- Visitor info
- Working and living
- Did you know
Canada is the second largest country in the world, after Russia, and enjoys some of the world’s most stunning scenery, a diverse population, low crime and a strong economy.
The main airports are in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
You can get the train from New York to Toronto, Montreal and from Seattle to Vancouver. You will need your passport to cross the border.
Violence or crime very rarely troubles tourists in Canada.
If you are driving make sure not to leave any valuables in sight as it is common for cars to get broken into.
Winters can be severe so wrap up tight and be very careful when driving.
For more tips on staying safe, visit our security section.
Find out if your visa entitles you Medicare or public health services, if not make sure to take out private health insurance. If you plan on taking part in winter sports of any description, be sure to check the small print of your insurance to make sure you are covered.
Visit a GP first if your concerns are not an emergency.
For travel tips on packing, camping, flying and much more, visit our travel tips section.
English and French are both official languages.
If you are planning on living or working in Quebec, you should be able to speak French.
The world recession hasn’t hit Canada as hard as many other countries. Thanks to sound economics and natural resources the economy is quite strong and unemployment is low. However even with a visa you are not guaranteed work as there is a lot of competition for jobs.
Skilled areas such as finance, biotechnology, healthcare, e-commerce and mining are in high demand.
For the first six months of your visit you will not be required to have a visa. However, you will require a return ticket and sufficient funds to support yourself.
if you are looking to emigrate to Canada it is based on a points system. Points are given for such things as education, language, work experience, age and more.
You may also get in if you are an investor or an entrepreneur.
Each province in Canada also gets a say in selecting migrants.
If you wish to study for more than 6 months you must have a student visa where you will need to be accepted to a college or university. You must also prove that you can support yourself whilst in Canada and that you intend to return home.
If you are under 35 you can apply for the Canada Work and Travel Programme where you can work and live in Canada for up to a year. You won’t need to have a job before you arrive. Companies like USIT also do a two year Work in Canada Programme.
Make sure your passport will not run out for the duration of your visa. If, for example you have a two year visa, you must have at least two years left on your passport.
It is recommended that you begin looking for work before you arrive in Canada. Get online or get to a work abroad recruitment exhibition where you can meet employers face to face. Another good idea would be to visit a recruitment agency that also has a branch in Canada.
Visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca to find tips on finding a job. This is run by the Canadian Government.
If you have a profession or a trade make sure you get it recognised in Canada before you leave. This can take time.
Around 20% of work in Canada is regulated and requiring a license. This includes professions such as doctors and lawyers as well as trades people such as electricians.
In Canada you will need to complete basic safety courses if you want to work in construction or the hospitality sector.
Renting a home
most people will end up renting a home when they first come to Canada. You will have to go through a letting agency for this and you will be required to most likely sign a lease for a year. A security deposit and a bond will also have to be repaid which will be refundable when you leave.
Rental and house prices
Open a Canadian bank account before you leave. This is quite easy to do and through online banking you can manage your account and transfer funds etc before you go. If you leave it until you arrive in Canada it can take a while to get it set up as they will be looking for proof of address and utility bills which you will most likely not have. You will then be forced to use your own accounts from home which can be quite expensive.
Major Banks in each province include National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Montreal and ScotiaBank.
If you are a temporary resident or have moved to Canada permanently you will need a Social Insurance Number or an SIN. You can apply at the nearest Service Canada office.
Canada has reasonable tax rates that go up to 29% after earnings of $135000.
Canada and the United States share the longest land border in the world at 8,891 Km or 5,525 miles.
It also has the longest coastline in the world at 244,781 Km or 152,100 miles.
There are 6 Time Zones in Canada.
Winnie the Pooh was actually inspired by a Canadian bear cub that was brought to London Zoo in 1915.
Ice Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada.
The name Canada comes from “Kanata” which means village.
Basketball was invented in the United States, by a Canadian.
Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined.
A third of the population speaks French.
The 2010 Winter Games were held in Vancouver.
Canada has the second largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia.