Canada has always performed remarkably well in measures of well-being. It scores highly on criteria such as safety, health, housing and income and remains one of the most popular expat destinations in the world. Expats moving to Canada can expect to experience a multicultural community that is friendly and welcoming towards foreigners. Here are some of the reasons why Canada is such a great expat destination.
Strong job market
The Canadian employment market has remained largely unaffected by global economic factors and expats with adequate experience and skills are able to find lucrative employment quite easily.The Canadian government aims to attract more expats through a favorable immigration plan that will help to improve the country’s economic growth. There is a great demand for foreign skilled workers in Canada. There are two schemes that help in recruiting expat professionals, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP). Foreigners that have a minimum language requirement and at least a year of skilled work experience in Canada can acquire permanent residency under the CEC scheme. The PNP covered just 1250 immigrants in 2000, but has now expanded to about 41,000 individuals.
High quality healthcare
One of the significant reasons why many expats decide to live in Canada is the affordable healthcare system. The medical facilities are also of a high quality. The healthcare system is publicly-funded and receives funding through taxes, fees and monthly premiums. Canada’s many territories and provinces have their own individual health insurance plan with different specifications. All residents can avail of medical care through this public healthcare system. Many employers also include additional health coverage in employment contracts and this can be a huge advantage for expats, as it allows them to avail of chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments. The costs of prescription drugs may also be covered under the plan. Expats with work permits that are valid for more than six months are covered under the public healthcare system. However, there may be waiting periods in some provinces.
Expats with younger children can take advantage of Canada’s efficient education system. There are daycare facilities across the country and public schools, which are available to local and foreign residents, are free and highly-rated. But since the provinces retain their autonomy in educational matters, the curricula can differ from one province to another. English is the language of instruction in all provinces, except for Québec, where French is the main language. Canada also has many private schools that charge tuition fees. International schools can be found in most of the larger cities and many expats prefer to educate their children in these schools.
Canada enjoys the reputation of being a safe destination and security is not a worry for expats living here. The police are known to be efficient and professional. By and large, citizens perceive the police force as being timely and trustworthy in emergency situations. The crime rates in the big cities are lower than those of major cities in the United States. The crime rates have also been on a steady decline over the years and there have been fewer instances of violent and serious crime in all the Canadian provinces.
Canada is a large country, but commuting is still quick and convenient thanks to an excellent public transport system. The country has 26 airports, about 30,000 miles of railway tracks and nearly 560,000 miles of roads. Bus is the most popular way to get around any of Canada’s cities and is also the cheapest mode of transport. Cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are often congested and the extensive bus networks provide a cheap and quick alternative to driving. The railways cover the entire country and trains are known to be safe and comfortable. The national train operator, Via Rail Canada, offers economical and efficient services. Most cities have underground railway systems. Vancouver, on the other hand, has an elevated railway system called the Sky Train.
Canada has numerous lakes and rivers and also the longest coastline in the world. Ferries serve as a convenient way to travel between the mainland and islands across the Atlantic Provinces. Cyclists and walk-ons can board a ferry at any time, but vehicles require prior reservation.