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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 without the need to get an employer in Canada or labour market impact assessment. British citizens aged 18 to 35, inclusive, are among those eligible to obtain a Canadian work permit through the popular IEC working holiday category. If you’re 35 or under and wondering how to move to Canada from the UK, the IEC program is probably a good bet.

Discover what makes the Canadian working holiday visa ideal for UK travellers.

Anyone meeting the eligibility criteria can express an interest in IEC. At random intervals, some are selected to formally apply for a work permit under the program. 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, as well as certain Canadian employers.

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.

Canadian Permanent residence 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 and your family members (spouse or common law partner and children) 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 the Canadian government to find 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 Program. If you don’t have Canadian work experience or work in a trade national occupational classification (NOC) code, you may wish to enter the Federal Skilled Worker Program; 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 your Express Entry profile to the Express Entry pool, where you’ll compete with candidates from all Express Entry programs and be assigned a comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score, 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 鶹ӳý.

Temporary work permit

Permanent residence

More questions on how to move to Canada from the UK? 鶹ӳý 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 , 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.

Newcomer mental health in Canada

Moving to Canada is the dream of many. But sometimes, the reality can be unpleasantly sobering. Thats why in this video, 鶹ӳý looks at the other side of Canadian immigration. From how you, as a newcomer, can look after your mental health, to what to know about prescriptions in Canada. We even talk to a newcomer from the UK to hear about his personal experience of living in Vancouver, Canada.

Check out our video about newcomer mental health in Canada. 

About the author

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Hugo O'Doherty

He/Him
Canadian Immigration & Integration Specialist
Hugo O’Doherty has over a decade of experience and research in Canadian immigration, establishing him as a recognized authority on immigrant integration and adaptation. His personal and professional experiences with immigration have made him an expert on the practical aspects of successfully moving to and settling in Canada.
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