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“I am a Skilled Worker in Dubai. Should I move to Canada?”

Dubai maintains a reputation as one of the fastest-growing cities in the Middle East. This is thanks to the city’s business-friendly environment and highly-skilled workforce.

However, many Dubai-based skilled workers and entrepreneurs have recently left the UAE and moved to Canada. Such professionals chose Canada for its superior quality of life, stable economy, and diverse communities.

Elaar Immigration’s team of Canadian Immigration experts had the privilege of hosting a booth at GNICE 2022 in November last year. Our consultants met with numerous skilled workers and entrepreneurs and educated them on the various Canadian immigration routes available. We assist many Dubai-based workers with such programs and will continue helping people worldwide immigrate to Canada.

In this guide, we will discuss why so many skilled workers are moving to Canada from Dubai and review some of the immigration programs available to such professionals.

Move to Canada from Dubai

Types of Expats in Dubai

Dubai’s reputation as an international business hub means a significant percentage of the people employed in the city are from somewhere other than the UAE.

It is estimated that only 10% of the people in the region are Emirati. The remaining 90% are Expats from first-world and third-world countries.

Some first-world country Expats are from America, Denmark, Italy, and France. Most workers from third-world countries are from South Asian nations such as India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

In fact, many Indians seek out jobs in Dubai to boost their career before moving to first-world countries in Europe and North America.

Why are Expats Moving from Dubai to Canada in 2023?

So, “Is it worth moving to Canada from Dubai?”. The answer is yes. People migrate to Canada from Dubai for numerous reasons. This includes:

1. Immigration Security

The UAE is incredibly strict when it comes to awarding citizenship to people who weren’t born in the country. Under current laws, an Expat would need to reside in the country for 30 years to receive citizenship by naturalization.

This is difficult to do, and many people aren’t willing to go through the hassle of renewing their UAE work visa multiple times over the course of three decades.

By contrast, Expats who are Canadian permanent residents are allowed to live in Canada visa-free and will receive Canadian citizenship after just five years.

This means Expats will enjoy immigration security if they move to Canada from Dubai.

2. Cost of Living

Dubai’s status as a luxury city means its cost of living is incredibly high. Most people who reside in the city devote a significant portion of their monthly income to paying rent. Combined with other high living expenses, it’s not uncommon for such expats to live paycheck to paycheck, even while earning relatively high salaries.

These Expats can enjoy much lower living costs in Canada. While the cost of living can be high in metropolitan cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, the living costs in other mid-sized cities and towns are far more affordable.

3. Standard of Living

Dubai’s standard of living may seem on par with many first-world countries. However, many professionals face a hectic work-life balance. This diminishes the enjoyment of living in a region with a relatively high standard of living.

Such expats can enjoy a similar standard of living but with added perks such as paid time off and vacation days in Canada. This is thanks to the country’s worker-friendly labour laws.

4. Weather

Dubai’s intense heat can be too much to handle, especially for expats from cooler countries. You can’t stay indoors all the time, so people living in this megacity must simply adapt to the region’s sizzling climate.

Expats may prefer Canada’s cooler weather over Dubai’s. The country does experience cold winters. However, they are relatively mild if you reside in regions such as British Columbia or Southern Ontario.

5. Job Opportunities

Canada has ample job opportunities for people from all backgrounds. This contrasts with Dubai, where third-world expats are usually shoe-horned into labour-intensive or service industry roles.

6. Freedom to Start a Business

Canada’s business-friendly environment makes it incredibly easy for expats to pursue new ventures. Such individuals will be able to set up and register their businesses with minimal hassle. By contrast, these expats would need to undergo a lengthy and costly process to get licensed and open a business in Dubai.

7. Free Healthcare

Canadian permanent residents and citizens receive free healthcare from the Canadian government. This means you can get free treatment for a variety of medical conditions. In other cases, Canadians receive discounts on medications and procedures.

Dubai’s healthcare system is far less welcoming to expats. People working in the city typically get healthcare coverage from their employers. However, they lose this coverage if they lose their job.

8. Free Education

Canada offers free public education up to the 12th grade. This means an expat’s children can go to school for free.

Dubai’s schooling system isn’t free, and the annual tuition fee at schools ranges from AED 12,000 to AED 64,000. This is incredibly expensive for expats who are raising children in the city.

How Can You Get PR in Canada from Dubai?

Skilled workers or entrepreneurs can immigrate to Canada from Dubai through one of the following programs:

1. Express Entry for Skilled Workers

Canada’s Express Entry system offers multiple immigration routes. However, the most popular option remains its Federal Skilled Worker class. This program is open to people with skilled work experience, high education credentials, and good English or French language skills.

The Express Entry system’s Federal Skilled Trades program is for professionals with work experience in specific occupations. The Canadian Experience Class is great for people with at least 1 year of Canadian work experience.

2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Canada’s various provinces each have its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). These provinces set up programs to achieve specific economic goals, such as bringing in foreign workers in specific occupations to address labour shortages or attracting foreign entrepreneurs who wish to set up and operate businesses there.

3. Business Start-up or Investor Programs

There are numerous business start-ups and investor programs for prospective entrepreneurs who wish to come to Canada and set up a business.

The main one is the Start-Up visa program. A program known as the Intra-Company Transfer program also allows business owners to expand their current business to Canada and receive permanent residence in the process.

Find more Canada Investment Visa Programs here.

4. Family and Spousal Sponsorship

Expats with a spouse, partner, or family member who is a Canadian permanent resident or citizen may be eligible for PR sponsorship. Learn more about these programs in our Spousal Sponsorship and PGP Sponsorship guides.

5. Quebec-Selected

Quebec has its own immigration programs that are distinct from the other provinces’ PNPs. Such immigration routes are suited for French-speaking skilled workers in specific occupations.

6. Other Pilot Programs

Many pilot and caregiver programs exist for expats with special skills or backgrounds. For example, British Columbia has a pilot program for entrepreneurs called “BC PNP Regional Pilot Program” who intend to set up businesses in small communities in the province. Similarly, Canada’s Caregiver Visa programs are designed to help people in caregiving occupations immigrate to Canada.

ELAAR in Gulf News Immigration & Citizenship Exhibition 2022 (GNICE)

Elaar Immigration’s Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants visited GNICE 2022 in Dubai in November last year to connect with working professionals and entrepreneurs interested in emigrating from the UAE. Our lead consultant, Keshav Sharma, delivered an informative presentation at the exhibition and helped answer key questions related to Canadian immigration.

Many people who attended the exhibition were eager to learn about the different immigration pathways available and how a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant could assist them in choosing the program that offered them the best possible immigration route.

Such attendees left the conference with renewed confidence that Canadian immigration was an attainable goal. We have helped many Dubai-based Skilled Workers and Entrepreneurs settle permanently in Canada with their families.

Need help?

If you hope to immigrate to Canada or would like to apply for a Canada work permit from Dubai, please reach out to Elaar Immigration.

Our experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants understand the various Federal and Provincial immigration programs and can recommend the one that offers you the highest chance of success. Start your journey toward a lucrative life in Canada with Elaar Immigration’s help.

Ready to Migrate to Canada from Dubai?

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