Note, March 2020: People considering moving to Canada from Australia should be aware of special measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please create or update your Moving2Canada profile with your latest travel plans so that you can receive assistance on matters such as insurance before you travel to Canada – you can create or update your profile here.
Many people Down Under — including emigrants from Ireland, the UK and elsewhere, as well as Australians — are researching ways of moving to Canada from Australia. Here are a few reasons why we think it’s a good idea.
Australia, like Canada, is a resource rich-country, but Australia has struggled economically in recent years due to its reliance on natural resources and its close trading ties with Asia.
The economy in Western Australia has tightened. Many mega oil and gas projects have finished their construction phases, and thousands of jobs are continuing to be lost as a result.
Here’s why moving to Canada from Australia could be the right move for you.
While Alberta (Calgary, Edmonton) and Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Regina) feel the impact of low global commodity prices, it’s business as usual in the bustling provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, where Vancouver and Toronto are the most popular destinations. Quebec is also surging, with huge job gains recently in the Montreal area.
Increased funding in infrastructure projects will see strong employment prospects across the country over coming years.
Australians are highly regarded in Canada as hard workers, as are other workers from Ireland, the UK and elsewhere who have made the move to Australia, and would now consider another move to Canada.
Oil & gas opportunities
Although global energy price declines have slowed down Canada’s oil and gas projects, there are lots of ongoing opportunities in the sector.
Canada expects to move forward with 2-3 LNG export facilities and associated pipelines in the next 2-3 years which will mean a huge demand for construction workers.
The decline of oil in Alberta is expected to turn in 2017 as global oil prices stabilize again.
Australians working in Canada
You’ll find Australian workers in offices, resorts, and other workplaces across Canada. However, there are some trends worth noting when it comes to Australians working in Canada. First, a well-travelled route for Australians is to land in Vancouver and head straight up the road to the nearby ski resort town of Whistler, where you’re just as likely to hear Australians accents on the streets and slopes as any other accent.
Moving2Canada has a new and updated Whistler destination guide, packed with key information on finding accommodation, getting work, local transport, the perks of mountain life, and making sure you can stay beyond your initial work permit validity period.
But Whistler is not all there is to Canada. The seasonal nature of work opportunities in ski resorts means that many Australians who fall in love with Canada and want to stay long-term gravitate towards the big cities, where more secure employment opportunities abound. See our destination guides for helpful information on all the major locations.
Canadian immigration options for Australians
Australians are among the most fortunate potential applicants for immigration to Canada. When it comes to temporary work permits, Australians are the only national group to receive an unlimited quota of working holiday slots under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Moreover, these two-year open work permits for Australians are now available for those aged up to 35.
Many Australians who pitch up to Canada on a working holiday want to stay, in which case they are likely to be in a good position. Not only is skilled Canadian work experience a valuable factor when transitioning to permanent residence (see this page for a breakdown of what is considered skilled employment in the context of resort work), but Australians also score highly for English language ability (naturally), as well as education level. All of these factors are assessed under Canada’s Express Entry immigration system, as well as a range of Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams.
Canada may be more like Australia than you think
In addition to both currencies showcasing royalty, and both of these nations containing vast open wilderness with pockets of urban living, Canada may be more like Australia in other ways. So if you’re moving to Canada from Australia, the culture shock may be less extreme than you imagine.
Consider the major cities.
Sydney v Toronto
Sydney (pop: 5.2m) is Australia’s most populated city and is situated in the most populated state/territory, but it is not the nation’s capital. However, it is the financial and commercial hub of Australia, with many of the largest companies headquartered there. Sydney is vibrant and buzzing, continually attracting people from around the world.
For any of the above points about Sydney, we could have been talking about Toronto (GTA pop: 6.4m), where around half the population was born abroad. Both are amazing, exciting cities with plenty to offer residents and newcomers.
Melbourne v Montreal
If you want a major international comedy festival and a packed festival calendar generally, head to Melbourne (pop: 5m). Or, head to Montreal (GMA pop: 4.1m), where you’ll find more of the same but with a francophone twist. It’s basically impossible to get bored in either of these cities, even in winter.
And please, try the food.
Adelaide v Calgary
With a strong independent mindset and cosmopolitan lifestyle, Calgary and Adelaide (both around 1.3m) share plenty in common. Densely-packed skyscrapers soon give way to beautiful countryside, the perfect setting for weekend trips in both locations.