Moving from Canada to England and Finding Work?
November 23, 2008 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Moving from Canada to England: how easy (or hard) is it, and what does it involve?

I currently live in Canada and would like to move to somewhere in England with my girlfriend (who is also Canadian).

I was born in Canada and have a Canadian citizenship. Either one or both of my grandparents on my father's side were born in the UK. My father's adopted parents were from Ireland. So I believe this would smooth over the process for me somewhat. But what about my girlfriend?

The other issue would be finding work. I currently work as a software designer and I have a bachelor's in software engineering. I'm also fully bilingual in English and French, spoken, and written. How hard would it be to find a job, and which cities should I be looking at?

posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As far as the immigration legalities go: if you were born before January 1, 1983, you can obtain Right of Abode by virtue of being a Canadian (more precisely, Commonwealth) citizen. I don't know if it's possible for one of you to sponsor the other in some way if only one of you is old enough, though.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:16 PM on November 23, 2008

It doesn't sound you will have Right of Abode, as your parents weren't British. You should be able to get a UK ancestry visa to allow you to live and work in the UK for 5 years via your Irish grandparents, provided they were born before 31 March 1922. After 5 years you can apply for settled status.

Your partner could enter as your dependent, which will mean you demonstrating that you've been a couple for x number of years, and that you can financially support yourselves without recourse to public funds, and so on. Or, she could try to get a work permit in her own right and come in under that.
posted by wilko at 6:36 PM on November 23, 2008

(Sorry, misread the Irish connection, you do have UK grandparents too so their birthdate doesn't matter).
posted by wilko at 6:38 PM on November 23, 2008

As wilko says, a UK ancestry visa definitely sounds like your best bet, as you qualify through your father's side. You will need documentary evidence, such as the birth certificate of your father and grandfather, marriage certificates etc.

Assuming you were successful in your application, you would have no restrictions on where you worked, or the type. You would not be eligible for a number of social security benefits, such as child tax credit or jobseeker's allowance, but you would be able to take advantage of the NHS and any national insurance based benefits.

Your girlfriend should be able to apply for an Ancestry Dependency visa, based upon your eligibility and assuming you have evidence you've been together for at least two years, or apply under the points based Highly Skilled Migrant Program in her own right.

The jobs market in the UK isn't amazingly good right now due to the impending recession, but my field (IT) hasn't been hit that hard yet due to a general lack of good quality people in the field. The best source of jobs in the UK for IT, including software engineering, is the M4 corridor, often called England's Silicon Valley. It's an area around the M4 motorway from swindon to London, including the town that started it all, Bracknell. Many tech firms have their UK headquarters in this area, and even non-tech firms have their R&D facilities here. Central London itself also has many tech jobs, but the cost of living in town is hugely expensive - London is one of the most expensive places in the world.

Being fully bilingual is not that useful unfortunately; there's a distinct lack of work that requires foreign languages in the UK, except for teaching, even for French.
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:47 PM on November 23, 2008

Other places that might be worth looking at are Bristol and Manchester, if you're looking for IT growth areas away from the heavily populated south-east. I also got quite a few hits from this site about visas, though you probably already know it!
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:53 PM on November 23, 2008

Oops, the HSMWP has been replaced by tier 1 (general) visa a few months ago, but the criteria are pretty much identical.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:18 PM on November 23, 2008

« Older What jobs are linguists good at, and who will give...   |   How do I reconcile bisexuality with male... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.