Since the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, there’s been a surge of interest among people wondering how to move to Canada from the UK.
In the 24 hours after the result, Moving2Canada had a spike in traffic, and almost half of our visits came from the UK alone. More than three years later, UK residents are still flocking to this page to learn how to move to Canada following the UK’s official exit from the EU on January 31, 2020.
So 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 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. In 2018, 5,000 people aged between 18 and 30 will moved to Canada from the UK by obtaining an IEC working holiday visa in Canada.
Anyone meeting the eligibility criteria can express an interest in receiving a work permit. At random intervals, some are selected to formally apply, and have two weeks to submit the paperwork.
The application process for the 2019 IEC season is now open. 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 financial or time commitment.
It is however expected that demand in 2019 will once again far exceed supply. In 2018, thousands of people from the UK were left disappointed by the end of the season as the supply of work permits was not sufficient to meet the demand of people looking to move to Canada from the UK.
Therefore, it’s worth considering permanent residency options if you wish to move to Canada from the UK.
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. 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). These programs are the Federal Skilled Worker Class; the Canadian Experience Class; or the Federal Skilled Trades Class. 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 in order to enter the pool.
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.
Without a provincial nomination, the maximum you can receive is 600 of the 1,200 points. Currently, you’ll be selected to apply if you have around 440-450 points or more, so it’s still possible if you have the right mix of experience. Our Express Entry Draw article has the latest figures.
Read our Express Entry Canada guide for full details.