Moving an IT specialist to Canada: the relocation process and the cost of living

In one of the previous materials, we conducted a survey about which country for moving should appear in our blog. Canada won by a wide margin, so today we will tell you about what an IT professional should expect when moving there.

Why Canada?

Canada is a country where immigration is favored. So in the period from 2020 to 2023 here will come more than a million new immigrants – with a population of 37.5 million

In the ranking of countries in the world for quality of life (data for 2020) Canada took 21st place, and Russia – only 70th (Denmark has the first place). The compilers of the rating took into account, among other things, purchasing power, cost of living, safety, level of medical care.

In addition, according to the annual report Favorable Countries for Migration from HSBC (data from 27,000 expats, 2019), Canada is in ninth place.

Emigration options

Today there are more than 80 different ways of moving, which, in addition to family emigration, include programs for individual provinces, programs for investors, entrepreneurs or self-employed professionals. Among IT professionals, the Express Entry program, designed for experienced professionals, is also popular.

Within its framework, each applicant will be assessed according to a number of criteria, for each of which certain points are assigned. Here are the main ones:

  • Age (the younger the applicant is, the more points)
  • Education (the higher the degree, the more points) – to pass this test, you need to carry out an evaluation of the diploma, which will make it possible to understand what level in the Canadian system the received degree corresponds to.
  • Knowledge of the language – it is necessary to confirm it with test results, the most popular for these purposes is IELTS.
  • Work experience – it may be small, but good scores are given with experience of three years or more.
  • Availability of an offer from a Canadian company.

Read more about the criteria for the Express Entry program at the official website of the Canadian government

How it works

To participate in the Express Entry program, you must create profile in the system and fill it in, indicating all the information on the important selection criteria. At this stage, you do not need to attach documents, you only need the number of the IELTS certificate and the data on the assessment of the diploma. Based on this data, the system will calculate the score and add the applicant to the candidate pool.

Periodically, the immigration service changes the passing score. All people in the pool whose score is higher than the passing one are sent an invitation to apply. October 2020 passing score was at level 469.

It takes 60 days to collect original documents. You can submit them in the form of scans. Applicants will need to provide:

  • Proof of work experience – copies of work books, employers’ recommendations, 2-NDFL certificates.
  • You also need a police clearance certificate.
  • Originals of diplomas with inserts with apostille.
  • IELTS certificates.
  • Medical examination certificates – one of the requirements for immigrants is to undergo an examination at an accredited medical center.
  • Bank statements to confirm the availability of money for the first time.
  • If available, an offer from a Canadian employer.

After receiving an invitation and submitting documents, migration officers will study them for up to six months. If a positive decision is made on the application, then the immigrant receives an invitation to the embassy to paste the visa. You will need to use it to enter Canada and get a residence permit right at the airport, the resident card comes later to the post office. After three years of residence, you can get a Canadian passport.

Among the points that usually have to be worked on in this scheme is the level of English. The higher the IELTS score, the better, so many potential emigrants take it several times (some even more than ten) in order to improve their chances.

Job, salary, cost of living

The country has offices of large international companies such as Facebook, Google, popular startups such as Airbnb – offices of such organizations can be found in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver.

In addition, the country is actively developing its own startups – in 2019, 249 Canadian startups attracted $ 2.2 billion in investments.

By data service Glassdoor, the average salary for a Software Engineer position at Toronto is $ 85,000 CAD per year.

How to estimate what kind of salary plug you can count on? You can use, for example, our bot @g_jobbot… Just customize it for yourself: choose a direction, location and salary. That’s it, then the chatbot will send you suitable vacancies – the more there are, the more accurately your skills correspond to market demands. The hero of one of our articles thus found out that he was getting 60% less than he could (and quickly corrected the situation with the help of a bot).

At the same time, the cost of living in Canada is significantly higher than in Russia.

By data service Numbeo, in order to have the same standard of living in Toronto as in Moscow with a salary of 200 thousand rubles a month, 6.5 thousand Canadian dollars will be needed – this is approximately 378 thousand rubles. In terms of the total cost of living, Toronto and Vancouver overtake Berlin.

Leisure and entertainment

Canada is a country with very beautiful nature, and, importantly, there are opportunities in the country to get access to it. Tourists and locals are actively involved in winter sports:

Visit sights such as Niagara Falls:

Life itself in Canadian cities is not much different from American ones – there are many restaurants, concerts, sporting events (Canadian teams participate in the famous NHL and NBA leagues – in 2019, the Toronto Raptors won the championship, for example).


Compared to Russia, Canada is significantly more expensive, and the salaries of engineers are lower than in the United States. On the other hand, there is a clearer immigration program here. If in America and many other countries an IT specialist will have to live for many years on work visas and spend a lot of effort on obtaining even a residence permit, then in Canada the path to a passport is clearer and much easier.

At the same time, Canada is a beautiful country with stunning nature, and there are many good cities with a high standard of living. In addition, this is a bilingual country, which opens up opportunities for learning not only English, but also French – but for those who do not want to do this, English will be enough.

What is even more important for IT specialists, everything related to technology is developing at a rapid pace in the country. An engineer will be able to find work here both in a start-up with a round of investments and in an international IT corporation.

Use the g-mate bot (@g_jobbot) to receive vacancies according to your profile with the possibility of relocation to the USA, Hungary, the Netherlands and dozens of other countries directly in Telegram.

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