Are you considering moving to Canada from Ireland? If so, you’re in for an exciting adventure! Canada is a beautiful country with plenty of opportunities for immigrants.
However, moving to a new country can be a stressful and lengthy process.
You might be wondering where to start, how to find a job and how much it’ll all cost you. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help make your relocation as smooth as possible.
In this article, we will discuss the process of moving to Canada, the different types of visas available, how to find housing and employment in your new home country and other useful information.
So read on and learn everything you need to know about moving to Canada from Ireland.
What are Canadian Visa Options for Irish Citizens?
Moving to Canada from Ireland is a big decision. There are many things to consider. First of all, you’ll need to find a way to immigrate to Canada. There are a few different immigration programs available for Irish citizens looking to move to Canada. Below is a full breakdown:
Permanent Residency Visa Options
If you’re moving to Canada from Ireland, the Express Entry option is the quickest and most direct way to immigrate.
The Express Entry system is designed for skilled workers who want to live and work in Canada permanently.
To be eligible, you must first create an online profile and meet the minimum requirements for one of the three programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be entered into a pool of candidates. Express Entry candidates are selected based on a comprehensive ranking system. You’ll be ranked by points against others based on your skills, years of work experience, education, language proficiency, age and other factors.
You can check your Express Entry eligibility, here.
The highest-ranking candidates get an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
The official Canadian government website has entry requirements and a step-by-step guide on how to apply for Express Entry Program.
If you already have some family members who live in Canada then a family sponsorship visa might be a good option to consider.
The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and they must be able to prove that they have the financial means to support their relative.
In addition, the sponsored family member must undergo a medical examination and background check.
If everything goes smoothly, the sponsored family member will receive a visa that allows them to live and work in Canada indefinitely.
You can read more details about Family Sponsorship visas on the official Canadian government website.
Business Immigration Program
The Canadian government offers a Business Immigration program to encourage individuals with business experience and entrepreneurial skills to immigrate to Canada and invest in the Canadian economy.
The program is designed to attract experienced business people and entrepreneurs who will start new businesses or buy existing businesses in Canada, and create jobs for Canadians.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must submit a business plan that outlines their proposed business venture in Canada.
The business plan must demonstrate that the applicant has the experience and financial resources to establish a successful business in Canada.
If approved, applicants will be issued a permanent resident visa, which will allow them to live and work in Canada permanently.
You can apply for the Business Immigration program through the Government of Canada’s website.
Provincial Nominee Programs
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are designed to help skilled workers immigrate to Canada and find employment in their chosen province.
Each Canadian province has its own provincial nominee program, and each program has different eligibility requirements.
Some PNPs require applicants to have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, however, there are some exceptions.
Here is the list of PNPs that don’t require a valid job offer to apply:
- Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
- Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
- Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
- Alberta PNP through Express Entry
- Prince Edward Island PNP through Express Entry
- Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP)
If you’re interested in moving to Canada from Ireland, research the PNPs of the provinces you’re interested in and see if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Once you’ve been nominated by a province, you can apply for permanent residence through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Temporary Work Permits
Besides the permanent residency route, you can also apply for a temporary work permit, which allows you to live and work in Canada for a specific period of time.
Temporary work permits are typically valid for one year but can be renewed.
International Experience Canada (IEC)
If you’re considering moving to Canada from Ireland, the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, specifically the working holiday visa is a great option.
IEC allows Irish nationals between the ages of 18 and 35 to live and work in Canada for up to two years.
If you’re also a holder of a British passport, you could reapply for IEC and gain additional 2 years of working visa.
While in Canada, you can take advantage of all that the country has to offer, from its stunning natural scenery to its vibrant cities.
With an open work permit, you’ll be able to travel and support yourself financially while you’re here.
Once you get Canadian working experience and some contacts in your field, your chances to apply for permanent residency will improve significantly.
The IEC program is definitely worth considering and one of the easiest options to move to Canada from Ireland.
Finally, Irish students can apply for a study permit, which allows them to study at a Canadian educational institution for a specified period of time.
To be eligible for a student visa, there are specific requirements such as:
- proof of admission by a designated learning institution
- proof of funds
- medical examination
- police clearance
- valid passport
You can find more information on the requirements and how to apply for a student visa on the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The best way to determine which type of visa is right for you is to consult with a Canadian immigration lawyer or other professional who can assess your individual situation.
Once you have your visa sorted, it’s time to plan your move.
Is Canada More Expensive Than Ireland?
According to this report on Numbeo, Canada is a little cheaper than Ireland for common things like meals out, rent and transport.
However, some things are more expensive in Canada, such as groceries, alcohol and cigarettes.
You can expect your overall cost of living to be about the same in Canada as it is in Ireland and a higher purchasing power. In other words, your money goes further in Canada than in Ireland.
Of course, the cost of living will vary depending on the city you choose to live in. For example, cities like Toronto and Vancouver are more expensive when it comes to housing compared to smaller cities or towns.
Your best bet is to research the cost of living in various Canadian cities before making your decision on where to relocate.
Knowing the cost of living in Canada and average salaries is important so that you can budget accordingly.
Below is a breakdown of average rental costs in major Canadian cities.
Job Hunting Tips for Irish Newcomers in Canada
If you’re moving to Canada from Ireland, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the Canadian job market.
In order to work legally in Canada you’ll need to get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from one of the Service Canada centers.
The Canadian government’s immigration website is a great place to start looking for jobs in Canada. You can find a list of jobs available in Job Bank section.
The website has a section dedicated to helping newcomers find employment in Canada.
It includes job search tools, advice on writing resumes and cover letters, and tips for interviewing.
Another great resource for finding jobs in Canada is LinkedIn. There are many Irish expats already living and working in Canada who can help connect you with job opportunities in your field.
Canadian Job Boards
Indeed is one of the most popular job boards in Canada, and for good reason. It’s an easy-to-use platform that features a wide variety of jobs.
Monster is another popular option. The site is easy to navigate and also features helpful resources like resume tips and advice on acing interviews.
Once you’re in Canada, don’t forget to network! Attend events, meetups, and conferences related to your industry or profession. This is a great way to make connections that could lead to a job offer.
FB Groups for Irish People in Canada
Speaking of networking, there are also a few FB groups for Irish in Canada that you can join.
Jobs in High Demand in Canada
There are many industries and professions that are in high demand in Canada.
Some of the most in-demand occupations include engineers, teachers, healthcare workers, IT professionals, and skilled tradespeople such as electricians and plumbers.
If you have experience or training in any of these fields, you should have no problem finding employment in Canada.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, if you’re moving to a smaller town or city, it may be more difficult to find work in your field. In this case, it’s often best to be open to considering other job options or relocation.
Overall, you can expect to earn a good wage working in Canada.
How to Find a Place to Live in Canada?
There are a few different options for finding a place to live in Canada.
You can search for apartments or houses online or through rental agencies.
Kijiji is a Canadian buy-and-sell website that also includes a rental section.
Other great resources are RentFaster, FB Marketplace – Property Rentals and FB Rental Groups.
Many cities have FB groups dedicated to rentals. Just type in the FB search tool the city where you’re planning to move + rent and see if anything comes up.
Personally, we prefer seeing the place before we commit to any lease so when we first arrived to Canada, we booked an affordable Airbnb place. This bought us some time to get organized and find something more permanent.
Arranging some short-term accommodation ahead of time will spare you headaches when you arrive in Canada.
Renting vs Buying a Home
In order to decide if renting or buying a house is a better option, you can use 150 rule.
The mortgage interest is only one component of how much it’ll cost you per month to own a home. When calculating total costs, remember to take into account also additional expenses such as maintenance, taxes and house insurance.
To figure out exactly how much it’ll cost you per month after considering these extra costs, you can multiply your monthly mortgage payment by 150%. This will give you a more realistic figure.
If that figure you’ll get is lower than your current monthly rent then you’ll be better off buying the house. If it’s higher then you’ll be better off renting.
Let’s say if your monthly mortgage payment is 1000$, 150% of that sum would be 1500$.
There are pros and cons to both renting and buying a home in Canada.
Renting is often more affordable, especially if you’re not planning on staying in one place for very long.
It’s also easier to find rental property than it is to buy a house or condo.
However, if you’re planning on staying in Canada for a long time, investing in a property may be a better option.
The decision of whether to rent or buy depends on your individual circumstances.
Be sure to weigh all your options and make your calculations.
What is the Best Way to Move Your Belongings from Ireland to Canada?
I recommend selling all your furniture before you move out to Canada. If you buy it secondhand it’s fairly inexpensive and you’ll spare yourself a lot of extra headaches.
However, if you prefer to hold onto your belongings, you can ship them. The cost of moving your stuff from Ireland to Canada will depend on the volume of items you have, how you ship them and which moving company you use.
For illustration, Irish moving company Getamover estimates the cost of a shipping container to Canada up to 3500 euros for 2 bedroom apartment. In the case of Airfreight, the cost would be even higher, up to 9000 euros.
If you are only moving a few boxes of personal belongings, shipping them via courier service may be more cost-effective.
As a new Canadian immigrant, you can import your belongings without free of duty for used items, with the exception of new appliances and furniture.
Make sure to research any restrictions on what can be shipped into Canada ahead of time, to avoid any surprises at the border.
Shipping your heavy furniture across the ocean is a lot of hustle and a high expense. Therefore, moving to Canada can be a great opportunity to downsize and declutter.
In Canada, you can find a lot of affordable second-hand furniture so if possible, consider traveling light.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to get multiple quotes before making a decision. You can start with these Irish international moving companies:
How to Set up Your Finances in Canada?
One of the most important things to do when moving to Canada from Ireland is to set up your finances.
This includes opening a bank account, getting a credit card, and transferring any money you will need for your move and starting a new life in Canada
Most of the major Canadian banks such as CIBC, RBC, TD and Bank of Montreal offer banking promotions and other benefits for newcomers. Newcomer packages usually include zero monthly fees for the first year of your banking in Canada.
After your promotion expires, you can also opt for zero-fee online banks such as Tangerine or Koho.
In order to open a bank account in Canada, you’ll need your PR card or work permit and ID.
In order to start building your credit history, it’s best you get a credit card when you open your bank account as part of your newcomers’ package.
Transferring Money from Euros to CAD
If you’re moving a large sum of money, you’ll want to get the best exchange rate possible.
When it comes to transferring money from euros to CAD, there are a few different options available.
One option is to use an Irish bank. However, banks typically charge high transfer fees and offer poor exchange rates.
That’s why It’s better to opt for an online currency exchange service such as Wise or Revolut. These services typically have lower transfer fees and offer much better exchange rates.
A wise multicurrency account comes with a debit card and an app that is very user-friendly.
A wise debit card comes in handy for travels or online shopping as you can hold multiple currencies on it.
Compare different transfer fees and exchange rates.
How Does the Canadian Health Care Work?
All Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for free health care through the public health care system in Canada. This means that you do not have to pay for things like hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, or prescriptions.
However, there are some services that are not covered by the public health care system, such as dental care or optometry. These services are typically covered by private insurance plans.
If you are moving to Canada from Ireland, it is important to note that you won’t be automatically enrolled in the public health care system. You’ll need to apply for coverage after you arrive in Canada in one of the designated registries.
Getting a Car in Canada and Converting Driver’s License
If you’re moving to Canada from Ireland, you may use your Irish driver’s license for up to 3 months after you arrive. After that, you must get a Canadian driver’s license.
Alternatively, you can apply for an international driver’s permit in Ireland before Ireland which is valid for 1 year.
This will give you a lot more time to convert your license.
The good news is that as an Irish citizen you can convert your license directly without taking a knowledge and road test.
In order to convert your license into a Canadian one, you’ll need to hand in your Irish license and bring with you your proof of address and a valid work permit or PR card.
Buying a car
If you’re on a budget, buying a used car is usually a more affordable option.
However, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re getting a reliable vehicle and not some lemon.
There are many reputable dealerships across Canada that sell both new and used cars.
You can also look online for private sellers on Kijiji or FB marketplace.
Renting a Vehicle in Canada
If you need to rent a car, I recommend Turo. It’s something like an Airbnb of cars. This online platform connects private car owners with people who are interested to rent vehicles.
You might be able to find there better deals than from regular car rental companies.
Now that you know the basics of moving to Canada from Ireland, it’s time to start planning your trip!
Remember, the key to a successful relocation is being prepared.
Do your research, make a list of things to do and take it one step at a time. Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to reach out.
Where do most Irish live in Canada?
Most Irish in Canada live in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. You’ll find most people with Irish ancestry, especially on Prince Edward Island (27.6%).
What part of Canada is most like Ireland?
Although PEI has the most Irish ancestry, according to the Irish historian, Tim Pat Coogan, Newfoundland is “the most Irish place in the world outside of Ireland.” You’ll find similarities in landscape and people’s mentality.