With a population of more than 1,4 million people, Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada. The city’s undeniable economic strength appears in many job opportunities in different sectors and the living standard of the residents. There are more than 100 languages spoken in the city proves how Calgary immigration is a good choice for international immigrants who wish to pursue a new life in Canada.
Why do people want to immigration to Calgary?
1. The economy of Calgary
Calgary has the highest GDP per capita in 2019 of major Canadian cities. Together with the “oil and gas city” – Edmonton, Calgary forms the urban area called the Calgary – Edmonton Corridor which produces most of Alberta’s GDP. The Calgary – Edmonton Corridor is also one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. Calgary’s economy includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors.
Though just like Edmonton, the economy of Calgary relies heavily on the oil and gas industry. However, the city is increasing its economic diversification through financial services and the upward trend in SME sectors (includes self-employment). This city is highly appreciated in many aspects:
- The highest number of corporate head offices among the country’s 800 largest corporations
- The highest number of millionaires per capita of any major Canadian city
- The second-highest small business concentration of major cities in Canada.
In $125,76 billion of GDP in 2018, the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector contribute the second-highest proportion of 18,7%. Follow up are other sectors like construction (7,1%) scientific and technical (6,9%), manufacturing (6,4%), transportation and warehousing (5,6%). Calgary is a distribution and transportation hub with high retail sales.
2. The job market in Calgary
Calgary ranked in the global Top 10 most attractive cities for workers. There is a diverse range of occupations in Calgary waiting for you to discover. With many huge international firms and businesses chosen this city to locate its head office, you can have a great career path ahead if you have the skills set they require.
There are many large oil and gas companies in the area, such as BP Canada, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy, Encana, Imperial Oil, Suncor Energy, Shell Canada, Husky Energy, TransCanada, and Nexen, making the city home to 87% of Canada’s oil and natural gas producers and 66% of coal producers. Calgary can be named as the place for engineers and geoscientists because these two occupations are always in high demand to support the primary industries.
Besides the primary groups, other industrial and service sectors also have a huge demand in the future workforce. Calgary’s four largest industries by employee count were:
- Trade: 112,800 employees
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: 100,800 employees
- Health Care and Social Assistance: 89,200 employees
- Construction: 81,500 employees
Calgary has the highest concentration of high-tech workers among Canadian cities and ICTC forecasts Alberta will see demand for nearly 9,000 digital jobs by 2023. In the strategy for economic development, the Calgary government also focuses on renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions.
Foreign workers and post-graduate international students who wish to stay in Calgary can use the recommended Alberta alis website of the Alberta government to find a job. The employers on the website usually are aware of the hiring foreign workers process and properly have received the approval to do so from the government. You should read carefully if the employer would provide sponsorship and LMIA for the position. Not all the job listed have this and some would require you to be authorized to work in Canada at the moment you apply.
3. Costs and taxes in Calgary
Calgary titled the “Most liveable city in North America” in 2018 and 2019 by the Economist Intelligence Unit proves how satisfied the residents feel about living in Calgary. Moreover, Alberta is a low tax province in Canada, so if you live in Calgary you can enjoy tax benefits, for example, no provincial health-care premiums, lowest personal taxes, highest basic and spousal exemptions, low property taxes, lowest gasoline tax, no provincial sales tax (PST).
Housing prices in Calgary are lower than in Toronto and Vancouver. Calgary’s single-family average house price is more than 23% below the national average. The public transport system in the city is one of the busiest and most successful systems in the world. Around the city, there are 169 bus routes and 46 LRT stations. The car would still be a great option for you to move around because the road network in Calgary has the least traffic congestion of any major Canadian city in 2015. Thanks to natural resources in Calgary, the cost of oil and gas would be cheaper than you think so the cost of driving a car would not be too much.
Immigration to Calgary
1. Calgary Immigration streams
There are a lot of options for you to move to Calgary through federal programs. You can sponsor your family member to go with you if eligible. A few options for your choice are:
- Family sponsorship
- Express Entry
- Start-up Visa
- Caregivers program
- Agri-Food Immigration Pilot
The Alberta government also encourages foreign skilled workers and students to come through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). This is a provincial nominee program of Alberta with 3 streams are:
- Alberta Opportunity Stream: The stream is simplified to create more opportunities for international post-graduate students and skilled workers to come and live in Alberta.
- Alberta Express Entry: The stream selects a limited number of candidates in the Federal Express Entry Pool.
- Self-Employed Farmer Stream: Encouraging individuals who have managerial experience and funds to invest in a farming business.
You should read carefully each stream and program eligibilities to determine which is the best way for your Edmonton immigration. With many options like this, if you find this process too complicated, asking for assistance from a trusted lawyer can be helpful.
2. Calgary’s support services for immigrants
Calgary is always ready to welcome you and help you settle your life here no matter where you come from. You can find a contact point for your arrival, the guideline for common issues would occur when you start living in Calgary at first. They will also provide interpreting and translating services as well as free ESL classes if you need them. Here are the websites of immigrants services and communities in Edmonton:
- Life in Calgary: Help you know what to prepare if moving to Calgary, how to find a home, a job or even a school and many more things to do in Calgary.
- Immigrant Services Calgary: Help you with all the basic assistance
- Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
- Calgary Immigrant Educational Society
- Centre for Newcomers
The website of the Calgary city government will provide you information about law, taxes and other public services in the city. You can learn more about Calgary’s economic strategy and other aspects of the Calgary economic development website
Other helpful websites of the Alberta government:
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