Canada vs. Australia: Where Should You Immigrate?

There is a lot to think about when someone decides to emigrate to another country. Among the several hot destinations, Canada and Australia happen to be the two most popular traveling destinations for people looking to migrate.

They both offer a high standard of living and provide similar opportunities to skilled workers. However, ground research and proper analysis are needed to resolve the dilemma of choosing between Canada and Australia.

The better country will depend on your style of life. The quick answer is Canada is a better option for most immigrants. However, both countries provide career opportunities, study options, quality of life, and infrastructure. To help you make your own decision, please keep reading and you will be able to analyze the main factors to make a rational decision.

To help you make your own decision, I have analyzed many factors to help you making a rational decision of which country is a better option for you.

Diversity and Ethnicity


Canada is called a nation of newcomers and became the first nation in the world to enact multiculturalism law in 1971. Canada is more culturally driven than in Australia.

With its rich diverse community, Canada has immigrants from all parts of the world. Most of the immigrants are from India, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, China, and a constantly increasing Middle Eastern population. In 2013, Canada broke into the top 20 most diverse countries.


Australia is also a multicultural and a great vibrant country. It has a diverse population with people majorly belonging to the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand and Lebanon, and notably a small South American community.

It has been found that around 70,000 people have already migrated to Australia since 1945 and constitute around 40 percent of Australia’s population.

Housing, Rentals and other Cost of living


Housing and rentals in Canada are less expensive and are therefore much more affordable than Australia. The sole reason being the high tax rate in Australia. A one-bedroom apartment in a downtown area in Canada costs 14.4% lesser than the same in Australia.

A recent survey reveals that it is easy for immigrants to buy their own house and become homeowners shortly after arrival in Canada than compared to Australia.


When it comes to eating, Australia is found to be more expensive than Canada and it is by 8.9%. On average, a basic meal in Canada costs 10.2 % lesser, combo meal cost 2.9% lesser and a 330 ml bottle of coke cost 31.9% lesser than the respective cost in Australia.

People who live in Canada pay $11.3 percent less for a restaurant than they do in Australia.


Canadian’s pays 9.2 % more on groceries than Australian’s. One loaf of bread in Australia costs 25.1 % lesser, 500 grams of local cheese cost 39.6% lesser and one liter of milk costs 67% lesser than the cost of the respective item in Canada.


Transportation is less expensive in Canada as compared to Australia. Canadian’s pay 7.1% lesser on transportation than the Australian citizens. A monthly transit pass cost 37.8% lesser in Canada than in Australia.

Quality of Life


Canada has a maximum tax rate of 33.0% whereas Australia has a maximum of 45% tax. So, if you live in Canada, you will spend 26.7 percent less in taxes than in Australia.

Healthcare system

Both Australia and Canada have well established free and easily accessible public healthcare systems. The expenditure on healthcare by Canada is 10.6% more than in Australia. Canada invests 10.4 percent of its GDP whereas Australia spends 9.4 percent of its GDP on healthcare.

Education system

Both Canada and Australia are the leading study destination for international students. However, studying in Canada is much more lucrative and affordable than in Australia.

The quality of education is higher in Canada than in Australia. Canada aims to accommodate highly qualified professionals and provides them with long term career prospects by employing excellent theoretical and practical ways of teachings.

Job opportunities

Now Hiring

Australia provides more job opportunities and a higher pay scale than Canada. Unemployment in Canada exceeds Australia by almost 16 percent. However, Canada in 2019 has seen a great boost in new job opportunities and is eagerly looking for skilled resources to fulfill the requirement.

Canada has a better manufacturing base whereas Australia has more US-based IT multinational companies. However, both the countries equally relies on natural resources and mining, and therefore provide better job opportunities for civil or mechanical skilled immigrants.


Both Australia and Canada are beautiful countries and are extremely wonderful in their terms. Canada has extreme weather whereas it is moderate in Australia.

Canada has warm, humid summers coupled with extremely chilly winters. On the contrary, Australia has a pleasant summer with decent sunny weather and less to moderate chilly winters than Canada.

Canadian Permanent Residency VS Australian Permanent Residency

Skilled Worker Programs – The following is the detail discussion about Canadian FSW and Australian skilled Independent program:

Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

In 2015, Canada has introduced the Express Entry program and with this, it has opened the gate for immigrants to become the Skilled Worker. It enables the qualified professionals to obtain Canada’s most sought Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) visa in very less time. One can also apply for Provincial Nominee (PN) and Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) programs apart from the FSW program to gain permanent residency (PR) in Canada.

Eligibility for Canada’s FSW

Canada’s FSW program is a points-based system and evaluates multiple factors such as age, language proficiency, in-country, and foreign skilled work experience, educational background, etc. A minimum passing score of 67 makes the candidate eligible to apply online through the immigration portal and create a user profile, termed as Express Entry profile.

Application Process and Grant Criteria

Based on the Express Entry profile created, the immigration system assigns a score (out of 1200) called a CRS score or Comprehensive Ranking System score. The candidate is then called for pool Express Entry draw, conducted fortnightly by the government of Canada.

Candidate with top CRS scores is offered to apply for an official PR application. Once the application is scanned by the selected, the candidate is granted permanent resident status along with the family members mentioned in the application.

 Cost of Express Entry Application

The fee for express entry FSW visa program includes the following charges:

  1. Processing fee and Right of PR or Permanent Residence fee for the primary applicant and each member of the family. The Canadian FSW program has the following Fee structure:
  • Adult applicant: An adult Applicant is charged with a total fee of Canadian Dollar (CAD) $1040 and that includes a processing fee of CAD 550 and Right of PR fee of CAD 490.
  • Dependent Child: CAD 150 is charged for each child applicant with age under 22 years.
  1. The bio-metrics fee of CAD 85 is charged for collecting applicant’s digital photos along with fingerprints.
  2. Permanent Residence Card fee of CAD 50.

Application Processing Time for FSW

Once the application is successfully submitted and proper documents are uploaded on the web portal, it takes somewhere around 6 months to process 80 percent of application.

Australia’s subclass 189 or Skilled Independent Program

Australia has a list of eligible occupations called Skilled Independent Occupations under which a candidate can apply for PR. The list is maintained and updated regularly in the Australian immigration system. A designated assessing authority is also listed against each of the eligible occupations.

They provide proper consultation to the candidates and helps them to determine whether they are eligible to forward application against a particular occupation. The 2019 eligible occupation list has a total of 177 entries under Australia’s Skilled migration program.

Eligibility for Australia’s Skilled Independent Jobs

As with Canada, Australia’s Skill select programs are also based on points-assessment and determines the candidates who are eligible for immigration. Various factors such as age, language, education, skilled work experience, etc are assigned points out of maximum points fixed against each factor. Scoring a sum of 60 or above out of 135 allows a candidate to file for a skilled immigration visa.

Application Process and Grant Criteria for Skilled Independent (subclass 189 or SI189) program

Skillselect is Australia’s immigration online system. The candidate is required to apply for PR through the Skillselect system once he or she has gained a minimum score of 60.

Eligible candidates must log in, create an application profile termed as EOI (or Expression of Interest) and then submit it for further processing. The immigration authority then uses the eligibility grid to create a ranking of candidates and invitations are sent to the selected candidates every after 15 days.

The invited candidate must submit the official application for PR within 60 days. Following a successful application, the principal applicant and associated family members listed in the application are granted Australia’s premium permanent residence status.

2019 Cost of Skilled independent (SI189) Application

Subclass 189 is the permanent and independent skilled visa. It does not require any nomination or sponsorship from an Australian citizen or state.

An applicant of subclass 189 or Skilled independent must pay the required fee at the time of lodging any visa application. The fee is calculated based on the number of applicants including any child in a single application. As of 2019, currently the fee structure is as follows:

  • SI189 Skilled Independent (Points-tested) – 4,045.00 AUD
  • Additional Applicant Charge with age above 18 years – 2,020.00 AUD
  • Additional Applicant Charge with age under 18 years – 1,015.00 AUD

Application Processing Time for SI189

When the application is submitted along with appropriate fees and documents, the next it goes for processing by the concerned government department. The Australian authority considering the SI189 application states that it takes 75% of applications to get processed in and around 8 months.


Anyone willing to migrate Canada or Australia must consider and weigh down all the above features diligently. Remember, it is one’s personal choices, needs, demands and priorities that matter the most before making the final decision of migrating to one of these wonderful countries.

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