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Why Is Canada So Attractive to British Students?

Published June 14 2021


Canada is a big destination for immigrants from around the world. According to data from, Canada receives an estimated 300.000 new immigrants every year, which when compared to the country’s total population size makes this one of the highest rates of immigrant inflow in the world. As of 2019, an estimated 21.5% of Canada’s population was made out of immigrants.

One group that has shown increasingly more interest in moving to Canada is British students. Many come to spend their college years at UBC and other Canadian universities, and a significant portion of those who come as students end up setting permanent residences in the country. But with so many attractive student hotspots around the world, what leads so many students to choose Canada as a destination? Here are some of the factors that contribute to that popularity.

Ease of access

While immigrating to Canada is by no means trivial, the country goes to great lengths to make visas available to people who wish to immigrate to Canada from UK, especially those who want student visas. If you have the funds needed to cover your student costs — including tuition fees and living expenses — and can get yourself accepted by a Canadian university, getting a visa is typically just a matter of filling out the right paperwork and getting through an interview. There are no draconian requirements or immigration quotas to contend with.

Robust job market

Unemployment in Canada is low, especially for skilled workers with degrees from Canadian universities. This means that anyone who chooses to study in Canada as an international student has a good chance of securing a lucrative job position in the country as soon as they are finished with college.

This makes Canada especially attractive to UK students. It used to be the case that UK students could find work anywhere in the EU, but the many changes occurring in the ongoing Brexit process raise questions on whether those opportunities will still be readily available five years from now. Transitioning from a study visa to a work visa also isn’t too difficult, thanks to the straightforward Canada CRS score.

The Canadian job market also makes it easier for whole families to transition to the country. It’s not uncommon for one or both parents to accompany their child after they are accepted into a Canadian university, applying for a work visa just as their child applies for a student visa.

Similar culture

Despite the relative geographical distance, Canada is more culturally similar to the UK than most European nations. It is, after all, part of the British commonwealth, and both countries speak the same language. This similarity makes the transition from one country to another less traumatic, which is important for young students, many of whom will be moving out for the first time to start life as a university student.

These similarities are enhanced by the fact that there is a lot of immigration between the countries, so it’s not hard for British students to find British-style pubs and other British immigrants in the big cities. All of it makes it easier for British students to find a home away from home here in Canada.