Deciding on where to immigrate in Canada

Canada is a vast country, and deciding where you want to immigrate to is a huge challenge. Whether you come as part of the skilled worker program or a provincial nominee program, you will need to decide where to go. Although, as a provincial nominee your decision is easier since you need to choose within a single province.

Most new immigrants think of moving only to 3 main cities – Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. But limiting your choice to just the major cities may not be the best option for you. Big cities obviously have large populations and therefore the competition for jobs and cost of living is high. And a big city may not be the best place for you to go to pursue your career, as most companies in your field may be located elsewhere. For e.g. if you are an engineer in the oil and natural gas sector, you’d rather be in Alberta than Toronto.

The 2 most important criteria you should base your decision on are,

  1. Look at places where your occupation has the best potential. You can research the potential of your industry in various provinces and location on www.workingincanada.gc.ca
  2. Provincial programs may play an important role in your decision factor. Each province in Canada has its own policies and incentives to attract newcomers. Provinces that newcomers don’t go naturally to have better incentives and facilities to help newcomers because they want to attract them. Some of the more aggressive provinces right now are Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland & Labrador. Look at the programs they offer and consider them in your shortlist

“I don’t want to be in a place that is too cold!” – A lot of newcomers put too much importance on the climate of a location they are immigrating to. In general, Canada is a cold country. Some places in Canada are warmer than others. And as a general rule of thumb, the further North you go the cooler it is going to be. But if you are expecting moderate temperatures all  through the year, forget it! Even Vancouver has it share of snow and cold weather. And Vancouver is supposed to have the most moderate weather in the country. And look at it this way, would you rather not be in a location that is cold with a great job, than working at a survival job in a place that has good weather. So don’t let the weather in a location stop you from moving there, once you get a good job you will be able to afford the luxuries to keep you comfortable.

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