Cost of Living Comparison : Canada vs UK


Posted On : Oct 16 , 2023 19:06:pm

Last Updated On : October 20 , 2023

Are you looking to move to a new country?

Before making a final decision to move to a new country, applicants should confirm their financial support, government schemes, accommodation, twelve-month climate, and festival celebrations.

In recent news, the United Kingdom has taken a significant step that may impact those considering it their destination. The UK has increased its visitor visa fee, with the new rule becoming effective from October 4. The fee for a standard visitor visa has risen to GBP 115 (INR 11,845). This development is pivotal when evaluating the cost of living and immigration options in the UK, especially in comparison to Canada.

This article will delve into the cost of living in Canada and the UK, the pros and cons of residing in these countries, the study visa requirements, and the permanent residency (PR) and immigration processes. We will also offer tips for choosing the right country for your needs.

Compare the cost of living in Canada vs. the UK

The cost of living is a crucial factor when deciding where to live. Here are some key points to consider when comparing the cost of living in Canada and the UK:

Countries with higher economic development tend to have a higher cost of living, while countries with lower economic development tend to have a lower cost of living. This is due to a number of factors, including monthly wages, technology and infrastructure, and government policies for goods and services.
Based on the Global Power Index 2023, Canada's capital, Ottawa, is stronger than the UK's capital, London, at global standards.

Cost of Living in Canada:

  1. Accommodation: Canada offers various accommodation options, but rental prices in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver can be relatively high.
  2. Education: Tuition fees for international students can be competitive and vary by province and program.
  3. Healthcare: Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system that covers citizens and permanent residents.
  4. Transportation: Depending on where you live, public transportation may be reliable but limited in some areas.

Now you have a rough estimate of the costs of moving to Canada as a new immigrant. Let us now look at the costs of moving to the UK.

Cost of Living in the UK:

  1. Accommodation: The UK also has varying rental costs, with London being particularly expensive.
  2. Education: Tuition fees can be high, especially for international students.
  3. Healthcare: The UK has the National Health Service (NHS) that provides healthcare to residents and some visitors.
  4. Transportation: The UK has an extensive public transportation network, but costs can increase, especially in London.

Currency comparison Canada vs UK

UK currency vs Canadian currency Source: Google Currency Converter

From the above image, we found the value of a pound sterling against a Canadian dollar. It shows that the pound sterling has been weakening against the Canadian dollar in recent months. On November 10, 2023, one pound sterling was worth 1.69 Canadian dollars.

What are the Pros and Cons of Living in Canada Vs UK

Every country has its own pros and cons, depending on its global location and climate. All countries strive to develop their economies and provide citizens with a good quality of life, including healthcare, education, and employment.

Pros Cons
  • Natural beauty and outdoor activities.
  • High quality of life.
  • Multicultural society.
  • Harsh winters in some regions.
  • Competitive job market.
  • Complex immigration process.
United Kingdom (UK)
  • The rich history and cultural attractions.
  • Proximity to Europe.
  • Diverse job opportunities.
  • High cost of living, particularly in London.
  • Unpredictable weather.
  • Crowded cities.

If you are considering studying abroad, you have likely researched which countries are best for international students.

How the Study visa process is different for Canada Vs UK

Canada and the United Kingdom are two of the most popular choices worldwide, as both countries offer world-class education systems.

To apply for a Canadian study visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • An acceptance letter from a designated learning institution.
  • Proof of funds to cover tuition and living expenses
  • No criminal record
  • Medical examination
  • Interview, if required

To apply for a UK study visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) from a licensed sponsor.
  • Sufficient funds for tuition and living expenses.
  • English language proficiency.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test results.
  • Biometric information.
  • PR and Immigration Process

UK vs Canada for international students

Both Canada and the UK are excellent destinations for international students, offering world-class education, vibrant cities, and diverse cultures. The best place for you to study will depend on your individual priorities and preferences.

numbers of students in Canada Source: Canada International Student Statistics

Canada also offers international students to earn while studying in Canada, and there are different programs to work in Canada on a study permit, including work on campus, Off-campus, and work as a co-op student or intern.

numbers of students in UK Source: International Student Statistics in UK

Becoming more knowledgeable about the PR process can give you the confidence to apply independently, but do you still need to consult an immigration expert?

In obtaining permanent residency (PR) in Canada or the UK, consulting with the respective immigration authorities is crucial.

IRCC in Canada and the Home Office in the UK can guide eligibility criteria, application procedures, and processing times. Consult an immigration expert or lawyer to ensure a smooth immigration process.

Canada or UK, which one is better for Students, Skilled workers, and Immigrants?


The choice between Canada and the UK will depend on factors such as tuition fees, scholarship opportunities, quality of education, and post-graduation work options. Both countries have reputable institutions, but Canada is known for its more lenient post-study work permits, making it an attractive choice.

Skilled Workers:

Skilled workers should evaluate the job market, immigration policies, and the nature of their profession. Canada offers a more straightforward path to permanent residency for skilled workers, while the UK has competitive opportunities in specific sectors.


Immigrants need to consider their long-term goals. If citizenship is a priority, the Canadian process is often considered more accessible. However, the UK offers various immigration routes and unique advantages, depending on your circumstances.

How big is Canada compared to the UK?

Canada has a larger area than the UK. Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area, with a land area of 9,984,670 square kilometers (3,855,103 sq mi), while the UK has a total area of 243,610 square kilometres (94,060 sq mi). This means that Canada is over 41 times larger than the UK.



  1. Ontario
  2. Manitoba
  3. New Brunswick
  4. Alberta
  5. British Columbia
  6. Newfoundland and Labrador
  7. Quebec
  8. Saskatchewan
  9. Nova Scotia
  10. Prince Edwards Island

Northwest Territories


  1. England
  2. Scotland
  3. Wales
  4. Northern Ireland

Canada's large size is due in part to its north-south extent. The country stretches from the Arctic Ocean to the United States border, a distance of over 4,600 kilometres (2,858 mi). On the other hand, the UK is a relatively small island nation located off the coast of Western Europe.

Population comparis on Canada Vs UK

Population in Canada:

On September 27, 2023, Statistics Canada released its latest demographic estimates, which show that Canada's population reached 40,097,761 on July 1, 2023. This represents an increase of 1,158,705 people (+2.9%) from July 1, 2022.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Immigration is the main driver of population growth in Canada. In 2022/2023, net international migration accounted for 98% of Canada's population growth.
  • Canada's fertility rate continues to decline. In 2022, the fertility rate in Canada was 1.33 children per woman, down from 1.44 in 2021.
  • Canada's population is ageing. Canada's median age is 41.6 years, up from 40.9 years in 2021.

Population in Great Britain:

On December 21, 2022, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its latest population estimates, which show that the UK's population reached 67,736,802 on June 30, 2023. This represents an increase of 407,000 people (+0.6%) from June 30, 2022.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Natural population change was the main driver of population growth. in the UK in 2022/2023. Natural population change accounted for 64% of the UK's population growth over the period, while net international migration accounted for the remaining 36%.
  • The UK's fertility rate continued to decline. in 2022. The fertility rate in the UK was 1.52 children per woman in 2022, down from 1.55 in 2021.
  • The UK's population is ageing. The median age in the UK is now 40.2 years, up from 39.8 years in 2021.

As per the two reports mentioned above, the population has increased in Canada compared to the UK. The migrant population plays a major role in Canada as compared to the United Kingdom.

Where should you apply for short-term courses: UK or Canada

Short-term courses can be an excellent way to gain new skills or expand your knowledge, but the options and benefits can vary between Canada and the UK.


Canada offers many short-term courses, including certificate programs, workshops, and professional development courses. These programs can benefit international students and working professionals looking to enhance their skills. Various colleges, universities, and private institutions offer the courses.

Pros of Short-Term Courses in Canada:

  • High-quality education and globally recognized certificates.
  • The diverse range of programs in various fields.
  • Opportunities for networking and building industry connections.
  • Access to Canada's multicultural society.

Cons of Short-Term Courses in Canada:

  • Tuition fees can be relatively high, especially for international students.
  • Depending on your visa status, working part-time during the course may be limited.

United Kingdom (UK):

The UK is renowned for its educational institutions, and short-term courses are no exception. With a rich history of academic excellence, the UK offers many courses, including intensive language programs, vocational courses, and specialized training. London, in particular, is a hub for various short-term educational options.

Pros of Short-Term Courses in the UK:

  • Access to world-class education and instructors.
  • Unique cultural experiences and proximity to European destinations.
  • Diverse course offerings to suit a wide range of interests.
  • Opportunity to immerse in the UK's academic tradition.

Cons of Short-Term Courses in the UK:

  • Tuition fees can be high, and the cost of living in the UK is relatively expensive.
  • Visa requirements and restrictions may vary based on the type and length of the course.

Tips for Choosing the Right Country

Now that you are ready to apply to Canada or the UK, here is a final thought: consider carefully which country you want to move to.

  • Consider your budget and cost of living.
  • Research job opportunities in your field.
  • Evaluate the immigration process and requirements.
  • Weigh lifestyle factors, such as climate and cultural preferences.

Here is our Immigration Expert's Opinion:

Choosing between Canada and the UK depends on your priorities, including the cost of living, job opportunities, lifestyle, and immigration goals. Make an informed decision based on your circumstances and aspirations.

In conclusion, whether you choose Canada or the UK as your dream destination, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons, consider the cost of living, and understand the immigration processes to make a well-informed decision.