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Moving to Canada? 5 Things to Ponder

By James McCarthy

It's become a common refrain: "I'm moving to Canada!" Moving to the Great White North is an exciting life change for hundreds of thousands of people per year. But it's not all maple syrup and Canada Geese - there are a number of issues to consider before making the decision. In this blog, we take a look at five questions surrounding some myths about moving to Canada.

1) Is Everyone Admissible to Canada? Before planning a move to Canada, it's important to consider whether you are able to enter the country. In addition to ensuring you have the correct documentation to enter Canada for our intended purpose, one factor many people overlook is Canada's rules on inadmissibility. Reasons for being inadmissible range from human rights abuses, national security, and organized crime, to criminality and serious criminality, as well as medical inadmissibility. Because rules on criminal inadmissibility are based on what the penalties would be in Canada for the same offence, this sometimes means people are ineligible for entry to Canada based on offences that are considered minor in the place where they were convicted - for example, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

2) Does It Matter Where In Canada I Live? Although immigration falls under the federal government, there are certain immigration differences based on the province one moves to. The largest difference is in moving to Québec, where additional steps and procedures are required. However, each province also operates its own program, called the "Provincial Nominee Program" (or PNP for short), which provide additional immigration pathways based on priorities each province identifies.

3) Do I Automatically Get Free Health Care Once I Cross The Border? Canada is famed for its healthcare system, but many people outside the country only have a general idea how it works. Canadian healthcare is not, technically, free. It is "single payer" which means that doctors and hospitals still bill, but those bills are sent generally sent to the provincial government. Each province and territory has its own health insurance system; additional systems exist for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit individuals, as well as employees in the military or RCMP. If you move to Canada, you will need to be eligible under your province or territory's health insurance program; otherwise, you may need private insurance. It is also important to note that health needs can be a reason for inadmissibility to Canada.

4) Are My Credentials Recognized In Canada? Many people come to Canada with existing credentials or professional licenses or certifications. However, Canadian regulatory authorities do not always recognize these foreign qualifications, or may require additional steps before allowing you to work in Canada.

5) I'm married to a Canadian - does that make me a citizen? Many people believe they can automatically become a citizen if they marry a Canadian. This is not true. Canadian citizens can sponsor their spouse, common law partner, or conjugal partner to become a permanent resident - however, there are a number of steps to this procedure. Applicants will generally need to provide extensive proof of their relationship and their means of support in Canada, and will typically need to intend to live together in Canada once their application has been processed.

Looking for more information on making the move to Canada? We provide a range of immigration law services to help you identify your best way forward.

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