada and you decide only to rent a house, you can find the cheapest rents in Windsor. In this area, the minimum house rent is only at 750 CAD or 564 USD for a single-bedroom house. If you want a bigger, two-bedroom rental property, you can get it at 990 CAD or 745 USD.

One-bedroom and two-bedroom home rentals in St. John’s, Saskatoon, Regina, Quebec, Edmonton, Abbotsford, Winnipeg, and London are all less than 1,000 USD per month. However, among these areas, London and Winnipeg have the most expensive rental range.

Generally, here are some of the price estimates for rental rates in Canada per month:

One-bedroom apartment: 907 USD to 1354 USD
Three-bedroom apartment: 1,473 USD to 2,257 USD

For those who want to purchase a house, know that the average cost of a Canadian home is already at $504,350. Of course, this price would still vary depending on location, type of house, the number of bedrooms, added amenities, and more.

Apartment Buildings in Downtown Vancouver city 

Healthcare in Canada

As mentioned above, Canada’s healthcare system is considered as one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world. Most basic medical and healthcare services are free, covered by Medicare, Canada’s public healthcare system. Each plan, however, varies per province.

The good thing is that these provinces and territories offer emergency medical services to people who don’t have a government-issued health card. Under the universal healthcare principle, Canada offers free healthcare benefits to all its permanent residents, citizens, and pensioners.

The quality of care received by patients in Canadian hospitals is superior; that’s why the country ranks high among countries offering the best healthcare benefits. As part of the government’s efforts to keep its senior population in good health, they also fund educational programs aimed at teaching the elderly population how to prevent injuries and better care for themselves.

The government also makes it a point to subsidise its people’s education from kindergarten to post-secondary. To ensure that quality education is maintained at all levels, the country’s education commission imposes stringent qualifications for applicants vying for the teaching position. 

The country also spends over 6% of its gross domestic product on education. This rate is way higher compared to other OECD countries’ average spending. No wonder Canadians are known to be one of the most educated people in the world. Whether its primary, secondary, or post-secondary, Canada has the world’s best educational institutions. 

Moving to Canada with Kids

If you’re moving to Canada with your kids, you’ll be glad to know that just like other countries, Canada has private and public schools. They also take their education seriously; that’s why Canadians are regarded as one of the most educated nations in the whole world. The government also makes it a point to subsidise its people’s education from kindergarten to post-secondary.

To ensure that quality education is maintained at all levels, the country’s education commission imposes stringent qualifications for applicants vying for the teaching position.

The country also spends over 6% of its gross domestic product on education. This rate is way higher compared to other OECD countries’ average spending. No wonder Canadians are known to be one of the most educated people in the world. Whether its primary, secondary, or post-secondary, Canada has the world’s best educational institutions.

Final Thoughts

Moving to a different country can be daunting, and if you don’t get on top of things it can become quite stressful. Moving to Canada presents its own set of unique challenges, but if you follow the guidelines we have provided, we feel certain you can experience a smooth relocation to Canada. You can start the ball rolling by completing our simple form, allowing international movers to get started on your quotation, today!

Note: This document is provided as a guide for people moving to Canada and for information purposes only. Customs regulations can and do change at any time, usually without notice. Your mover will provide you with more information.