Canada is a hot destination for many these days, courtesy easier (and quick) way to Permanent Residency (PR), free medical benefits and education, and charm of the West! With ever increasing immigration issues in the US and the dream of getting a Green Card (GC) a distant reality, many are thinking about relocating from the neighboring country too. If you are a qualified professional like me, it is even easier!I moved to Canada from the US in May this year after exhausting my H1B there. I worked for the Financial clients in Boston, New York, and New Jersey during the 6 years that I was there. The move to Canada was not a preferred choice for me – I declined GC request from my firm 2 years back in the hope of moving close to India, with Europe being my preferred destination. In the end, it didn’t work out, and I was left with only one choice – continue with the same project in Toronto area. I had never imagined Canada would be so costly, else I wouldn’t have taken it up in the first place! You can’t blame me for not doing my homework either since the prices have shot up here very recently. Consider this – Canada Immigration is extending PR offer to more than 5,000 people every month, and most of them end up settling down in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Let’s get to the comparison of monthly prices which make up most of my budget (prices are rounded-off, and many vary daily):
Just so you know, the salary one gets when you move from the US to Canada is exactly the same, not with the exchange rate adjustment! So, if you were making 100K there, it would be 100K here, in spite of the current exchange rate of 1USD=1.22CADDon’t be fooled by the free medical in Canada, which many speak of first. Unless you have to be in the hospital every other day, you won’t really be making good use of it! As for the education, you don’t pay for public schools in the US.
Just so you know, my in-hand salary in Canada is less even after not paying any monthly medical insurance…I would have loved to pay it and not pay extra on everything else! A part of the problem is also that Canada is far less developed compared to the US, which leads to far less competition among vendors, thus leading to higher prices on almost everything (and they won’t come down anytime soon)!
All in all, I am taking a hit of USD1,000 per month! What I am saving here, I could probably save in India also. Yes, the lifestyle is much better and the education is free here, but between the 2 countries, why not settle down in the US, which is better on most parameters?
As for me, I don’t want to settle down in either country…I still have a thing or a two for India. Let’s see.
*The apartment I have now is better than the one in the US, so that price is a bit more for the same standard of living.
**Image sourced from Google, stats are my own