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Posted 23/05/2023 in Removals Advice

Moving to Canada

Moving to Canada

UK Pensions and Tax

Before moving to Canada from the UK, you must notify the UK government offices that deal with benefits, pensions and tax.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)

If you enter Canada by air, you must get an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) unless you have a valid visa. If you enter Canada by land or sea, you don’t need an eTA, but must travel with acceptable travel documents and identification.

If you have British-Canadian dual nationality, you cannot apply for an eTA. You need a valid Canadian passport instead.

The eTA website provides information about the eTA system.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods that can be taken into Canada. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

Banned food products will be confiscated and you could be fined. Check the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website for more information.

Household Goods

The goods must be owned and used prior to importation, and cannot be sold for at least 12 months. Only one shipment of this type is permitted.

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport (photo page only)
  • Proof of residency abroad for at least 12 months (utility bills, rent receipts, etc.)
  • Detailed inventory
  • Receipts for new items
  • Personal effects accounting document (form BSF186)
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Liquor permit, if applicable
  • Immigration papers, work permit or student visa, if applicable
  • Proof of residence in Canada (copy of deed or sale/lease agreement)

Prohibited goods include:  

  • cannabis
  • certain food, plants, animals
  • endangered species and products made from endangered species

You may need a permit or written authorization to bring other goods into Canada, including

  • health products and prescription drugs
  • antiques or cultural objects that have historical significance to their country of origin
  • explosives, fireworks and certain types of ammunition

Weapons and firearms must be declared when you enter Canada.

Importing your Car to Canada

The vehicle must pass Canadian safety and pollution standards test, be clean and free of any soil or contaminants.

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Original proof of ownership
  • Original bill of lading (OBL)
  • Previous registration
  • Proof of insurance

Driving in Canada

Traffic and safety laws vary between provinces and territories. This includes laws on whether you are allowed to turn right on a red light. See more information on driving in Canada.

In winter, highways are often closed because of snowstorms and avalanches in Alberta, British Columbia and other provinces. Check local weather conditions before travelling.

You will need a driver’s licence issued by the government of your province or territory. If you plan to use your UK licence in Canada, you should get an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Getting a driver’s licence in Canada depends on where you live. It may include a written exam and one or two driving tests.

Healthcare in Canada

The cost of medical treatment can costly and there are no special arrangements for British visitors. Canada and the UK do not have reciprocal healthcare agreements. You should buy comprehensive Health Insurance before you enter the country.

If you have dual British-Canadian citizenship, you may still have to pay for medical treatment if you don’t meet provincial residency requirements for healthcare.


Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Further information should be obtained from the Canadian authorities.


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