How to Prepare for Your Life in Canada in a Pandemic World

Things in Canada have certainly changed since the COVID-19 hit. Travel restrictions remain in place leaving many unsure of whether or not they will be able to return or fulfill their plans of starting a new life in Canada.

Immigrating to Canada in the middle of the pandemic is most certainly not an easy feat, but with this extensive guide on everything you need to know about preparing for living in Canada in a pandemic world, you’ll have everything organized and ready to make your move to Canada in no time.

Fast Preparation for Life in Canada:

Canada’s COVID-19 Response

Canada COVID-19 Cases | life in Canada

Canada’s response to COVID-19 and its effects on the population has been phenomenal. From its travel restrictions to help contain the spread of the virus to its Economic Response Plan, Canada has spared nothing to help make life easier for people during these difficult times.

Support for Citizens and Residents

The Canadian government has implemented many measures to help support those who are facing hardships due to COVID-19. Below are some of the ways that the Government of Canada is supporting it’s people.

Support for Citizens and Residents

  • Employment Insurance (EI) Program - minimum of $500 per week per person.
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) - $500 per week per person for up to 38 weeks for eligible workers.
  • Canada Child Benefit (CRCB) - up to $1,200 per week per household for up to 38 weeks for eligible workers.
  • Mortgage Referral Program, as well as
  • Various other Provincial and Territorial support.

Students in Canada were waived interest on the federal part of their loans.

Support for Businesses

Support for Businesses

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - covered for up to 75 percent of employee’s wages for eligible employers to rehire employees and avoid layoffs.
  • Work Sharing Program - income support for up to 76 weeks for employers who reduce working hours due to COVID-19.
  • Canada Child Benefit (CRCB) - up to $1,200 per week per household for up to 38 weeks for eligible workers.
  • Mortgage Referral Program, as well as
  • Various other Provincial and Territorial support.

Mental Health

The Public Health Agency of Canada is monitoring the situation closely. Canada realizes how much strain Canadian have been put under, so much so that on May 15 and 16, 2021 it was announced by Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, that all Canadians (both in Canada and abroad) would have access to free and confidential mental health and substance use supports 24/7 through an online portal, Wellness Together Canada.

COVID-19 Travel Regulations

Happy family at airport wearing masks | Life in Canada in a Pandemic World

There are various travel restrictions that are in place and have remained since the beginning of the lockdown, however, some restrictions have been eased or changed.

Who Can Enter Canada?

Foreign nationals reuniting with family in Canada are the first group allowed to come to Canada. They will usually have to with be:

  • a Canadian Citizen;
  • a Canadian permanent resident;
  • a temporary resident; or
  • a person registered under the Indian Act

Foreign workers who meet the following requirements are permitted to enter Canada.

  • valid work permits who live in Canada; or
  • have a letter of introduction, a valid immigration medical exam and have a valid job offer in Canada.

Some workers don't need a work permit depending on where they are from and the work they will be doing. Examples of those who may not need a work permit include:

  • Emergency service providers
  • Healthcare students
  • Marine crew joining vessels
  • Technicians or specialists, and
  • Commercial or research open-water aquaculture workers

You are not allowed to enter Canada if you are traveling for discretionary reasons.

  • if you have a letter of introduction but your employer is closed due to COVID-19, or
  • you have an open-work permit but no job offer

Your immediate family members may be able to accompany you but may need a written authorization letter from IRCC if they are not from the United States or are not eligible for a travel exemption.

International students must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction and be enrolled in a COVID-19 -ready Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that has been approved by the province or territory, to be able to enter Canada. If your study program has been canceled you will not be able to come to Canada on your study visa. 

What Do I Need When Travelling to Canada During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Below is a checklist of what you will need when flying to Canada during the pandemic.

  • Quarantine plan
  • Pre-entry COVID-19 Test
  • 3-night hotel stopover
  • Registration for arrival test
  • ArriveCAN to submit travel and quarantine plan (keep the receipt for boarding and arrival)

The reason for having to stay at the hotel is so that you can quarantine while awaiting your arrival test results. Once you have received a negative test you will be able to move to your quarantine destination.

Monthly Cost of Living in Canada

Monthly cost of living in Canada COVID-19

Determining how much to budget for is extremely important when moving to a new country, especially during the pandemic. Prices have increased globally so it is imperative that you are prepared on how to budget your money during those first few weeks in Canada until you find your feet. On average a single person will pay about $12,590 while a Canadian family of four will spend around $46,032 per year without rent. Students should expect to pay about $675 per month without rent.  Below is an example of what your list of expenses could look like.

Avergae Monthly Expenses in CAnada 2021
Cost of LivingAvergae Price
Meal at inexpensive restaurant$18
Dometic Beer$6
Eggs (dozen)$3.51
Chicken (1kg fillets)$13.37
Potatoes (1kg)$2.84
Cheese(1 kg)$12.79
One-way ticket (local transport)$3.25
Monthly Pass (local transport)$90
Gasoline (1l)$1.12
Pre paid mibile tariff (1 min)$0.34
Preschool or Kindergarten (monthly)$989.89
Apartment 1-bedroom (city centre)$1,331.07
Apartment 1-bedroom (outside city centre)$1,117.08
Apartment 3-bedroom (city centre)$2,160.61
Apartment 3-bedroom (outside city centre)$1,811.75

Remember that this is an average and prices will vary depending on your lifestyle, the province or territory to relocate to as well as the city and neighborhood you are living in.

In Demand Jobs in Canada in the Pandemic

Currently, most of the jobs that are in demand in Canada can predominantly be found in the healthcare and emergency services sectors as well and in food manufacturing, transportations, and various other trade occupations. Below are some of the top in-demand jobs in Canada.

Top In-Demand Jobs in Canada

  • Nurses (registered and licensed)
  • Doctors (General and specialized)
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Farmworkers
  • Truck Drivers
  • Tech Professionals
  • Teachers
  • Accountants
  • Industrial butchers
  • Mechanics
  • Welder
  • Cooks
  • Plumbers
  • Construction trades
  • Mining (oil and Gas Drillers)
  • Pipefitters
  • Carpenters
  • Fish and seafood plant workers
  • Bakers
  • Machine Operators

How Has COVID-19 affected the labour markets?

In February and April 2020, employment fell by 15.7 percent, an all-time low, costing Canada over 3 million jobs, however, as of May started to show the resilience of the Canadian labour market. More job creation is being experienced in areas that present less risk of being affected should there be another wave or lockdown experienced.

5 indmand pandemic jobs in Canada | life in pandemic canada

Enrolling Your Children in Canada’s Education System

enrolling children in school COVID-19 |  life in Canada

COVID-19 has left many parents unsure of their children's educational future. Many provinces have had to close the doors to their schools, resorting to online learning instead. Some provinces, such as Ontario, have even considered making it a permanent solution. Most schools have returned back to usual, though, and have put necessary precautions in place. Visit the government website for pandemic parenting tips.

Easiest Ways To Immigrate to Canada During the Pandemic

Easiest ways to immigrate to Canada COVID-19 | life in Canada

At the moment, the easiest ways to immigrate to Canada may or may not be familiar to you. Canada is searching for very skilled and experienced people to help grow and support the economy So what exactly is Canada looking for?p>

Canadian Work Experience

When looking at the popular Canadian Immigration programs, especially Express Entry system programs, those issuing the most invitations to apply for permanent residency in Canada are the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) as well as the Canadian Experience Class. (CEC)

Both are easy ways to open up pathways to immigration to Canada, offering swift processing times of as little as six to eight months.

One thing is clear. Canada is searching for individuals who already have Canadian work experience or some ties to Canada. These ties could be that you’ve already studied and received your qualification in Canada, you have family members in Canada who are residents or citizens or you could already be working temporarily for a Canadian company and would like to make your move to Canada a more permanent one.

Why is this important to the Canadian government? Because it shows that you will be able to settle into life in Canada with ease by either being familiar with Canadian life or having the support needed as a newcomer to Canada. Immigration is a big step and the government would never invite anyone to join their community if they felt that they were not set up for the best possible chances of success.

Healthcare & Essential Workers

Canada’s renowned healthcare system has been in need of skilled qualified international healthcare professionals long before the pandemic hit, however now finds itself under the conditional strain of having to cope with the effects of COVID-19 in Canada.

Canada has launched six new immigration programs to assist 90,000 graduates, healthcare and essential workers find their way to Canada permanently.

The deciding factors of these new programs also include the applicants' level of French. Many Canadian provinces speak French, so to come to the country with strong abilities to communicate in French is a huge plus.

Once again the Canadian immigration trend shows that those with Canadian work experience may be able to jump the visa application processing queue merely due to having the skills and experience that Canada is in search of.

Some of these key occupations include:

  • Nurses and physicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Home support workers
  • Truck drivers
  • Service station attendants
  • Janitors
  • Electricians
  • Welders
  • Farmworkers
  • Fish and seafood plant workers
  • Construction workers.

This just goes to show that the occupations are as varied as they are in demand. The main focus is on your ability to settle into Canadian life, whether it be your experience, skill, or language abilities.

Enjoy Atlantic Life

If you’ve always wanted to live by the seaside, you may want to consider looking at one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces. Each one has its own rustic charm without having to compromise on the conveniences of city life.

New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Nova Scotia all have labour demands and offer the same visa processing times as Express Entry does, of just six to eight months due to its new online portal.

So if waking up to a cool sea breeze and easy living sounds dreamy to you and your family you may want to consider the Atlantic Immigration Pilot as your pathway to Canada. It is suitable for all applicants with a job offer or completed a qualification in one of the Atlantic provinces.p>

COVID-19 Mobile Apps

COVID-19 Mobile Apps | Life in Canada in a Pandemic World

There are various apps that will help not only make your arrival in Canada but your day-to-day life easier as you navigate your way through life in Canada amidst the pandemic. Below is a list of some of the must-have COVID-19 apps that you should have.

Digital government response to COVID-19 in Canada

Pandemic FAQs

Coronavirus restrictions FAQs | life in Canada COVID-19

1. Is Canada still processing visa applications?

Yes. In fact, Canada has never stopped processing visa applications since the beginning of the coronavirus travel restrictions.

2. How many people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Canada?

At least almost half of Canada's population has already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 45.10 percent of Canadians have received their first dose while almost 4 percent of the Canadian population is fully vaccinated to date with approximately 6 percent of the population receiving vaccines weekly.

3. Do I have to quarantine when I arrive in Canada?

Yes. All those entering Canada are required to have a negative pre-entry COVID-19 test and a quarantine plan before leaving for Canada. You will need to reserve a compulsory three-night stay at a hotel as well as register in advance for an arrival test on day 8 of your quarantine. You can submit all your quarantine and travel plans via the ArriveCAN app.

Ready to Start Anew in Canada?

Having to prepare yourself and your loved ones to uproot and start afresh in a new country is stressful enough. Add COVID-19 rules and regulations on top of that and it could seem very overwhelming. But having a guideline with all the rules and regulations, armed with checklists will have you ready for your new adventure in Canada before you know it. The most important things to bear in mind before leaving for Canada are your pre-COVID-19 tests as well as your travel and quarantine plan. Be sure to download those useful coronavirus apps to help make things smoother, the most important of which is ArriveCAN.

If you are still in the process of getting started with your visa application process while not take some of the stress off your shoulders by getting some help from professionals who have been in the business of helping people live their Canadian dreams for years. The future looks bright in Canada and with a government set on making life for Canada for permanent residents, citizens, temporary workers, and international students a safe and positive one. Join a community that cares ad live the life you've always dreamt of. It's beyond possible.