With the introduction of a faster and more efficient visa processing system for students in India. the number of students pursuing higher studies in Canada is constantly on the rise. The new visa program cuts down the processing time of study permits from 60 days to 45 days making it really helpful for students. All thanks to friendly visa policies and initiatives by the Canadian Government, the number of Indian students studying in Canada has exceeded over 100,000 in the year 2017. Going to Canada for studies is always a promising prospect. It is a popular choice for most of the students owing to high-quality education, affordable cost of living, advanced healthcare facilities, mesmerizing landscape, and progressive politics. Let us have a look at some of the important pros and cons of Living in Canada.
SIDE NOTE: Click here for the top reasons to pursue your Master’s in Canada, including high-quality education, amazing job prospects, and visa-friendly policies for international students.
Welcoming immigrants across the world!
If you are looking for diverse demography, Canada is the right place for you. People are immigrating from almost every corner of the world. You can find people from Asia, Eastern Europe, and other parts of the world. The largest source of immigrants is usually from Asia. The major ethnic groups of Canada include Canadians, English, Scottish, French and Irish people.
A massive demographic change is expected to take place which can alter the country’s economic, political and education systems and exacerbate the divide between rural and urban communities. It is said that aboriginal people living in Canada are close to 1,2 million.
Pros: The country’s growth is largely fueled by immigrants. Canada is regarded as the largest importer of human capital and attracts more immigrants than the USA. The natural population growth accounts for only around one-tenth of Canada’s overall population increase each year.
A blend of different cultures
The culture of Canada is a perfect blend of social, artistic, humorous, musical, political, literary and culinary elements that talk a lot about Canadians. Throughout the history of Canada, the culture is influenced by European culture and traditions.
Canada has always been a welcoming home to immigrants from around the globe. People immigrating to Canada can expect to find multicultural communities accustomed to interacting and integrating with those from abroad; a point that can make a big difference in initially becoming comfortable in your new environment.
Canada comprises of a variety of cultures. The amalgamation of different cultures has been owing to immigration over a few centuries, and as a result, there are communities of varying cultures and religions. The Canadians are regarded as a very welcoming nation of people and are very community-orientated. This is a strong part of the culture in the country and helps to maintain the good quality of life that they enjoy.
Canada is regarded as a very tolerant country. People who are openly racist, sexist or homophobic will find that their views are not welcome. This will be quickly noted if you have these views and the majority of the Canadians will simply avoid you.
Pros: Canada is usually characterized as a very progressive, diverse and a multicultural country. So, it’s an ideal place to stay, and it draws a broad range of constituents.
PRO TIP: In Canada, universities for higher education have to abide by the rules and regulations of the province they fall under. Factors like a university’s structure, governance, funding, and goals will be determined by the province, so do your research on the province’s rules and regulations.
High-quality education offered by world-class universities
Canada has the highest number of the world’s post-secondary graduates. The country believes in valuing education and ensures that all the young citizens get the best education from this country. The Canadian government spends more money on education than any other country in the world.
Depending on the university, undergraduate degrees in Canada usually take either three or four years to complete. Whereas the duration for postgraduate degrees usually lasts between one and three years to complete, usually depending on the type of degree. Different types of higher education institutions in Canada include: universities (which offers research facilities and provide both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees), technical and community colleges, applied arts or applied science schools (which grant certificates, diplomas, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees).
Tuition fees in Canada
PRO TIP: The tuition fees in Canada is usually less expensive when compared to other major destinations like the US, UK, and Australia). The average tuition fees in Canada for the international undergraduate students start at about CA$17,337 (which is about US$13,350) per year. Universities in Canada generally set their fees.
The cost of the study also depends on the type of the program you are pursuing and the subject. The tuition fees in Canada for arts and humanities students are generally at the lower end of the scale, while the subjects such as engineering and medicine students are usually more expensive.
Pros: Canada is considered to be a famous country when it comes to the world’s leading study destinations. For students looking forward to studying in elite universities in one of the world’s most developed nations, studying in Canada is an attractive option.
Reliable healthcare services
All citizens and other permanent residents in Canada are eligible for public health insurance, that covers most of the medical issues. Canada’s “universal” health-care system is regarded as a little less universal when it is a matter of immigrants. All Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for public health insurance, which comprises most of the medical issues. However, newcomers to Canada, may not have the same access to the same healthcare services.
RECOMMENDATION: Do get Travel Medical Insurance for your visit to Canada. The healthcare can be very expensive without proper health insurance coverage so you aren’t left in a lurch.
The Canadian national universal health coverage is only for Canada citizens and lawful residents.
However, newcomers in Canada, however, may not have the same access to services.
Cons: Although there is an effective healthcare system at a low cost, there are long wait times for some elective procedures especially in large cities.
Steady growth in the hospitality sector
Canada’s hospitality industry has always been steady owing to the variety of business it encompasses. There has been not so much serious growth as well as much of noticeable decline.
The incredible geographical variety of Canada is regarded as a significant tourist attraction. The country’s tourism is centered across locations like Toronto, Vancouver Island, Montreal, Niagara Falls, the Canadian Rockies along with the national capital region Ottawa. The large cities in Canada are considered to be known for their culture, diversity, national parks, and historic sites.
Pros: It is said that the hospitality industry employs 600,000 people across Canada bringing in over 78 million revenue.
Environment protection is a major concern
From listening to the roar of water cascades falling free from hundreds of meters per second into crystal clear waters to conquering the vast stretches of gorgeous mountain terrain, Canada is home to some of the best mesmerizing landscapes It is home to some of the stunning landscapes which comprise of historic sites, national parks, and lush mountains.
The country’s prosperity and well-being are linked to the strength of its resource economy, and also its natural environment. Climate change initiatives should take into consideration the economic importance of sectors such as energy (oil and natural gas), agriculture, fisheries, water resources, forestry, and mineral resources.
Pros: Federal, State, and Local Governments play a vital role in protecting the environment. But for the government to work effectively, citizens must also participate. The federal government encompasses laws to protect human health and the environment and comes up with regulations to enforce those laws.
Cons: Canada has singled out air pollution as a major concern as it affects wildlife, vegetation, soil, and water. The government agency has said air pollution from urban areas causes acid rain and contributes to climate change.
Be prepared for adverse weather conditions!
The Canadian climate is usually characterized by a cold winter and a cool/moderate and a humid summer with a long day. The climate and temperatures may vary greatly depending on the region.
Usually, Canadians enjoy four types of seasons, particularly in the more populated regions along the US border. The summer temperature during daytime can rise to 35°C and even higher, whereas during winter, -25°C is not uncommon in winter. You can experience moderate temperatures during the Spring and Fall.
Summers can be hot and dry in the prairie region, a bit humid in central Canada, and a little milder near the coasts. Spring is usually pleasant across the country. Autumns are often crisp and cool but also brightened by rich orange and red leaves on trees.
Winters are generally characterized as cold with periods of snow. The southern part of Alberta enjoys the occasional “Chinook,” a warm, dry wind from the Rocky Mountains that storms through and melts the snow. Winters are usually mild and wet on the west coast, in cities such as Vancouver and Victoria.
Cons: Canada is usually associated with cold weather and snow, but the truth is that the country’s climate is as diverse as its landscape.
Easy to commute
A bus is considered to be the most common type of urban transportation in Canada. Some of the cities in Canada have other modes of public transit. In most cases, you can easily transfer from one mode of transportation to another. To use public transportation, you must buy a ticket or a transit pass. Most of the cities and towns in Canada have a major way of traveling which includes
Apart from Vancouver and British Columbia, Uber is available in most Canadian cities. In most of the large Canadian cities. There is a sophisticated public transportation system. This includes the right combination of bus, light-rail train, monorail, subway, streetcar, and ferry services which can be used to navigate most of the downtown and surrounding areas. The exact combination of transportation services will usually vary in different cities across the country. The ticket prices are also likely to vary.
In most of the cases, public transportation does not travel to rural areas, though some rural communities may have their public transportation system.
Stable economy coupled with a sound financial and banking system
Canada ranks among the top ten manufacturing nations. The country is also experiencing growth regarding technology and services industries. The economy of Canada is regarded as a highly developed mixed economy with the 10th largest GDP by nominal and the 16th largest GDP by PPP in the world. Similar to other developed nations, the country’s economy is largely dominated by the service industry, that usually employs about three-quarters of Canadians.
Canada is considered to have the fourth highest total estimated value of natural resources, which is valued at US$33.2 trillion in 2016. The country has the world’s third-largest petroleum reserves and is also regarded as the fourth largest exporter of petroleum. Canada is also regarded as the fourth largest exporter of natural gas.
Canada is regarded to have one of the safest banking systems in the world. As per the reports by the World Economic Forum, the banking system in Canada ranks as the world’s most sound and reliable banking system for the past six years. The banks in Canada are also called chartered banks. They have over 8,000 branches and almost 18,000 automated banking machines (ATMs) across the country. Canada is also considered to have the highest number of ATMs per capita in the world and the country benefits from the highest usage of electronic channels like telephone banking, internet banking, and debit cards.
Pros: The country is considered an “energy superpower” owing to its abundant natural resources and small population. The economy of this country is increasingly diversified and also knowledge-based. The country no longer relies just on natural resources, Canada’s economy is seen to grow through innovation and technology.
RECOMMENDATION: When you decide to pursue your higher education in Canada, open a bank account with ICICI Canada or Nova Scotia Bank.
Endless options for leisure activities
Canada is known for its love of hockey, but there is much more to the country than its love of winter sports. The impressive architecture, vibrant art forms, engaging theatre shows, world-renowned festivals that have celebrities coming in, along with plenty of casinos and clubs.
Pros: If you are a night owl or wish to experience live theatre, Canada will never disappoint you. For people who wish to spend some leisure time after a hectic day at work, there are endless options to get relieved from stress.
A safe country to reside
Most of the places that are visited by tourists are safe. The rate of violent crimes in Canada is low, and it’s almost nonexistent in holiday spots and resorts. Canada is a great place to live and work for individuals. If you want to move to a place where you feel 100% secure because the crime rate is so low, then Canada should be on your short list.
Pros: Canada experiences one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Canadians experience less violent crimes, fewer break-ins and less crime overall than many other countries.
Availability of 24×7 high-speed internet
It is said that Canada has one of the highest rates of internet usage in the world. While eight percent of Canadians said they used the internet at least once per week, it is said that 88 percent of online adults in the country access the internet on a daily basis.
Canada has recognized the obvious and declared high-speed broadband internet access a “basic telecommunications service” that every citizen should be able to access.
Best internet service providers in Canada include:
Work-life balance at its best!
Majority of Canadian employees rank work-life balance as good. The survey, which questioned more than 570 Canadian employees and more than 1,200 Canadians in leadership roles, found 35 percent of respondents said their work-life balance has improved compared to three years ago.
As a newcomer, you may find Canadian workplace culture different from that of your home country. Practices such as shaking hands, direct eye contact, use of personal names and methods of communicating with co-workers and supervisors vary amongst cultures. The common dress code for offices is informal to casual for both men and women. However, jeans, shorts or revealing clothing are generally discouraged in office environments. Also, teamwork, punctuality, and courtesy is also an important part of the Canadian workplace.
According to official statistics about working hours in Canada, employed Canadians worked an average of 36.6 hours per week, with significant variation depending on age, gender and location.
Some of the most important holidays in Canada are New Year’s Day, Islander Day (third Monday in February), Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas Day. If you are required to work on a holiday, you should be paid your daily wage plus 1.5 times of your regular rate for each hour worked.
Canada’s minimum wage differs depending on the type of work you usually do and which region you’re in. The lowest you can expect to be paid is C$10.10 per hour. if you’re a liquor server in British Columbia or Ontario. The minimum wage can range up to C$13.60 per hour for all workers in Alberta. The general minimum wage for students is $14.00 per hour.
Some of the most popular professions include-
Specialist physicians – $117,00-$375,000.
Dentists – $53,805 – $213,671.
Family physicians – $58,015 – $310,054.
Lawyers – $48,630 – $146,431.
Federal judges -$308,600- $396,700.
Senior managers of Goods Production, Utilities, Transportation, and Construction – $75,159 – $141,569.
Ample job prospects
The Canadian job market is more or less similar to other developed countries. The majority of jobs are usually in the service sector, while the remaining is in manufacturing and natural resources. Unemployment is 6.8%, slightly higher than the long-term average in the last 30 years with the labor force numbers at 17 million.
The monthly national unemployment rate is said to be remaining constant at 5.6 percent in December 2018. It is said that there were further significant unemployment reductions among the immigrant section. Overall, immigrant joblessness now stands at 6.4 percent, thereby representing the lowest total since 2006. Besides, the recently released Statistics Canada report shows that 26 percent of the total Canadian workforce is made up of immigrants.
SIDE NOTE: Secure your Canada study visa in 6 easy steps with expert tips on the complete application process, funding and work-permit.
Live a high-quality life
Canada ranks above the average in housing, subjective well-being, personal security, health status, social connections, environmental quality, jobs and earnings, education and skills. Regarding employment, about 73% of people aged 15 to 64 in Canada have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 67%.
Canada is regarded as the second-best country in the world after Germany, from a list of 60 countries considered for overall sustainability, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, economic influence and most importantly, quality of life.
The country has a good job market, expenditures are affordable, and there is an equality in income. Also, Canada is economically stable, family friendly, politically stable, safe, and has a well-developed public education system along with a well-developed public health system
Canadians receive better social benefits such as better healthcare, paid maternity leave and greater subsidization of their post-secondary schools.
Affordable living with more social benefits
The cost of living in Canada is generally regarded as high, but when it is compared to other parts of the world, like, Western Europe, it is comparatively cheaper.
There are significant differences in the cost of living in Canada between rural areas and major cities such as Toronto or Vancouver, which can be very expensive.
It is important to note that there are differences in incomes between cities, provinces, and of course, sectors. The highest paid sectors in Canada are mining and oil/gas drilling and work in the utilities – water, electricity, and telecommunications. On the other hand, people working in accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors tend to have lower salaries.
The list talks about the top five most expensive cities to live in Canada.
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Toronto, Ontario
- Victoria, British Columbia
- Calgary, Alberta
- Hamilton-Burlington, Ontario
The basic cost of living in popular countries (In Canadian dollars)
1 bedroom flat in the city center (monthly rent)- $1,632.92
Meal for 2 (mid-range restaurant, three courses)- $70
Transportation (monthly pass)- $143.25
One bedroom flat in the city center (monthly rent)- $986.82
Meal for 2 (mid-range restaurant, three courses)- $60
Transportation (monthly pass)- $83
1 bedroom flat in the city center (monthly rent)- $2,781.11
Meal for 2 (mid-range restaurant, three courses)- $91.08
Transportation (monthly pass)- $218.59
One bedroom flat in the city center (monthly rent)- $1,094.74
Meal for 2 (mid-range restaurant, three courses)- $58.32
Transportation (monthly pass)- $118.10
New York City, USA
Bedroom flat in the city center (monthly rent)- $3,809.12
Meal for 2 (mid-range restaurant, three courses)- $94.86
Transportation (monthly pass)- $151.78
Bedroom flat in city centre (monthly rent)- $2,622.22
Meal for 2 (mid-range restaurant, three courses)- $79.98
Transportation (monthly pass)- $159.96
When compared to other countries like the US, it is said that Canada is cheaper to live in. Though people in Canada receive better social benefits such as healthcare, paid maternity leave and also greater subsidization of their post-secondary schools. Both countries usually have the same annual income. However, the cost of living in the United States is considered to be remarkably less.
Beneficial public services for all
The public services provided by the government include housing benefits, employment Insurance, pensions and benefits for housing, education for children, training, family, and people with disabilities. Also, fire and emergency services, wastewater management, waste management, postal services are some of the public utilities offered. Government agencies are usually very enthusiastic and active in water conservation measures because they always want to set a good example to the public they serve. Many water utilities use government facilities as a part of the demonstration project to promote water conservation and showcase water-efficient products and technologies.
Strict government policies
The policies introduced by the government are based on the social, economic, and cultural development of the country. Several policies have been introduced with respect to immunization, health care, housing, prevention of smoking among youth, poverty reduction strategy, early childhood learning, and child care.
The government is there in every aspect of a Canadian’s life from where they are going to school to whether they are consuming trans-fat in the restaurants. People feel that there are a lot of rules to deal with in Canada and that the government tends to micromanage citizens.
Cons of living in Canada
Get ready to pay high taxes: If you are planning to relocate to Canada always be prepared to pay 42% personal income tax. For example, fuel taxes, property, capital gain and other leisure commodities like alcohol and tobacco can increase one’s taxes up to 50%
Too much of Government control: The government tends to micro-manage almost everything in Canada ranging from school and restaurants, to what you eat.
Increased housing costs: If you’re planning to move to Canada, you need to be prepared to pay high housing rates
Dependency on petroleum production: There is always a dependency on petroleum production. Every economic sector, export sector, and even tax revenues, all heavily rely on petroleum.
A high cost of living: There is a high cost of living which comes with a consumer index price of 78%. Although the wage rate is very high, the cost of goods in the country is very high.
Serious environmental impact: Canada is considered as a leading producer of oil, and this leads to productions of greenhouse gases which can cause global warming and climate change.
Difficult to be a resident: You have to adhere to strict immigration laws in order to get a visa to work and stay in Canada, especially if you have limited skills.
Canadian Citizenship Vs Permanent Residence? Things you need to know!
The term permanent residence generally refers to an individual who has immigrated to Canada (and has been given permanent resident status in Canada. A permanent resident is not considered as a citizen of Canada, but usually from another country.
It has been seen that many prospective immigrants to Canada are immensely interested in getting Canadian citizenship. But before one can become a Canadian citizen, one has to be a Canadian permanent resident. In fact, the end result for every Canadian immigration program is Canadian permanent residence.
Once you become a Canadian permanent resident, you will have a number of rights which include:
Access to the same social benefits similar to any Canadian citizen, which comprises of healthcare coverage, and
the right to live, work, study at any place in Canada;
Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of 95137 55524 Rights and Freedoms
The right to apply for a Canadian citizenship
Canadian permanent residents also share many of the social responsibilities that are followed by Canadian citizens, such as paying taxes and abiding by Canadian laws. There are only two things that Canadian citizens can do and a permanent resident can’t. A Canadian permanent resident cannot vote or run for office. There are also certain restrictions against permanent residents holding specific government positions which require a high-level security clearance.
Canadian permanent residents will not get a Canadian passport. If a permanent resident wishes to travel outside the country, they can travel with a valid PR card, or a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD), and also their passport from their country of citizenship.
Permanent residents can also apply for citizenship once they have met certain residency requirements. As a citizen of Canada, they can also apply for a Canadian passport and can freely participate in Canadian politics.
Apart from the ability to participate in Canadian politics, the most important difference between permanent residence and Canadian citizenship is that permanent residence must be maintained. Once you have become a Canadian citizen, you do not need to do anything to maintain your citizenship. You can only lose your Canadian citizenship if you choose to renounce it.