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Mind the Gap: New UK versus Canada Immigration System

Are you interested in moving abroad? If so you may have a few destinations in mind. With the rollout of the UK’s new immigration system, many foreigners have been wondering which offers the most opportunities: Canada or the UK?

The United Kingdom is currently in the process of implementing their new points-based immigration system, not unlike the Canadian immigration system, and is set to be launched on 1 January 2021. Those who are already living in the UK before 31 December 2020, will have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. EU citizens will also be able to enter the UK using their passports and national identity cards until 30 June 2021.

This new UK immigration law is an initiative from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to only issue work permits to foreigners (both EU and non-EU nationals) who have at least:

  • A secondary education;
  • A proficient level of English;
  • A job offer; and
  • An annual salary or wage.

While campaigning in the 2019 UK general elections, PM Johnson made his stance on Brexit very clear with his slogan “Get Brexit Done”. He has also had no problem divulging his disdainful view of non-EU nationals, stating that they have been “able to treat the UK as though it’s part of their own country” for far too long and that he planned to reduce the amount of “unskilled migrants” entering the UK, which has left UK immigrants feeling uneasy and is also is one of the reasons why many immigrants in the UK are considering moving to Canada instead.

Since then, the UK has released details of the new immigration system, on July 13, 2020, where it was announced that this new system would replace the current points-based system.

But how does this new system compare to the existing points-based Canadian immigration system and programs? Let's take a closer look.



UK Immigration vs Canadian Immigration

UK-and-Canadian-flag  | immigrate to Canada from the UK

Just like Canada’s immigration system, the UK has many different visas but in the article, we’ll take a look at the main pathways to immigration in both countries: their similarities and their differences.

Skilled Workers

Both the UK and Canada have immigration visa options for skilled workers who want to immigrate. 

Both programs or systems required a certain standard of English whereas Canada has the option of French language skills too

Both programs also score candidates based on their work skills and qualifications as well as professions that may or may not be in demand. There are however 3 main differences between the two:


Skilled Worker Programs
UK’s Skilled Worker ProgramCanada’s Express Entry System
  • Minimum Points: 70 out of a maximum of 130
  • Minimum Points for Federal Skilled Worker Program: 67 out of a maximum of 100

  • Express Entry draws - average minimum cut off CRS score of 470 out of a maximum of 1200
  • Job Offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor Required
  • No Job Offer Required
  • Minimum Salary Required £25,600(£20,480 if sufficient trade characteristics such as qualifications to acquire enough points)
  • No Minimum Salary Required

  • To find out more about Canada’s Express Entry System, visit our website here.

    Seasonal Workers

    farm-workers-working-with-vegetation-in-greenhouse | immigrate to Canada from the UK

    The UK has a Seasonal Worker Pilot that allows agricultural workers to work in the UK until the end of 2020 however it has not yet been confirmed whether or not it will be extended or if it will be included in the new points-based system.

    Canada has various migration options for semi and unskilled workers, which do not require any points, who want to work in Canada on a temporary or seasonal basis. The most common work permit can be acquired through the Temporary Foreign Work Permit (TFWP) which allows you to work in Canada for:

    • The length of your job offer;
    • The length of time stated on your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); or
    • When your passport expires.

    Farmworkers, in particular, are one of the most in-demand jobs in Canada and have dedicated work visa programs and streams, such as the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. There are also immigration options in some provinces such as the Saskatchewan Experience Category: Semi-skilled Agriculture Worker, which allows workers to apply for permanent residence if they have been working in the province for at least 6 months and have a valid job offer.

    Health Workers and Care Providers

    healthcare-workers-in-operating-room-looking-at-x-rays | immigrate to Canada from the UK

    Both the UK and Canada’s immigration systems are highly dedicated to helping healthcare workers and home care providers work abroad.

    The UK’s immigration program, Health and Care Visa, is an immigration pathway for those who have a job offer from the National Health Service (NHS), the UK’s Government’s healthcare department, only.

    Canada, on the other hand, has immigration pathways for Home Care Providers that give home care support workers and home childcare providers the opportunity to immigrate and work for any employer in the country. Certain province such as Nova Scotia also has immigration programs to assist healthcare workers with valid job offers move to Canada.

    Working Holiday Options

    traveller-with-backpack-at-wall-lake-alberta-canada | immigrate to Canada from the UK

    The UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme will allow applicants between the ages of 18 and 30 years old from eight participating countries and territories to work in the UK.

    Canada’s Working Holiday Visa, however, allows applicants aged 18 to 35 years old from over 30 participating countries work in Canada for up to 2 years, through one of three programs:

    • The Working Holiday Program;
    • The Young Professional Program; or
    • The International Co-op Internship Program.

    And let's face it, although we may be slightly biased, wouldn’t you rather want to experience a working holiday in a country filled with natural beauty, bustling cities, epic ski resorts, that’s also home to the Canadian Rockies and the Northern Lights?

    Start-up Visas

    business-owners-packaging-products-in-warehouse | immigrate to Canada from the UK

    The UK’s Start-up and Innovator Program will allow innovative entrepreneurs with scalable business ideas and at least £50,000 in funding to move to the UK to run their businesses.

    Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is an immigration pathway for innovative business owners and entrepreneurs with at least $75,000 CAD (equivalent to £43,998 on publication date) in funding to move an existing business or start a new venture in Canada. Canada also has immigration options for self-employed persons through the Self-Employed Program.

    Mind the Gap. Is Canada's Immigration System better than the UK's?

    new UK Immigration System vs Canada Immigration System infographic | move to Canada

    Deciding whether the UK is better than Canada is definitely not a simple yes or no answer. It purely depends on what the needs are for both you and your family. Both countries have free healthcare and secondary schooling however Canada undoubtedly has a high quality of life. There are also plenty of unforgettable experiences to indulge in, whether it be cultural heritage, vibrant cities or unbelievable landscapes, mountains, lakes, national parks or the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

    Canada is also known to be one of the friendliest countries in the world making it easier for newcomers to settle into their new lives abroad and feel at home. Canada is also an exceptionally multicultural community, where immigrants can live in a tolerant, liberal country without the fear of being prosecuted for how they identify or religious beliefs. So, is Canada better than the UK? We’ll leave that to you to decide.

    Let Us Help You Find Your Way to Canada

    Applying for a visa on your own can be time-consuming and difficult to understand. With strict deadlines, procedures and requirements, it can be easy to make a mistake that could cost you your chance to move to Canada. But with the guidance and assistance of one of our knowledgeable Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC’s), who are accredited by the ICCRC the process will be stress-free.

    When you choose to use our expert and government trusted service you will get:

    • An in-depth eligibility assessment
    • Guidance on which of 100+ immigration programs and visas to choose from;
    • An immigration plan tailored to your individual needs;
    • A review and submission of all application forms and documentation; as well as
    • Support through every step of the application process.

    All you have to do is fill out our application form to receive your eligibility assessment and let us take care of the rest. It’s just that simple! Your Canadian journey starts here.

    Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay up to date on Canadian immigration and visa news.

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