Moving TO Canada including immigration & relocation issues

Recently released 2011 census figures analyzed by Statistics Canada show that one in five people living in Canada are foreign-born (6,775,800), the highest proportion in 75 years. Over the five years, from 2010 and 2014, the foreign-born population of Canada grew by a quarter million people annually.These recent immirants are about 3.5% of the total population of Canada. Asia (including the Middle East) was Canada's largest source of immigrants during the past five years, although the share of immigration from Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America increased slightly.

Canada – Permanent residents by category

Total by Category
Category 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Family class 60,226 56,455 65,012 81,843 66,661
Economic immigrants 186,915 156,115 160,793 148,155 165,089
Refugees 24,697 27,873 23,079 23,831 23,286
Other immigrants 8,842 8,301 9,014 5,194 5,367
Total by Category 280,687 248,747 257,903 259,023 260,404

Canada is ethnically and religously diverse. Combined, the three largest visible minority groups-South Asians, Chinese and Blacks-accounted for 61.3% of the visible minority population in 2011. They were followed by Filipinos, Latin Americans, Arabs, Southeast Asians, West Asians, Koreans and Japanese. Slightly over 1 million individuals identified themselves as Muslim, representing 3.2% of the nation's total population. Hindus represented 1.5%, Sikhs 1.4%, Buddhists 1.1% and Jewish 1.0%.

The figures from Statistics Canada also show that 20 percent of the Canadian population is now composed of individuals who do not count English or French as their native language. Chinese languages are now the third most spoken, followed by Italian, German, Punjabi, Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, and Portuguese. Two-thirds of immigrants speak at least TWO languages.

In 2014, Canada admitted 260,000 permanent residents, temporary foreign workers, and foreign students -- a rate steady over the past decade, Citizenship and Immigration Canada said.

The large urban centres (like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary) are attracting most of the immigrants (over 70%), where many can find lots of ex-pats speaking the same language sharing the same customs, religion, sport & cultural interests, and holiday observances. Toronto and Vancouver have high house prices, at levels that will chock most Americans (even with a favourable exchange rate). However, a recent study by Statistics Canada found that migrants have a smaller income gap--compared to native-born Canadians-- outside of large urban areas, with the income gap decreasing over time. In small towns and rural areas, migrants averaged higher earnings than their Canadian counterparts, sometimes after only a year of residence. This suggests immigrants should widen their scope to improve both their earnings and their opporutjnity for integration into the community.

Differences Americans will notice when Moving to Canada

in the USA

In Canada

English is the main language but in parts of the east and southwest, Spanish is a major (and almost dominant) language, but without "official" status. 🍁   There are two official languages in Canada - French and English, and many immigrants speak other languages on top of that (and nobody CARES).
In the US, British units are used (even Britain doesn't use these any more). Distances are measure in miles, other stuff in feet & inches, pounds & ounces, quarts & ounces (only hard liquor comes in 750 mililitre bottles) 🍁   In Canada distances in miles, other stuff in metres, kilograms, litres. Though paper is still 8-1/2 x 11 inches, lumber comes as 2 by 4s, and wall board is 4 feet x 8 feet.
In the US, government exists to allow people to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many Americans distrust government, and law enforcement. 🍁   In Canada the government exists "to preserve, law, order, and good government." Canadians generally trust our police, our military, and of course, our neighbours.
In the US, the Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry a gun, often in the open on the street, and even in theatres, churches, universities, and schools. Even you are under psychiatric are, or a potential terrorist. Just not if you are a felon. In 2014 12,585 died from gun violence, and 23, 41 were injured. Injuries1 23,041. 🍁   In Canada, only hunters and target-shooters have a gun. Guns in the home must be locked away, so children cannot access them. Gun owners must pass a competency test before they are permitted to own or transport a gun. In 2013, Canada had 131 gun violence deaths ( down 41 from 2012).
Healthcare is gradually becoming accessible to all citizens, though Republicans are trying to repeal "and replace it". 🍁   Canada has a provincial government-run universal single-payer healthcare that ensures that Canadians can visit a doctor pretty well any time, and a hospital visit (or birth of a child) will not put a working class family into poverty.
Certain governors and congressmen have repeatedly tried to (a) enforce their religious views over the will of women and their doctors, and (b) have perennially tied to pass a Constitutional amendment to abolish "gay marriage" (until the Supreme Court recently crushed that dream). 🍁   Canadians are more accepting of people's differences: nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Since the early 1970s, the "government has kept out of the bedrooms of the nation", and allowed legal abortions to be widely available, and have allowed gays to marry (not "gay marry" but marry) for over a decade.
USA has a lot of independent banks, and every town has a "First National Bank of..." though a few banks control much of corporate finance and mortgage and small business lending. The Republican Congress has tried to weaken anti-trust legislation, and consumer protection legislation, for the sole benefit of Wall Street. 🍁   Canada's banking system has been the strongest in the world, and never had a crisis back in 2008 because the banking systems investments and mortgages were more secure, and the reserve requirements are higher. We only have a dozen big banks, and you can use your ATM card at your bank's branches coast to coast. And our debit and credit cards have had the "chip" security features for YEARS.
Most Americans cannot explain what that blank spot is at the top of the Nightly News weather map, and would be hard-pressed to name any of the provinces. 🍁   Canadians know more about the U.S. than Americans know about Canada. We follow America's politics on our daily news. Most Canadians have taken several vacations in the US, and can name most of the states even if they haven't visited them.
Things that are cheaper in the USA: gasoline, liquor & beer, eggs, milk, airfares 🍁   Things that are cheaper in Canada: healthcare, prescription & non-prescription drugs, Timbits, maple syrup.
USA has no minimum annual vacation. Mothers have no paid maternity leave. 🍁   Canadians have at least two weeks annual vacation (many have 4 weeks or more, based on length of service). And our unemployment insurance benefits extend to provide a year of maternity leave (to either the man or the woman) and guarantees your old job back when that leave is over.
American currency has --for years-- been a basic green, and recently has adopted very nice pastel shades to thwart counterfeiters. The Susan B Anthony $1 coin was disdained by the public. 🍁   Canada has had rainbow money since the 1960s. And we've had a woman on our coins and bills since the 1950s (yes, Queen Elizabeth, our head of state). Our popular $1 coin is called a "loonie" because of a loon (bird) engraved on one side, and the popular $2 coin is called a "toonie" (two-nie) and is made of two metals.