Canada's a great place to emigrate to if quality of life is your priority! Canada is frequently voted by the World Bank and United Nations as providing the highest quality of life for its residents.
Quality of Life
Culture & History
Canadians' attitude to work is much removed from their southerly neighbours and tends to fit in their framework of life rather than directing it. Employment trends are steadily growing according to the International Monetary fund and are set to continue on this upward spiral. As Canada's geography changes so do the employment situations and as nearly 80% of Canadians live in its major cities (Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa) so the majority of jobs are to be found there.
The traditional businesses that are drawn to the cities are in evidence in all the states capitals but some areas are better known for individual industries. New Brunswick is set up for manufacturing, fishing and agricultural industries. Montreal may not be the capital of the French speaking Quebec sector but is among world leaders, along with Saskatchewan, when it comes to space and aeronautics and has a strong hand in telecommunications and energy. Toronto is where engineers will be drawn to with its long line of automobile factories.
Alberta is farming country and as you can imagine has a wealth of ripe agricultural land with its vast prairies and forests.
Vancouver is fast becoming a magnet for film producers where a number of TV series and major feature films are being shot. Finance and Tourism also play a major role in the capital of British Columbia. The rest of the province it is known as one of the world's leading producers of timber.
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After the break-up of the former Soviet Union Canada has now become the world's largest country. The landmass covers 9,980,000 square kilometres or roughly the size of Europe. If you're looking for some of the most diverse scenery in a single country then Canada will not disappoint.
On the West coast the Pacific ocean laps gently around the various inlets and coastal islands that are a haven for all marine animals such as Orcas, seals and dolphins who live in some of the richest fishing waters in the world. As you roll inland the temperate forests quickly yield to the coastal mountains that are thickly covered in snow for six months of the year.
Mountains generally take precedence until you fall down the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies and the prairies fan out to produce one of the largest wheat belts in the world. Gradually travelling east the prairies and forests never quite give up the horizon but are interspersed by the great lakes in the south-east of the country until the Atlantic rolls into view.
The Northwest Territories and the Yukon extend right up to the North Pole and the arctic temperatures and tundra that coats the land and ensures that only the hardiest of species survive, including people.
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Alberta enjoys distinct seasons with a warm summer from May to September. The winter months see an abundance of snowfall. Edmonton, the province capital, rarely sees winter temperatures rise above freezing from November to March.
To travel across B.C in one day you might find several seasons at once. The south coast sees the mildest of the country's temperatures. Even the depth of winter can feel like a spring day which strongly contrasts the snow-capped mountains surrounding the city. The storms that roll in off the Pacific give a lot of rain at lower elevations and drapes the Coastal and Rockie mountain ranges in a deep snowpack.
Known as the heartland of Canada its long-warm summers and the country's best sunshine record make sitting on the beaches of Lake Manitoba a pleasant affair. However, the winters like the other provinces can be long and cold with temperature extremes, particularly to the north .
By the time the winds have moved from the west coast to Ontario they usually have dropped somewhat in temperature and can make for cold dry winters. Rainfall isn't as high as the mountainous states and summers are pleasant with average highs of over 70 degrees for July and August.
Much like its neighbour Manitoba with long warm summers and cold dry winters.
Yukon and Northwest Territories. It seems that winter hardly relinquishes its grip on these two neighbouring provinces. Even the almost 24 hour daylight during June still makes for cold evenings. The depths of winter see some of the coldest temperatures on the planet with an average high for January in Whitehorse a bitter -10c.
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The wide open spaces of Canada make it a haven for outdoor pursuits and activities. In British Columbia the sheltered west coast is a magnet for Sea Kayakers and the Rocky Mountains give a long season to winter sports. Ice-hockey plays a major part in the sporting features list and now over 500,000 Canadian youngsters participate in this sport at one level or another.
Golf is a firm favourite as are the ski resorts where people often quote that there is plenty of room to develop more facilities - what they don't understand is that there is simply not enough manpower to develop them.
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Quality of life
1995 saw the World Bank nominate Canadians as the second wealthiest people after Australians - a combination of natural resources, productive assets and human resources led to the award. But it's not only the World Bank that has heaped honours on the country.
1999 saw the sixth consecutive year that the United Nations Human Development report named Canada as providing its residents with the world's best quality of life. A prestigious award assess factors that include life expectancy, income levels, health, education and gender improvement.
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Property prices fluctuate enormously and as you would expect, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa properties are amongst the most sought after and most expensive with Manitoba and Saskatchwan the cheapest.
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Canadian cuisine differs greatly in a country where the ingredients are freshly grown and in abundance. The coastal provinces specialise in seafood with the Pacific delivering some of the best seafood on the continent. Off Newfoundland the cold Atlantic waters provide the local restaurants with ample supply of the highest quality ingredients.
The prairie provinces provide some superb cattle grazing territory for home-grown beef, look out on some restaurant menu's for Buffalo and Elk.
Quebec guided by the French has adopted its native cuisine and owns many first class French restaurants that have spun off to the rest of the country.
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Canada Culture and history
Like the United States, Canada is a country that was born of immigrants seeking a better lifestyle. Immigrants have historically made up a substantial proportion of the Canadian population. In 1991, for example, 16% of the population were immigrants.
The immigrant population, however, is very diverse; immigrants come from a wide variety of countries and, as a result, have different histories, cultures and economic backgrounds. You'll find a diverse amount of creeds and cultures all mixed into one.
Vancouver is an example of this melting pot of civilisations with heavy influences from the British Isles, India and China whereas Quebec was born from France and French is the native tongue there. All public signs in Canada have English and French translations which tends to reflect the history of Canada which has been under both British and French rule.
The people tend to be somewhat friendlier and more sincere than those from the United States. It's not unusual to be greeted by total strangers who don't seem to be able to do enough for you, particularly in the smaller townships of the provinces.
Lifestyle and recreation is very similar to those of the United States - from restaurant chains to shopping outlets there is very little difference between the two countries.
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Obtaining a Canadian Visa
If you want to work in Canada, you'll need a good education, as well as employment skills that are currently in demand there. We will need to ensure that your occupation appears on the Occupations List published by the Canadian government, which changes from time to time.
We may also need to show that you have met any trade or professional licensing requirements to follow your intended occupation in Canada. A job offer from a Canadian employer will dramatically increase your chances of success. You should be able to communicate in either English or in French, to enable easy integration into the Canadian community.
Over 98% of the population speaks either language - or both. Personal suitability will also be taken into account. This refers to adaptability, motivation, initiative and resourcefulness, which are considered essential to enable you to settle successfully in Canada.
Perhaps you would prefer to work for yourself. Would you consider establishing or buying your own business in Canada, or investing in a business or commercial venture over there? If so, you may qualify for business migration. You will, of course, need to demonstrate an ability to become successfully established in your occupation or business in Canada - as well as meeting many of the requirements outlined above.
Even if you do not want to work when you arrive, you may qualify for investment migration. The Canadian government is keen to attract immigrant investment to small and medium-sized businesses - even if the investors themselves have no desire to play an active role in the management of those businesses.
If you have any family connections in Canada, this could certainly help with your visa application. We will fully explore this possibility on your behalf.
Like most countries, Canada's immigration law is complex and much of it is based on units of assessment, which are awarded against each of the criteria that must be met. It is vital to ensure that you apply in the category that provides you with the best opportunity for a successful application.
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