The process of immigration to the largest Commonwealth country in the world can be complex and daunting. Canada is notorious for its beautiful scenery, stable economy, winter sports and friendly locals, but the concept of emigrating can be anything but simple for most UK, Australian and New Zealand citizens.
We are aiming to eliminate this complexity in the near future by advocating a free movement initiative, but in the mean time, is there a way to relocate, live and work in Canada with the possibility of staying permanently?
If you are below the age of 31, the answer is yes, as Canada has recently updated and revised its International Experience Canada (IEC) admission criteria for the 2015 entry process. Certain rules still remain in force, including possession of a valid passport, the equivalent of $2,500 Canadian dollars upon arrival and the ability to own health insurance for the duration of your stay, but the Canadian government has reformed its immigration stance on IEC applicants in recent years, making them more lenient for Australian, British and New Zealand citizens.
Under the old rules, New Zealand and British citizens could only stay, live and work in Canada for one year, but over the course of 5 years, this has now progressed to applicants being permitted to stay for up to 24 months (similar to the current rules in place for Australian citizens).
If that wasn't enough, Canada has also relaxed its Canadian Experience Class entry requirements from 2 years to 1 year, meaning those who have lived and worked in Canada, in a skilled profession, for one year (instead of two) can apply under the new Express Entry system and apply for permanent residency. Those who still remain employed full time on a permanent basis can also be fast-tracked in the permanent residency process by applying for the Provincial Nominee Program.
It is safe to say that Canada has begun a string of reforms to allow more Brits, New Zealanders and Australians to live and work within its borders, with many going on to apply for permanent residency and make Canada their home.
We hope this is the beginning of a more open border system to the UK, New Zealand and Australia, and that it can pave the way for future immigration agreements, regarding a free movement initiative, between the four countries.
For more information regarding the International Experience Class and how to apply, please click here.