FAQ About Canada

Do you have a question about Canada? Contact me!

Meanwhile, feel free to browse the most Frequently Asked Questions.

WEATHER-RELATED QUESTIONS

Will I freeze to death?

Canada is famous for its long and harsh winter. I won’t lie—it’s a well-deserved reputation.

However, the country is huge and some places are colder than others. Most Canadians live close to the border with the USA. Toronto and Vancouver are generally warmer than most cities, while Winnipeg is often nicknamed “Winterpeg”.

I find the first few winters are actually easy. As a new immigrant, you will probably find winter weather fascinating—blizzards, ice rain, extreme cold temperatures… it’s an adventure and a change for most. I find the weather really gets to you after a few years because you know what to expect.

Most Canadians take holidays in the winter months and there are many package deals to spend time “down South” in Florida or in the Caribbean.

Do you have snow year-round in Canada?

Gosh, no! Otherwise I doubt I would live here. Some places do have snow year-round (the Arctic) but most Canadians live in the south of the country, where summer and fall are quite warm.

In fact, Ottawa is very hot and humid during the summer. It’s not rare for temperatures to be above 30°C for a few months.

LANGUAGE-RELATED QUESTIONS

Where can I learn French? Where can I improve my English skills?

You will find more info about language learning in these two articles:

Is the French spoken in Quebec very different from the French spoke in France?

Yes and no. We understand each other just fine and the grammar is largely the same. The slang is different though, and so is the vocabulary. It’s a bit like the language differences between the English spoken in Australia vs. in the USA or the Spanish spoken in Spain vs. Argentina, for instance.

As for the accent… well, you will get used to it!

LIFE IN CANADA

Is living in Canada expensive?

There is no right answer to this question as they are many variables. If you are from Bangladesh, Canada everything will be more expensive than back home. If you are from Australia, you may find life is cheaper here. It also depends on your way of life and on your expectations. Home ownership is a goal for many people but few immigrants buy their dream home right after landing.

I do find the cost of living cheaper in Canada than in France, except for imported food products (cheese, dairy products, etc.), alcohol and telecommunications (Internet, landlines and cell phones).

Should I settle in Vancouver or in Toronto?

Well, it really depends on what you are looking for. Most immigrants settle in either (and French speakers favour Montreal) but Canada is a big country and you may want to consider other cities and other provinces as well.

Don’t worry, there will be a Tim Hortons nearby no matter where you decide to live.

IMMIGRATION-RELATED QUESTIONS

My application has been “in process” forever. Can I sue Citizenship & Immigration?

While I completely understand your frustration, there is no much you can do at this stage and I doubt that making a formal complaint will help your case. Immigrating is not a right and unless you have been discriminated against, long processing times are the norm nowadays.

I am a brain surgeon/a professional poker player/a belly dancer. Please tell me if I am eligible to immigrate to Canada.

The skilled worker category is a point-based system. You can determinate your eligibility for free online on the CIC website.

I applied for permanent residence under the Quebec skilled worker program but now I want to live elsewhere in Canada. Can I?

In short, yes. As a permanent resident, you can live anywhere you want in Canada.

I landed in Canada but I didn’t stay, I went home right away. Now I am ready to live in Canada. Where do I start?

How long ago did you land? If it’s more than five years ago, you may have lost your permanent residence status. As a permanent resident, you must be physically present in Canada for two years for every five-year period.

Do I need to hire a lawyer to take me through the application process?

I personally don’t recommend hiring a lawyer or an immigration consultant unless your case is very tricky. Most people fill out the forms by themselves—the process can seem daunting at first but it’s not that hard.

Note that no lawyer has the power to speed up the immigration process. Be very suspicious of anyone claiming they can.

If you do hire someone, make sure the person is legit: learn about using a representative.