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    7 Secrets to Feel at Home After Moving from the UK to Canada

    December 10th, 2019
    Orbit Moving

    feel like home

    Since Canada and the UK have historical links that bind them, it’s no wonder that so many Brits end up in Canada, and vice versa. Following the vote for Britain to leave the European Union, Google searches for ‘moving to Canada’ skyrocketed. Whether you’re looking to leave for a job, family, or a change of pace, Canada can offer Brits a familiar yet brand new country to call home. Just the same, any move across the pond is a huge change, so here are 7 secrets to help you feel at home after moving to Canada from the UK.

    Learn the Language

    While English (and French) are the official languages of Canada, making for an easier transition, picking up on some of the nuances of Canadian language will help you understand what everyone is talking about in casual conversation, eh. Canadian spelling, unlike American, is very similar to UK English. However there are some notable differences, for example words like analyse and paralyse are spelled analyze and paralyze by most Canadians. Other terms to learn are mostly slang: a loonie is a dollar, a gas station is a petrol station, and a toque is a hat to keep you warm in the winter.

    Enjoy Familiar Comforts Of Home

    It turns out Canadians enjoy Coronation Street just as much as the Brits, with the CBC broadcasting it five times a week on the edge of prime time since it’s the most popular soap in both Canada and the UK. Feel free to binge watch and find out who in your social circle in Canada is also hooked on Coronation Street.

    Learn to Love The National Sport

    Ice hockey and lacrosse to Canadians are what cricket and football are to the Brits. A great way to meet new people is to go and check out some games, amateur or pro, and if you’re so inclined explore the possibility of learning the sport and playing yourself. There are numerous house leagues of various levels for adults and children alike. It’s a great way to stay active and meet new people.

    Network With Other Brits

    Groups like Brits in Toronto have over 4,000 members (with many cities across the country having such groups) and exist to help other Brits feel at home. These groups include meet ups, so you can connect with others who are going through something similar to you, but also provide opportunities for you to find the comforts of home in Canada. Need to know where to get a good curry or roast beef in your new hometown? No problem, members of these groups are happy to offer suggestions and help you acclimatize to your new life in Canada.

    Be Wary of ‘Tourist’ Friendships

    While it can be wonderful to meet other Brits new to Canada and figuring out if it is the right fit for them, and commiserating about your adventure, don’t rely on one person or family to be your entire social circle. Should they decide to head back home you will find yourself feeling very lonely. Karen Brooks moved to Whistler from the UK in 2010 and told The Guardian of her experience, saying that it’s easy to meet other expats where they live, but many people are only there for a short time, so remain patient when finding the best possible place to live, work, and meet others.

    Bond Over Complaining About the Weather

    Trade in your raincoat for a winter parka. Aside from the west coast in British Columbia, the rest of Canada sees a lot less rain, but colder temperatures. Invest in warm gear for cold weather so you can get out during the winter months instead of spending all your time inside, alone, watching Netflix. Want to start a conversation? Complaining about the weather is an important Canadian rite of passage.

    Bring Family & Friends Over To Visit

    Spending a little time in your new home as a tourist and enjoying attractions alongside loved ones is a fantastic way to grow an appreciation for Canada. Canada is huge compared to the UK, so even exploring one province, depending on the province’s size, could take some time. Scheduling visitors during your first years in Canada will give you something to look forward to, and provide new and exciting ways to explore the country.

    Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

    We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228. ​

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    Essential Documents You Need for Moving to Costa Rica from Canada

    November 29th, 2019
    Orbit Moving

    writing on paper

    So, you want to become a ‘Tico’? This is an affectionate nickname that many Costa Ricans use to refer to themselves because of a linguistic habit of adding tico/tica to the end of words in Costa Rican Spanish. Who can blame you for wanting to move to Costa Rica? It’s warm, sunny, friendly, and filled with amazing rainforest and wildlife.

    Before you pack your maleta (suitcase), you’ll need to know what documents you need to bring with you.

    Your Passport

    Those coming as Canadian (or U.S.) citizens are not required to acquire a visa to enter the country as a tourist for a stay of up to 90 days. Simply have your passport stamped. Note that your passport must be more than six months away from expiration and cannot be damaged or you may be denied entry into the country. You will also need to present proof that you will be exiting the country within 90 days, in the form of documentation such as a plane ticket with a destination elsewhere. Many people repeatedly do this and simply re-enter the country a short time later, but there are no guarantees that you will be readmitted through this travel loophole, and it’s better to seek out a lengthier solution during your first 90 day stay.

    Immunization Records

    If you have stamps in your passport indicating that you have travelled to Asia, Africa, or South America you may be required to bring a World Health Organization Card (WHO CARD) or a doctor’s letter as proof of your yellow fever immunization.

    Driver’s License

    Generally Canadian driver’s licenses will remain valid for you to rent and drive a car in Costa Rica for shorter stays. Those staying longer will want to explore obtaining a Costa Rican license after they attain a residence visa.

    Getting a Visa As Retirees

    Seniors retiring in Costa Rica need to provide proof that they have at least 1K per month of income coming in from a recognized pension plan (like a teachers’ pension that comes in every month). Those who don’t have a fixed retirement plan, but have savings, can provide proof they have at least $2,500 income coming in for at least 24 months, or simply deposit $60,000 in an Immigration Authority Approved Costa Rican Bank. Those who wish to invest 200K in a home, business, or residential property in Costa Rica can obtain residence under the Inversionista Program (for investors).

    Beyond Documentation, A Hired Lawyer

    This is an attorney who specializes in immigration to Costa Rica, and will help you sort out your visa quickly, organize your paperwork, all without unnecessary delays. Most government officials will not be able to speak English, so if your Spanish is rusty, your attorney can speak on your behalf and translate for you.

    Other Documentation

    While your lawyer will be able to help you assemble your documentation, you can get started by gathering the following standard items including: an immigration application form, a receipt showing you have deposited money in the Banco de Costa Rica to pay for your application (this is noted to be $50 when applying from Canada or $250 if applying while visiting on your tourist visa), a letter explaining why you want to live in Costa Rica, proof of registration within the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica, proof of fingerprinting by the Ministry of Public Safety, your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), your Police Record. Note: documents must be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the government.

    Bienvenido a casa/Welcome Home!
    Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

    We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228. ​

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    A Complete Guide to Moving from Chicago to Canada

    November 7th, 2019
    Orbit Moving

    chicago
    Fearing the upcoming US election? Got a job offer or educational opportunity you can’t refuse? While a move from Chicago may not seem like a big deal, particularly if you’re moving to another large city like Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, or Vancouver, there is still a lot that you need to know. Here’s a quick cheat sheet on moving from Chicago to Canada.​

    Pick Your Timing​

    A move to Canada doesn’t need to be a final decision. On your passport alone you can spend time in Canada as a visitor for just under six months, but that also means you won’t be able to work while you’re here. To find out your eligibility for whatever type of goals you have in Canada (whether it’s as a student, a temporary worker, or a permanent resident) you can fill out a 10 minute online tool at www.Canada.ca. ​

    Those with more than a year of full-time work experience may qualify for Express entry, which costs around $2000, may involve some language testing and takes about six months to process. Applicants are rated on a scale up to 1200 points with 600 points based on skills, education and professional experience, and the other 600 on having relatives with Canadian residency, job offers, or speaking French.​

    If you have a skill that is in high demand in a province (like in the tech industry) you may qualify for the Provincial Nominees Program, however this will determine where you’ll need to live.

    Where Most People Live In Canada​

    While many people joke about Canadians living in a frozen wasteland, take note, most of the Canadian population is with 100 miles (or 160 kilometres, you’re really going to need to learn the metric system if you want to live here) from the United States Border. Most people live in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver.​

    If you’ve decided you’re Canada bound but have not landed on a location yet, you’ll need to decide whether you’re a city mouse or a country mouse among other things. Employment offers from companies with offices around the country may allow you to select a location based on weather preference, affordability, proximity to family, friends, or ski hills – it’s up to you.​

    taxu

    Finding The Right Location For You


    Vancouver offers big city living, first-class public transit, an ocean view, milder climate, and a hefty price tag to go with the West Coast benefits. ​

    Toronto may be the closest to what you are used to in Chicago in both climate and big city culture. Toronto offers diverse and trendy multicultural neighbourhoods, art, culture, theatre, and many job opportunities. The cost of rent in Toronto compared to Chicago is comparable, especially when you factor in the US/Canada exchange rate. Concerned about safety? Toronto is frequently listed among the top safest cities in North America.

    Other big-city options include Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg.


    Speak French, love Europe, and don’t mind the cold? Consider Montreal or Quebec City to enjoy a European feel very close to the US border. ​

    For those looking to simplify their lives and experience a friendly oceanic Canadian experience, look to live in Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, or New Brunswick.​
    Still hate extreme weather. The mildest and most temperate climate in all of Canada is in Victoria, the British Columbia capital, where the temperature rarely dips below zero in the winter or above 30 degrees C in summer.​

    street

    Climate Differences

    Chicagoans may feel like they have cold weather on a lock and will have no problem adapting to Canadian weather, more specifically Canadian winters. While the average monthly temperature in Chicago is only 2.3 degrees Celsius different in Toronto, Ontario (that’s 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit), something that may get to you is the lack of sunlight. There are 541 fewer hours of sunlight in Toronto each year than in Chicago, which may impact anyone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SADs). ​

    Things to Remember​

    Just because you’re living in Canada doesn’t mean you aren’t still a US citizen, and your rights and obligations as such are the same. You can still vote and are encouraged to do so.​
    Canada is known for welcoming in immigrants and the OECD Better Life Index rates life satisfaction in Canada as seven out of the 40 countries assessed (life satisfaction is rated 17 in the US). You may have just found your new home, and remember Chicago Style Pizza is just a short flight (or long drive) away.​

    Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert​


    We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228. ​

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    5 Major Stress Points of Moving From Mexico to Canada

    November 5th, 2019
    Orbit Moving

    mexico flag
    A move to Canada may be the right thing for you and your family, but before you pack your bags take note – immigration can be a long and complicated process. In addition to being granted admission into the country there will be other hurdles and stress points you’ll need to face. The good news is that if you’re prepared and know what to expect, you’ll be able to face them head-on and anticipate potential barriers in your early days in the country.

    TSome Professions Aren’t Easily Transferred

    A lot of Canadian professions are highly regulated. This means that a degree or experience as a professional in Mexico may not apply when you arrive in Canada. Often, depending on the profession, educational and professional credentials need to be assessed by a local regulating body, followed by a possible need to upgrade your education and/or take a series of exams to be able to practice your profession in Canada. This is particularly common in healthcare. It may take months or even years to meet Canadian standards and get working in your chosen field. Those with internationally recognized designations may be able to set to work right away. Either way, you’ll need time to determine when you can start working and have a back-up job in mind should you need to take time and have the funding available to get certified in Canada.

    truck

    Healthcare Isn’t Exactly Free

    Many people talk about Canada having free healthcare but the reality is, not everything is free. Yes, people who are new to Canada can enjoy a top-notch and publicly funded healthcare system, but some money is needed. A lot of coverage won’t begin until someone has been in Canada for as long as six months, so it’s recommended that you get some private insurance to cover you in the meantime. It’s also worth noting that some health services like prescription drugs and dental care are not covered under the healthcare system, so once again purchasing comprehensive insurance is a good idea.

    Learning the Language

    Canada has two official languages: English and French, and you’ll need to be able to prove that you can speak at least one of them fluently. To prove you can speak in either English or French you will need to take a skill testing exam in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The exams that are accepted for this are called the IELTS and TEF exams. The exams are a time commitment of just under three hours and will cost $320 for an IELTS exam. Be sure to add this item to your checklist and timeline. The results from these exams take approximately five to seven days to be released when taken in Canada.

    Driving In Canada

    Being able to use your driver’s license in Canada may not be an option. Each province has its own rules and regulations which means you’ll need to pay to have your license issued in a Canadian format. You also may need to take some testing before you are permitted to drive. Thankfully, if you are unable to drive for some time, Canada is known for having many excellent public transit options available, particularly in larger cities.

    Canadian Weather

    We can’t talk about Canada without mentioning the weather. The Canadian climate is very different than the temperate one in Mexico. Winters can be long and cold, whereas summer can be quite warm and even feel tropical. Plan on living in the Prairies or interior provinces, get ready for a lot of snow, for as much as six months of the year. Many find it best to plan their transition to Canada in the spring where they can experience some transitional weather, the summer, and most of the year before facing winter.
    Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

    We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228. ​

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    6 Surefire Ways to Convince Your Kids to Move to Canada from Texas

    October 18th, 2019
    Orbit Moving

    child in box
    US News recently ranked Canada as the fourth best country for raising kids (The US didn’t make the top 5 list). While this, a new job, family, or a plethora of other reasons might be why you want to move to Canada, it might be harder to convince your kids to leave the Lone Star State for the Great White North, eh?
    The good news is there are numerous benefits for children in Canada that may help convince your kids (and the grown-ups) that Canada is a fantastic place to raise kids whether they’re six months old, six years old, or 16!

    Independence From Safety

    Each year the Global Peace Index releases a list of the most peaceful (aka safest) places in the world to live. In 2019, Canada ranked number six on this list (the US ranked 128 on a list containing 163 countries), making it a highly sought-after place to live. While this number may not impress kids looking for more independence, as a parent it can provide peace of mind for you to loosen the reigns and allow for some extra freedom, particularly for older kids.

    It’s A Winter Wonderland

    If your kids are used to Texas sized adventures, Canada may just impress them. While Texans see snow from time to time, much of Canada brings winter and snow to extremes. Let your kids try out skiing, snowboarding, skating, snow biking, or even hockey to help them embrace the colder weather, make new friends, and perhaps even find a hobby that lasts a lifetime.
    Cheaper Post Secondary Education
    American post secondary education is known for coming with a hefty price tag. Even those who end up paying international student fees (this will be substantially lower should your family be granted permanent resident status or Canadian Citizenship) end up paying significantly less than they would for a school that is out of state or a private American College. This, along with universal health care, frees up money for the pursuit of a post graduate degree, living on campus, or maybe even the purchase of a car to help them with the commute. What teen is going to say no to that?

    teamwork

    Wildlife Abound

    Do your kids love wildlife? Canada is jam packed with it. Take your animal loving child to the west coast and Vancouver in the spring so they can watch 20,000 gray whales complete their enormous migration north (the longest mammal migration). Other animals you may run into while you live in Canada (depending on where you’re travelling) include grizzly bears, cougars, moose, gray wolves, Canada geese, marmots, wolverines, and bison. Remember to learn about safe distances from wild life and what to do if you come across Canadian wild life, before your first adventure.

    Explore Canada On Foot

    Interested in hiking? Check out the Great Trail spanning 24,000 kilometres (that’s 14,900 miles), all around this beautiful country. Four out of five Canadians live within 30 minutes of this multi-province and territory spanning trail, so odds are it’s nearby. Want to check out some national parks, national historical sites, and national marine conservation areas? Kids 17 and under can visit any of these locations operated by Parks Canada for no cost whatsoever (sorry parents, you must pay, but we promise it’ll be worth it).

    cowboy

    Parental Leave

    While this may not apply to older kids, it does apply to those who want to expand their family and enjoy more time with their little ones. If your child has always wanted a younger sibling, living in Canada may be the time to consider it. In Canada, employees who are covered by the Canadian Labour Code (research to see if this applies to you) are able to enjoy as much as 17 weeks of maternity leave, and a parental leave for either parent caring for a newborn infant or newly adopted child for a combined period of up to 63 weeks. Many parents are eligible for receiving some employment insurance during this time period.

    Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

    We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.
    We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.

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