Since the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, there’s been a surge of interest among people wondering how to move to Canada from the UK.

No matter which industry you work in, if you’re wondering how to move to Canada from the UK, or transition to permanent residence after obtaining a temporary work permit, here’s how you can do it.

International Experience Canada (IEC)

Each year, tens of thousands of people from over 30 countries use the IEC program to get a temporary work permit in Canada. British citizens aged 18 to 30, inclusive, are among those eligible to obtain a Canadian work permit through the popular IEC working holiday category. If you’re 30 or under and wondering how to move to Canada from the UK, the IEC program is probably your best bet.

Anyone meeting the eligibility criteria can express an interest in receiving a work permit. At random intervals, some are selected to formally apply. From there, the clock is ticking – you have 10 days to start your application, then 20 days to submit it pay the relevant fees.

The IEC program is popular because its application process is far simpler than many other options, and it allows people from the UK to ‘sample’ Canada on a two-year permit without a significant commitment.

IEC hopefuls should be cautious, as demand for the program often exceeds supply. In recent years, thousands of people from the UK have been left disappointed at the end of the season when the supply of work permits was not sufficient to meet the demand of people looking to move to Canada from the UK. There are a few other temporary Canadian work permit options for UK citizens, such as the intra-company transfer program if you can convince your current employer to move you to its Canadian office, or the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement, or the Global Talent Stream, which is a fast-track work permit option for people in certain occupations, many of them tech.

If none of these temporary work permit options are a fit for you, it’s also worth considering permanent residence options if you wish to move to Canada from the UK.

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Moving2Canada GO: Your personalized guide to IEC!

Our free interactive tool will help you plan for every step of the IEC journey.

Permanent residence in Canada for UK citizens

Canada welcomes thousand of UK citizens as new permanent residents each year. The eligibility requirements for this are a good deal stricter than the IEC process outlined above. However, it’s a longer-term solution and may be suitable for you if you wish to move to Canada from the UK.

And if you’re already in Canada on a temporary work permit, your chances of obtaining permanent residence are even better! This is because Canadian work experience is valued under the economic immigration programs described below.

The Express Entry system has become the main source for permanent residents looking to enter via federal economic programs (i.e. not through family or refugee programs). Express Entry programs include the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, or the Federal Skilled Trades Class. If you don’t have Canadian work experience or work in a trade, the Federal Skilled Worker Program is what you should be looking at; FSW candidates are assigned points for their age, work experience, language ability in English and / or French, level of education, and a few other factors. Once you gather at least 67 points (out of a possible 100) you can enter the Express Entry pool, where you’ll compete with candidates from all Express Entry programs and be assigned another set of points, this time out of 1,200.

Canadian provinces have some sway over immigration policy, and they can nominate candidates from the Express Entry pool. Nominated candidates have a much better — practically guaranteed — chance of being invited to immigrate to Canada quickly. A portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are streamlined through Express Entry, but candidates must be eligible under one of the three federal programs (see above: FSW, CEC, FST) in order to enter the pool in the first place.

In a nutshell, your level of education, age, work experience, and language ability are all assessed. You’re then given a score out of 1,200. If you have a provincial nomination through one of the Express Entry-aligned PNP streams, then you get 600 points right away and are bumped to the head of the queue for invitation to immigrate to Canada.

Without a provincial nomination, the maximum you can receive is 600 of the 1,200 points. Our Express Entry Draw article has the latest figures on the number of points you probably need in order to be invited to apply for permanent residence.

Other options for moving to Canada from the UK

If IEC or Express Entry are not for you, explore your full range of options right here on Moving2Canada.

Temporary work permit

Permanent residence

More questions on how to move to Canada from the UK? Moving2Canada actively targets people wanting to move to Canada from the UK, and we’ve created a free, downloadable magazine which can help you.

Simply fill out your details on this page, and you’ll receive your Getting Started Guide.

And if you’re looking for jobs in construction and engineering, don’t forget to check out our Outpost Recruitment agency, which helps connect local and international talent with great companies across Canada.

Outpost also features a blog post on the exodus of construction workers looking to move to Canada from the UK.

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Many newcomers are not eligible for Canadian healthcare coverage when they first arrive.

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