How to Migrate to Canada: Why Migrate and How Much Does It Cost?

migrate to vancouver sg

Singaporeans live in a melting pot of cultures, so it comes as no surprise that Canada, with its diverse cities (like Toronto) is a favourite destination when it comes to migration.

Despite the vast difference in weather, Canadians are friendly, accepting of different nationalities and passionate about their country’s sports. Cities in Canada are not just a great place for people to retire in, but also a popular spot for exchange programs and holidays.


Why do people migrate to Canada?

One key reason people leave Singapore to Canada is to escape the stress. The largest Singaporean population is in Vancouver, followed by Toronto. In 2011, there were around 11,000 Singapore-born people living in Canada.

Canada has some world-class cities as well. Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is ranked the 7th most livable city in the world, whereas Vancouver is ranked 6th.

In addition, the cities easy to fit in since they’re so multicultural. In Toronto, over 30% of the residents speak a language other than English and French and it is considered to be one of the most diverse places in the world.

See how it compares to other popular destinations like Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US.


Weather and climate in Canada

Canada is huge, so there are varying climates from the east to west. Generally, you can expect snow in winter in most major cities. Vancouver and Toronto have relatively mild winters, while Winnipeg and Quebec City have some of the coldest.

If you love the four seasons, Canada takes it to the extreme. Even in relatively mild winters, temperatures average a high of 2 degrees and a low of -7 degrees but can be known to go sub -30.

migrate to canada toronto


Cost of living in Canada (Vancouver)

Here are some cost of living estimates for Vancouver.

As of 28 September 2018, 1 SGD = $0.95 CAD

Item Price (CAD)
Meal at inexpensive restaurant 15 CAD
Pint of domestic beer at a bar 6 CAD
Loaf of fresh white bread (500g) 3.19 CAD
Eggs (pack of 12) 4.12 CAD
Beef (1kg) 15.49 CAD
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort 23,688 CAD
Cost of renting an apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre 1,907.07 CAD
Cost of renting an apartment (1 bedroom) outside of city centre 1,455.67 CAD
Cost of buying apartment in city centre 11,867.08 CAD per square metre
Cost of buying apartment outside of city centre 9,070.69 CAD per square metre


Potential occupations in Canada

If you work in any of the below jobs and are thinking of migrating to Canada, you’re in luck. You might be able to qualify for a visa without a prior job offer. 

  • Legislators
  • Senior managers
  • Financial managers
  • Human resources managers
  • Banking, credit and other investment managers
  • Managers in health care
  • Fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers
  • Facility operation and maintenance managers
  • Financial auditors and accountants
  • Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
  • Physicists and astronomers
  • Chemists
  • Engineers: Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical engineers
  • Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
  • Other professional engineers
  • Doctors, dentists, allied primary health practitioners
  • Pharmacists
  • Editors and journalists
Migrate to Canada Yonge-Dundas Square
Yonge-Dundas Square


Annual salaries in Canada (Vancouver)

Annual salaries in Canada are roughly the same as Singapore.

Occupation Average salary (annual)
High school teacher 49,049 CAD
Marketing executive 42,591 CAD
Financial accountant 55,038 CAD
Mechanical engineer 64,117 CAD
Doctor (GP) 114,650 CAD


Personal income tax in Canada vs Singapore

When comparing salaries between Canada and Singapore, don’t forget to factor in personal income tax, which is much higher in Canada.

For instance, a secondary school teacher earning CAD $49,049 in Canada pays a personal income tax of $7,492 (15% on the first $46,605 and 20.5% on the next $46,603 up to $93,208).

Compared to a secondary school teacher in Singapore earning SGD $40,000 and taxed $550 per year, these figures mean that you might be bringing back a lower take-home pay if you migrate to Canada – although the annual income seems higher at first glance.

Secondary School Teacher Singapore (SGD) Canada (CAD)
Annual income 40,000 49,049
Personal income tax 550 7,492
Take-home pay 48,980 41,557


What is the process to get a Canadian visa?

There are several visas that will enable you to live and work in Canada. While in theory you should be able to get a work visa with a job offer in hand, in practice Canadians tend to be a bit leery of hiring foreigners they have not met. You’ll have a better chance showing up in person and trying to get a job through networking.

For Singaporeans who are skilled and wish to migrate permanently to Canada, the most common work visa is the Express Entry Work Visa. You will need an employer to sponsor you unless your job is on the skills shortage list. You’ll be ranked for eligibility using their points system.

Are you thinking of migrating to Canada? Tell us why in the comments!


Image Credits:
Doug, Pedro Szekely, Nick Harris