Background information and legal aspects

Entry Requirements

EU citizens can enter Canada with a valid passport. For many nationalities, no visa is required if the stay does not exceed six months, regardless of the purpose of the stay (tourist, business). EU citizens require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to board their flight to Canada. If EU travellers enter by land or sea, they do not require an eTA. For more details, please check current information on the website of your local Canadian consulate.

Additional entry requirements:

Upon entry you must prove that you have sufficient funds to sustain the cost of your stay for yourself and dependent relatives (if applicable). Furthermore, it must be documented that the return to your home country is secured (e.g. by presenting a return ticket).

EU citizens can enter Canada with a valid passport. For many nationalities, no visa is required if the stay does not exceed six months, regardless of the purpose of the stay (tourist, business). EU citizens require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to board their flight to Canada. If EU travellers enter by land or sea, they do not require an eTA. For more details, please check current information on the website of your local Canadian consulate.

Additional entry requirements:

Upon entry you must prove that you have sufficient funds to sustain the cost of your stay for yourself and dependent relatives (if applicable). Furthermore, it must be documented that the return to your home country is secured (e.g. by presenting a return ticket).

Immigration

While Canada is open to immigrants, it distinguishes between “Skilled Worker Class Immigration”, “Business Immigration” and “Family Class Immigration”.

If you want to immigrate, you will be initially assessed in a Canadian embassy using a nine-point system, which must be completed with the highest possible number of points.

The test distinguishes between different groups of people: you can thus either qualify for “Skilled Worker Class Immigration”, if you meet the professional qualification requirements or have an existing job offer, or you can apply for “Business Immigration” as a company founder, if you can submit proof of the required investment capital.

You can apply for “Family Class Immigration” under the family reunification scheme, if you already have family members residing in Canada.

While Canada is open to immigrants, it distinguishes between “Skilled Worker Class Immigration”, “Business Immigration” and “Family Class Immigration”.

If you want to immigrate, you will be initially assessed in a Canadian embassy using a nine-point system, which must be completed with the highest possible number of points.

The test distinguishes between different groups of people: you can thus either qualify for “Skilled Worker Class Immigration”, if you meet the professional qualification requirements or have an existing job offer, or you can apply for “Business Immigration” as a company founder, if you can submit proof of the required investment capital.

You can apply for “Family Class Immigration” under the family reunification scheme, if you already have family members residing in Canada.

Health system

Canada has a good government-funded health care system that provides insurance coverage for Canadian citizens and foreigners with permanent residence status (i.e. foreigners with approved immigration applications). People who live in Canada temporarily have to take out private health insurance, i.e. we recommend you take out an international health insurance in your home country for any temporary stay or for your first months in Canada.

Canada has a good government-funded health care system that provides insurance coverage for Canadian citizens and foreigners with permanent residence status (i.e. foreigners with approved immigration applications). People who live in Canada temporarily have to take out private health insurance, i.e. we recommend you take out an international health insurance in your home country for any temporary stay or for your first months in Canada.

Education and schools

The Canadian school system is dominated by public sponsors, i.e. around 90% of all students attend a public school in the immediate vicinity of their place of residence, as the geographical area is decisive for their school affiliation.

In Canada, compulsory school attendance starts at the age of five, at “pre-elementary” level so that the students already have reading and writing skills when they enter grade 1. Everywhere, school buses are available for transportation from the students’ home to school and vice versa.

All Canadian schools are all-day schools based on the well-known U.S. concept of elementary school followed by high school and subsequent study at a college/university. To study at Canadian universities, tuition fees apply. These vary depending on the university and field of study. Even students from less affluent families can afford to study thanks to scholarships, grants and student loans.

The Canadian school system is dominated by public sponsors, i.e. around 90% of all students attend a public school in the immediate vicinity of their place of residence, as the geographical area is decisive for their school affiliation.

In Canada, compulsory school attendance starts at the age of five, at “pre-elementary” level so that the students already have reading and writing skills when they enter grade 1. Everywhere, school buses are available for transportation from the students’ home to school and vice versa.

All Canadian schools are all-day schools based on the well-known U.S. concept of elementary school followed by high school and subsequent study at a college/university. To study at Canadian universities, tuition fees apply. These vary depending on the university and field of study. Even students from less affluent families can afford to study thanks to scholarships, grants and student loans.

Wages and taxes

The Canadian tax system is divided into state and regional taxes, each of which is payable individually. The following list of progressive income taxes applies to the whole of Canada, the amount of which is payable according to income. As in many other tax systems, percentage wage tax increases are only added to the next tax bracket once the income threshold has been exceeded: e.g. for an income of C$ 48,000, the rate of 20,5% only applies to the amount of C$ 370, since the first C$ 47,630 is taxed at a rate of 15%.

The following uniform federal state tax rates applied in 2019:

 

 

  • 15% for an income of up to C$ 47,630
  • 20,5% for an income from C$ 47,630 to C$ 95,259
  • 26% for an income from C$ 95,259 to C$ 147,667
  • 29% for an income from C$ 147,667 to C$ 210,371
  • 33% for an income of over C$ 210,371

The province of Nova Scotia also applies the following regional taxes:

  • 8.79% for an income of up to C$ 29,590
  • 14.95% for an income from C$ 29,590 to C$ 33,820
  • 16.67% for an income from C$ 33,820 to C$ 57,000
  • 17.5% for an income from C$ 57,000 to C$ 150,000
  • 21% for an income of over C$ 150,000

The Canadian tax system is divided into state and regional taxes, each of which is payable individually. The following list of progressive income taxes applies to the whole of Canada, the amount of which is payable according to income. As in many other tax systems, percentage wage tax increases are only added to the next tax bracket once the income threshold has been exceeded: e.g. for an income of C$ 48,000, the rate of 20,5% only applies to the amount of C$ 370, since the first C$ 47,630 is taxed at a rate of 15%.

The following uniform federal state tax rates applied in 2019:

 

 

  • 15% for an income of up to C$ 47,630
  • 20,5% for an income from C$ 47,630 to C$ 95,259
  • 26% for an income from C$ 95,259 to C$ 147,667
  • 29% for an income from C$ 147,667 to C$ 210,371
  • 33% for an income of over C$ 210,371

The province of Nova Scotia also applies the following regional taxes:

  • 8.79% for an income of up to C$ 29,590
  • 14.95% for an income from C$ 29,590 to C$ 33,820
  • 16.67% for an income from C$ 33,820 to C$ 57,000
  • 17.5% for an income from C$ 57,000 to C$ 150,000
  • 21% for an income of over C$ 150,000

Cost of living

While the total cost of living is comparable to that of a Western European country, its distribution is different. The general comparability is made more difficult by a very regional cost structure.

In general: while groceries are more expensive than in Europe (especially compared to Germany), utilities, such as electricity, water, gasoline, etc. are cheaper.

On the topic “Best quality of life in Canada”, moneysense.ca recently published a very interesting comparative study: calculating the average time required to pay off the mortgage for a home based on the overall income of a household.
If you consider the average of 12 years required to pay off the mortgage of your home in Vancouver (B.C.) as very favourable compared to Europe, you will think that Nova Scotia is a real paradise: mathematically speaking, a family with a total net income of about C$ 62,000 which is typical for the area, can pay off their own house completely in well under three years.
A detailed overview can be found here: https://www.moneysense.ca/canadas-best-places-to-live-2018-create-your-own-ranking/

While the total cost of living is comparable to that of a Western European country, its distribution is different. The general comparability is made more difficult by a very regional cost structure.

In general: while groceries are more expensive than in Europe (especially compared to Germany), utilities, such as electricity, water, gasoline, etc. are cheaper.

On the topic “Best quality of life in Canada”, moneysense.ca recently published a very interesting comparative study: calculating the average time required to pay off the mortgage for a home based on the overall income of a household.
If you consider the average of 12 years required to pay off the mortgage of your home in Vancouver (B.C.) as very favourable compared to Europe, you will think that Nova Scotia is a real paradise: mathematically speaking, a family with a total net income of about C$ 62,000 which is typical for the area, can pay off their own house completely in well under three years.
A detailed overview can be found here: https://www.moneysense.ca/canadas-best-places-to-live-2018-create-your-own-ranking/

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