Where to find help for moving to Canada
The best forums, blogs, and settlement resources.
While Canada has one of the most user-friendly visa and immigration programs, it’s common for us to come across instructions or requirements that just don’t make sense given our particular circumstances.
Thankfully, there are plenty of places where you can find help and get answers to your immigration questions.
The IRCC website to verify advice. This is the authority for all visa and immigration information.
Numbeo provides cost of living information.
The Conference Board of Canada’s Immigration Centre provides economic analysis and forcasting.
Moving to Canada requires a ton of research. Once you make it through successfully all of that knowledge is useless…unless you help other people with the process.
Remember that any advice you get should be verified by the IRCC. Requirements change periodically and people misunderstand things. Don’t make a mistake and have your application denied because of it.
Most of these groups are for a specific visa/immigration pathway. You’ll have the best luck getting helpful answers if you join the appropriate group and ask clear questions.
Remember to check the pinned post for helpful information. You can also search within a group, since usually someone has already asked the same question.
International Experience Canada (IEC) / Working Holiday Visa
Yes, all of these groups really do have the same name.
Your passport isn’t enough to allow you to move to Canada.
If you’re looking to immigrate to Canada, there are a number of pathways to permanent residency and citizenship.
Other Forums and Groups
There’s more to life than Facebook. Here are some other places we found helpful answers from other would-be Canadian immigrants, as well as people who’d already made it through the process.
Part of a site run by an immigration law firm, the Canada Visa forum provides advice mostly from other immigrants. This is by far the most active forum for Canadian immigration, covering all temporary residency, permanent residency, and citizenship programs.
What you need to know before you apply for a visa
Make sure moving to Canada is the right choice for you before you apply for a visa, quit your job, and pack your bags.
We’re not the only ones who’ve moved to Canada and then shared what we learned with other would-be immigrants. Here are a few other websites written by people who’ve moved to Canada.
Moving2Canada is a website with a lot of immigration and visa information, run by Outpost Recruitment. They’re a recruitment agency focusing on construction and engineering. Most of the articles have been written by people from abroad who are now living in Canada who are sharing their own personal experiences or writing guides based on first hand knowledge of the topic. If you’re looking for an immigration consultant, here’s who they recommend.
Learn how you can move to Canada from someone who’s lived in 30 countries. His move to Canada pre-dates the changes to the immigration programs in 2015, 2016, and 2017, but he has great posts on dealing with taxes and other trials and tribulations of living abroad temporarily.
This blog provides a personal account of the journey from deciding to move to Canada through getting settled in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The author is a CPA who was able to find a job very quickly after landing, so if you’re in a licensed profession you’ll find his experience helpful. If you’re coming from the Philipines or moving to New Brunswick, you’ll appreciate his insights.
This personal blog tells the story of moving from the Philippines to British Columbia. He got PR through the BC Provincial Nominee Class. This process begins with a paper application, which is later linked to an online account. If you’re doing BC PNP this is a very helpful read.
The personal blog of someone moving from the Philippines to Calgary.
While mainly a travel blog, this British-Canadian couple has done working holidays in Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. They provide step-by-step guides for the IEC process and lots of information on what to see and do.
This is the story of a British journalist who moved to Toronto in 2012. She covers immigration stories as a journalist. While the information is still helpful in terms of knowing what to expect and discovering the best of the GTA, all of the immigration programs have changed significantly since her arrival.
This blog is written by an American who moved to Canada as a skilled worker in 2011, through the paper application. He’s currently working on applying for Canadian citizenship.
This is an online course created by Sara Doole. As you’ve probably guessed, she’s an Australian who moved to Canada through Express Entry.
Serious about moving?
Get the full story in our book. Find out everything you need to know about moving to Canada without an immigration attorney, from applying for residency, to getting across the border, and getting settled in your new life.
Other blogs about expats in Canada
Sometimes you don’t need detailed immigration information, you’re just wondering what day to day life in Canada is really like.
Exactly how Canada’s skilled worker program works, including how much it cost us and the timeline for our application.
A comprehensive list of the documents you’ll need for Express Entry, with or without a spouse.
The Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) program provides online courses to help immigrants prepare for the Canadian workforce environment. These courses are available only between when you’ve been approved to immigrate and before you’ve landed.
Next Stop Canada is a program run by the YMCA that provides free pre-arrival services to young adults (12-19) and adults (16+).
If you prefer video over print, New Canadians is a web tv show.
Prepare for Canada is an online magazine for skilled professionals preparing to immigrate to Canada.
The Immigration Access Fund provides loans to immigrants who need to get licensed or upgrade their training to succeed in Canada.
Province Specific Resources
Settlement.org for Ontario housing and employment information.
New Youth helps young people in Ontario get settled, from daily life to legal questions.
CultureLink provides language help, school assistance, job placement, mentorship, and free outdoor activities in Toronto.
Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration connects newcomers to bridge training, language classes, and settlement services.
The Latino Canadian Community supports Latino immigrants in London, ON.
WIL is a nonprofit employment center for newcomers to London, ON.
The Cross Cultural Learner Centre provides settlement services in London, ON.
The Toronto Newcomer Office connects newcomers to services in Toronto.
Skills for Change provides career training to newcomers in Toronto.
StartUp Here Toronto helps startups move to the GTA.
Polycultural provides immigrant services in Toronto, including career services, language programs, wellness programs, and senior services.
Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto was founded by a group of Latin American refugees. They now help immigrant women with employment services, skills development, and language training.
Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization provices settlement, employment, and language help for adults and children.
Immigrant Women Services Ottawa provides culturally appropriate services supporting immigrant women and their children.
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre provides help with settlement, language, employment, and family services.
New to BC is a clearinghouse of all the services available to newcomers in BC.
ISS of BC connects newcomers with ESL classes, settlement and career help.
Mosaic supports newcomers with translation services, intercultural training, language training, and income tax clinics.
The Skilled Immigrant Infocentre is a program run by the Vancouver Public Library that helps newcomers learn how to find a job, choose a new career, or start a business.
Centre for Newcomers supports immigrants in Calgary.
Immigrant Services Calgary provides language classes, translation, career support, and other settlement services.
Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association provides settlement services specifically for women and children.
The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth provides in-school support, afterschool programs, and mentorship for children and young adults.
Quebec has specific immigration requirements.
Immigration Attorneys & Consultants
You can access expert advice without having to pay an immigration attorney or consultant. How? Their websites!
Remember that if you choose to hire an immigration consultant or attorney to help you with the process, you should always make sure they’re authorized.
All consultants are authorized by the ICCRC, which can also help you find an authorized consultant.
It is illegal for someone to work as an immigration consultant who isn’t authorized by the ICCRC, a Canadian law society, or the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Canada Visa is run by Campbell Cohen, a Canadian Immigration law firm. The website is mostly run by one of the partners, David Cohen. If you aren’t sure if you qualify for an immigration stream, you may find their free assessment helpful.
Their website has easy-to-understand overviews of each immigration program. While they’ll help you find the best way to bring yourself and your family to Canada, they’re not giving away step-by-step instructions. This website is a great place to start. They also have a newsletter and social media accounts that will keep you up to date with the latest immigration news, PNP, and EE draws.
Immigration Attorney’s blogs
You’ll find that many professional immigration blogs give you the impression that it’s virtually impossible to get a visa or PR status in Canada without professional help. That’s not the case.
Every year many applicants successfully apply on their own. The electronic application is a lot like applying for a job online. If you’re capable of following instructions, using a computer, and getting the required documents, you’ll be fine.
However, some circumstances will require the help of a professional. This is especially true if you have a criminal record or if one of your immediate family members may be inadmissible to Canada.
We moved to Canada without an immigration attorney or consultant and you can, too.
Now that we’ve successfully immigrated to Canada from the US using the Express Entry program, we’ve writing the guides we wish we’d had.
If you want the step by step process on how to immigrate to Canada, here it is. I found the book easy to read, inspiring, and very informative.
Useful for getting a general overview of the process all in one place, rather than searching around the internet.
This book is clearly exhaustively-researched. Each section gives detailed information on how to begin the process of moving to Canada, with super informative with real-world examples and step-by-step instructions. I found the section on health care and taxes especially informative!
We are an American couple planning our immigration to Canada through the Express Entry program. This book has been very helpful to aid us in planning and organizing all the steps and timelines for the immigration process. It also has lots of other great information about the actual moving, landing, and transitioning process. If you are a professional looking to navigate through the Canadian immigration program this book is well worth the read. We actually are using it as a reference as well, keeping pages bookmarked and using the spreadsheets and timelines, costs, etc as a model for our own documents.
A lot of the other books about moving to Canada talk about what it’s like to live in Canada, whereas this book talks about how to actually get there. A must have for anybody thinking about immigrating.
Moving to Canada
You get your visa to move to Canada.
What comes next?
- Declaring yourself a landed immigrant
- Getting pets across the border
- Moving your things through customs without owing duties
- Getting new IDs, enrolling in health insurance, and getting your SIN
Canada is just like home.
Except for when it’s not. We share what we’ve learned to save you some trouble.
- Healthcare in Canada
- Finding a job in Canada
- Canadian salaries
- Cross-border banking
- Understanding currency conversion
- Planning for retirement as an expat
Living in Canada
Living in Toronto
Welcome to Toronto
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, it’s financial capital, and a place where over 50% of residents were born abroad.
- Toronto neighborhood guide for new residents from a New York perspective
- How to rent an apartment in Toronto without a credit history and without getting scammed
- Buying a condo in Toronto as a newcomer without standard documentation
- Setting up your first home in Canada Hydro, metered internet, and how to furnish your apartment.
- How to survive your first Canadian winter It’s really not that bad.
There’s more to being Canadian than watching hockey and saying ‘eh.’
Canada isn’t just a colder US, it’s got a culture and history of it’s own. They’re just too modest to brag about it.
- Becoming a Canadian citizen How long it takes, whether or not you have to give up your US citizenship, and other things you should know before making a decision.
- Kingdom of Canada How exactly did Canada wind up with a queen and what is a dominion?
- Canadian Federal Government A 101 guide to Canadian politics
Get the latest information on building your life in Canada
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