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Planning a move to Canada? All the Info You Need on Visas, Work Permits, Insurance

Movo to Canada

Canada has long been a country with a high percentage of immigrants. In fact, most people in Canada have a family history and background from another country, and this has created a multicultural society where immigration is seen as an obvious element.

Whether it's for the unique countryside, academic benefits, family, or friends, moving to Canada is a special journey and it has a lot to offer to those who want to start a new life there.

Moving to Canada can be a challenge but with good planning, there are no obstacles to achieving good results.

In this article, we will share more information about the required documents, obtaining the proper visa, work permit application, and getting the right insurance. It will help you a lot on the path to fulfilling your dream of moving to one of the best countries in the world.


Whether you are set on working, studying, or setting up a business in Canada, you must obtain the proper visa. Usually, before applying, you can browse through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website which offers you an online questionnaire to help you understand what visa type you should apply for, as there are plenty of options.

Nevertheless, let's go through the most popular visas available.

Temporary visas

A temporary visa is usually intended for those who seek to enter Canada for studies, work, or vacation. If you plan on doing any of the aforementioned things and wish to stay for only a limited period, then a temporary visa is the obvious option for you.

Remember to thoroughly look at the criteria and the documents required as they vary depending on the purpose of your visit and the type of visa you apply for.

International Experience Canada (IEC) 

This is a specially designed program by the Government of Canada that gives persons aged 18-35 the opportunity to work in Canada.

This program is divided into three categories:

Working Holiday permit (WHP): This is an open work permit allowing you to travel and work in the country for up to one or even two years (this depends on which country you come from. The advantage of WHP is that you do not need to find a job before applying.

Young Professionals (YP): This work permit enables you to get proper and useful work experience in Canada for 1-2 years (again depending on where you come from). Unlike WHP, you must get a job offer before applying for this kind of permit.

International Co-op (Internship): With this permit, you are allowed to complete an internship that lasts six months, one year, or two years. You must show that the internship is connected to your studies and you must find an employer before going to Canada.

The way to apply for a visa is to create a profile online, which will be then submitted to a pool of candidates. If the requirements are met, you will receive an "Invitation to Apply" for a work permit.

The drawback of the IEC visa is that couples or friends cannot apply together and the applicants are not allowed to be accompanied by dependents. For further information on the documents and fees needed when applying for an IEC visa, you can look it up on the Citizen and Immigration website.

Long Stay Visas – The "Express Entry" System

The Express Entry system is an online system that is made to process applications for long-stay and permanent residency visas. It is divided into three immigration programs, that is, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. Those who will apply can create an online profile that will be valid for one year.

When receiving an invitation, the applicant has 60 days to submit the complete application required for permanent residence. High-performing candidates are usually issued invitations every two weeks. On average, most of these applications are processed in under six months.

Federal Skilled Worker Class

This is designed for applicants who have skilled work experience for occupations that are in high demand in Canada. They must have a minimum of one year of paid experience in a skilled occupation and meet certain requirements. Their qualifications must be assessed for an additional fee by an independent accreditee.

Federal Skilled Trades

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) system identifies certain sectors that are in high demand and those who are professionals in the industrial, electrical, and construction sector, agriculture and production, equipment operation and maintenance, are those that can apply through this system. They must have at least two years' paid experience in the past five years, a job offer for a full year, or a certificate of qualification.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

This program offers permanent residency to those who have skilled work experience of at least one year in Canada in the three years before they apply. A medical and language test is a prerequisite. Usually, the process takes six months but one can get a bridging visa until CEC is approved.

In addition to CEC draws, IRCC also draws candidates who received a nomination from the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Through this program, workers can be nominated for permanent residency according to the needs of a specific province that wants to strengthen its economy by receiving skilled workers.

Business Immigration Programme

This program is designed for experienced investors, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed, to encourage them to seek new challenges and opportunities.

Such immigration programs and visas work to help promote and develop Canada's economy by attracting entrepreneurs, the self-employed, and businesspersons who are not yet Canadian citizens.

Work Permits

There are two work permits. The closed and the open work permit.

The closed one will allow you to only work for a specific employer and applicants are demanded to have Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The open work permit, on the other hand, gives you the freedom to work anywhere you want in the country and you are not required to have an LMIA and a concrete job offer.

The documents that you will be required to submit depend on the work permit that you will be applying for and the one you qualify for. Be sure to collect them in due time and any other additional documents if a spouse, partner, or other family members will be accompanying you. 


Canada is well-known for providing its citizens with an excellent healthcare system. However, you must know that each province decides whether to cover supplementary and maternity services. This may mean additional expense for its residents.

You may also need to know that you must qualify for the province's health system meaning that you might wait three months on health cover (from the time you establish residency) and you must be a citizen, permanent citizen, or a newcomer but eligible for insurance. Having all this in mind, those who are new to the country are advised to take out private health insurance upon arrival.

Those who come to Canada with an IEC visa are especially urged to get insurance cover as they will not be allowed to enter the country without this.

Final Thoughts

Taking the step and moving to a foreign country can feel as exciting as it is scary. It can mean everything from learning to stand on your own two feet to maturing as a person.

Canada is one of the world countries that has always fared well on the list of countries ranked for an excellent quality of life. Each year, thousands of people are enthusiastically submitting their documents, waiting for a positive response so they can get ready to plan their move overseas.

In this article, we provided you with information regarding the country's visa policy, work permits, and insurance that will hopefully serve as a guiding tool when embarking on this new life journey.

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26 September 2023

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