Best Country for Immigration: Canada or Germany

Work in Germany, Get Started, Study in Germany

Germany and Canada have both the reputation of the immigrant’s country. In fact, Germany was named the fifth-best country worldwide for immigrants in a ranking by U.S. News and World Report. Canada, meanwhile, is leading in these rankings. However, both countries have pros and cons depending on your’s perspective.

Choosing a country to immigrate to between Canada & Germany will depend on your priority and preferences as a seeker of overseas immigration. Both Germany and Canada are advanced nations with a stable economy, high standards of living, and excellent infrastructure facilities.

However, still, there are several aspects of both nations, which separate them from one another. Let’s take a look at both countries as an immigration destination.

Why Germany and Canada Are One of the Best Countries To Immigrate?

It can be a difficult choice to decide between so similar but yet to completely different countries. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

I hope this article will give you more understanding of what are the benefits of living and working/studying in Germany over Canada and what Canada has, but Germany doesn’t.

Both countries offer:

  • High standard of living
  • Growth opportunities for those willing to work for it
  • Work-life balance
  • Safety
  • Social security
  • Free health care with excellent quality and facilities
  • High salaries and high taxes
  • Foreigners-welcoming immigration law
  • Post-study residence permit
  • International environment
  • A stable, democratic political system

Apart from the location, which is greatly different, together with climate, wildlife, and nature, what are other differences between Canada and Germany?

We need to look at things that are especially relevant for someone coming from far away to work or study in this country. Which aspects will benefit him/her, which will cause a loss?

Immigration To Germany

The biggest difference between Germany and Canada is, of course, the language! Living in Germany without knowledge of the local language is difficult. It starts with finding the job, socializing and ends with simple daily duties.

The language is a major challenge when moving to Germany.

However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t move to Germany without speaking German, there are still plenty of people who do so. Germany is one of the best places to work in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) for non-German speakers.

It is a very well-organized country, Germans are probably the best in organizing things. Germany is also exceptionally clean without many homeless on the streets, the government takes care of them.

Here are some reasons to move to Germany over Canada:

  • The fourth-largest economy in the world
  • Lower cost of living
  • Cheap and well developed public transport
  • Beer
  • Handsome Men
  • Strong Culture
  • Cutting-Edge Technology
  • Central location
  • Work-life balance
  • Employment law gives employees more rights
  • Proximity to all the major European countries
  • Very genuine, helpful, and trustworthy people

Cost of living

Let’s start with the costs, as it might be the most important factor for many people – Can I afford it? The cost of living in Germany is lower than in Canada with additional higher purchase power.

The average costs for a family with one kid will be around 2,300 EUR – 3,000 EUR highly depending on which region you live, and of course your lifestyle. A family of four will need on average 3,800 EUR per month to live a comfortable life.

Generally, cost of living is cheaper in Germany, rents are more affordable, food is cheaper too and on average better quality, thanks to the strict German standards.

Quality of life is much higher in Germany and life is much cheaper.

The list of the most expensive cities to live in Germany:

  • Munich
  • Hamburg
  • Frankfurt
  • Düsseldorf
  • Berlin
  • Stuttgart
  • Heidelberg

Taxes

Income tax in Germany is progressive. Below you can see German income tax brackets:

BracketTaxable incomeThe marginal rate
1up to EUR 9,4080%
2EUR 9,408 – EUR 57,05114% rising progressively to 42,00%
3EUR 57,051 – EUR 270,50042%
4from EUR 270,50045%

With an average annual income of 40,000 EUR, you will pay 35,58% (14,235 EUR) in tax, this will leave you 2,147 EUR per month.

However, there is a big difference between taxes in Canada and Germany. In Germany, social contribution and insurances will be deducted together with income taxes, so you don’t need to pay for anything else after receiving your salary.

For example, health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, long care insurance all will be paid automatically. In Canada, this must be done separately.

In addition to income tax, there is a Solidarity Tax and Church Tax (only for Christians).

Everyone needs health insurance in Germany. One of the top-rated by German rankings insurance for international workers, expats, freelancers, and business owners is Ottonova. Check their offer here.

Location

Germany offers incredible travel opportunities. If you ever dreamed to visit each country in Europe now is the time!

With a German residence permit/visa, you can access every country in the EU very easily by taking a train, bus, or a short flight. The longest flight time you can take is maybe 2,5 hours, to Portugal or Greece.

Additionally, world-class public transportation gives you so easy access to all the cities in Germany, so you can also travel within the country! Usually, you don’t need a car while living in Germany, unless you reside in some village middle of nowhere.

Education

Germany is the third most popular destination among international students in the world and the most popular destination in Europe.

More than 12% of students at German universities come from abroad. Germany is an attractive place to study and German university degrees are highly respected by employers worldwide.

In addition to high-quality education is completely free! Schools, Universities are free from charge for all nationalities. This say us how actually a strong economy is, so the government can finance over 380 Universities and 32 thousand of schools.

Some people who have experience of studying in both countries say that the quality of higher education in Germany is significantly higher than in Canada.

Both theory and practice are important in Germany. German universities provide outstanding academic programs with a big focus on research, while Universities of Applied Sciences offer a range of attractive, practice-oriented degrees.

Many study programs combine theory and practice. In fact, Universities of Applied Sciences always have connections with local businesses so their graduates get to know future employers in the early stage.

Internships and semester abroad often a part of the degree program. That all will greatly facilitate your career start.

In Germany, you can make the most of yourself. Here you can develop your intellectual abilities and personal skills freely and reach your full potential. If you are out to achieve great things, you will find determination, motivation, and commitment to open many doors – both during your studies and after your studies.

Cost of living for a student in Germany around 10,000 EUR per year.

Also read the difference between Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences in Germany.

Work

Working in Germany is rewarding. The government is on the employee’s side, you will have great benefits while pursuing your career such as social benefits, 5 weeks of vacation, no overtime and other nice to have things.

Social benefits include: health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, long care insurance and paid half by the employer and half by the employee.

The unemployment rate is lower in Germany (3,1%) than in Canada (5,7%).

Germany needs a big amount of foreign workers from experienced high qualified expats to regular workers. The biggest opportunities with the highest salaries can be found in all kinds of engineering, research, and IT.

Employers pay half of the costs for health insurance, often monthly card for public transportation, gym, and even food service at work.

Also read benefits for employees in Germany.

Working in Germany with the EU Blue Card will open doors to pursue a career in any European country.

In Germany, you have more chances with German. Many jobs actually demand that you prove your basic language proficiency. Luckily, IT and some other jobs do not require that these days.

Visa, residence and work permit

If you decide to study in Germany, after finishing you can apply for a post-study work permit which is valid for 18 months. In this time you will need to find a job matching with qualifications after you are eligible for a working residence permit.

STEM graduates have the best chance of obtaining a job and settling in Germany. Even if you graduated in another country you can apply for a Germany Jobseeker visa to come to Germany in order to find a job.

The EU Blue Card is another option for highly skilled professionals to move to Germany. However, you will need to have significant working experience and a minimum salary of 53,600 EUR per year or 41,808 EUR is your job in a STEM area. The EU Blue Card will be granted for 4 years with an option to extend/reapply.

If you’ve been living in Germany for 5 years on a working residence permit or other, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. This will allow you to stay unlimited time in Germany and do what you want.

Read here more about Permanent Residence Permit in Germany.

After 8 years of living there, you will be eligible to apply for German citizenship.

Immigration To Canada

Canada is in another part of the world, there are definitely some significant contrasts with Germany.

Here are some reasons to move to Canada over Germany:

  • Free (paid with taxes) healthcare
  • People are friendly and welcoming
  • No racism
  • Canada is a far more tolerant society towards other cultures
  • Good education
  • Lower tax rates
  • English and French language
  • Jobs are not dependent on the language
  • Proximity to the USA
  • High quality and cheap fish such as salmon and tuna
  • More affordable property

Before we discuss the average monthly cost of living in Canada, let us know a bit about the country. The country is known for its beautiful geographical features and acceptance of diversity. This nation also happens to be one of the most multicultural countries in the world. 

The landscape is varied in nature with beautiful and serene lakes and rivers, glorious mountains, valleys covered in forests and rolling hills and plains.

It indeed is a perfect destination for anyone who wants to live in a country with access to untouched nature.

Besides, this nation is well known for its government that is socially progressive, universal health care programs, high quality of life, and for its kind and friendly people. 

Cost of living

If you are planning to move to Canada one of the first things to consider is how much it will cost you to move to that place and the cost of living in Canada. You could be moving to Canada as a student or an employee.

The average costs for a family in Canada are hard to estimate. Numbers can fluctuate significantly depending on the province, region, city or even neighborhood in which you live. 

The average household expenses are about CAN$7,400 per month, of which approximately CAN$1,600 was for housing, CAN$1,300 for taxes, CAN$1,030 for transportation (private), CAN$730 for food and CAN$188 for education, entertainment and free time is not included. A family of four will need at least CAN$7,000 (4,500 EUR) per month.

Example of some monthly costs in Toronto:

  • Phone and Internet: CAN$127.50
  • Public transportation: CAN$176.25
  • Groceries: CAN$383.60
  • Insurance: CAN$52

The list of the most expensive cities to live in Canada:

  • Toronto in Ontario
  • Vancouver in British Columbia
  • Victoria in British Columbia
  • Hamilton-Burlington in Ontario
  • Calgary in Alberta

For example, in Vancouver, you will pay more than everywhere for the rent of a 2 bedroom apartment – CAN$3,200 per month. Food And Groceries will cost you more in Toronto – CAN$400-520 per month.

Healthcare costs range between CAN$60-120 in all main cities. Public transportation is the most expensive in Toronto – CAN$145 per month. Entaintenment comes to at least CAN$500 per month.

Property is less expensive in Canada, you will pay around 2,719 EUR per m² on average when in Germany it will be 3,572 EUR per m².

Canada also has a free (insurance must be paid) universal healthcare system the same as Germany.

The cost of living for a middle-class family of four is higher than in Germany as well as rents. Car insurance and home insurance take a considerable bite out of your income. Property taxes and mortgages are increasing annually in Canada.

Taxes

Federal tax rates

15% on the first $45,916 of taxable income, +

20.5% on the next $45,915 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $45,916 up to $91,831), +

26% on the next $50,522 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $91,831 up to $142,353), +

29% on the next $60,447 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $142,353 up to $202,800), +

33% of taxable income over $202,800.

Additionally, employees have to pay a provincial tax depending on where they work.

With an average annual income of CAN$52,600, you will pay 21.46% ($ 11,288) in tax, this will leave you CAN$3,442 (2,221 EUR) per month.

Keep in mind about other expenses such as health insurance, it’s already paid by the employer in Germany.

Foreigners in Canada noticed that saving is almost impossible when working a regular job, only highly paid personnel can do it.

Education

First the cost factor – undergraduate in Canada will cost you between CAN$6,000 and CAN$35,000 per year. As you remember education is free in Germany.

Cost of living for students: between CAN$10,000 and CAN$12,000 per year.

Canada is also one of the favorite destinations for students who aim to study abroad. Students prefer it for various reasons, such as quality, campus life, high quality of living, research opportunities.

Education has its quality

Canadian Universities rank on the place 18 when the first German university appears as 98 in a world list. There are a total of 26 universities in Canada of which four are in the world’s top 100.

The two highest-ranking universities are the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Northern British Columbia and others.

Thousands of students each year come to Canada from abroad, last year it was 642,480 international students. Germany on another hand welcoming around 350,000 annually. With the time amount of foreign students increase in Canada, in 2000 it was just 100,000.

A degree obtained at a Canadian university has high value and can compete with the degree received ay a university in the USA, Australia or from a European nation.

The Government and Universities continuously strive to give benefits to the students so that they can effectively pursue their studies. When compared to other countries the fees are very low for International students. There are a few scholarship opportunities that reduce the burden of expenses.

Campus Lifestyle

Unfortunately, Germany don’t practice campusing for students. Often university and dormitories are in totally different parts of the town.

In Canada many cultural and social events happen in the university. There are parties that involve students and multicultural people in the university. There are a special lifestyle and fun, attached to studying in Canada.

Research

Germany is focusing strongly on practice, Canada on research. The universities provide great support to the students who have the best research ideas and award some scholarships to them.

Students can research in any given field, and they are supported by lecturers and professors of the university. When the idea is good, Industries, as well as the government, take up the cost of the research. Higher education in Canada helps many researchers to utilize their knowledge in various disciplines.

There are many good universities in Canada. The most popular Canadian provinces for international students are Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, which between them are home to many of the top universities in Canada.

Work

In Canada, employees enjoy only 2 weeks of paid holidays and almost the same as in Germany social benefits.

Particularly in Canada, employees receive employment insurance, family benefits, pension insurance, education and training benefits, housing benefits and also maternity and paternity leave.

Germany, for instance, doesn’t offer its employees housing benefits.

In general, if you are a highly skilled worker, you will find that there are many job opportunities for you in Canada. With over 41,500 tech companies the best chances of employment receive IT specialists.

Apart from IT, the industries of manufacturing, service, real estate, and communications, all are important sectors in Canada and have been growing continuously over the years. Hence, growth required more employees.

For the next two years, Canada is ready to take more immigrants in the country. Especially people who can fill the gaps in IT, Medicine, Engineering, Oil and Gas industries are welcomed.

British Columbia and Ontario even introduced Tech Specific Draws (immigration law) which focuses on inviting highly skilled and experience foreign tech professionals to live and work in Canada. 

Keep in mind that Canada has two major languages, English and French. French is mostly required to live and work in the Province of Quebec and the Provincial Authorities actually ask for it if you plan on settling in that province.

You could get away with knowing English as a tourist, but for every other major thing, you need to know French. Therefore you need to know English and French in order to live in a particular part of Canada.

Visa, residence and work permit

Canada same as Germany easing its immigration rules and requirements to allow more immigrants in the country in the last years, rest advanced nations are doing just the opposite. The countries like USA and UK have made their immigration rules and requirements stringent in the last couple of years.

Canada follows the points-based immigration system so all have the same chances only depending on their achievements.

A post-study work permit is valid for 3 years in Canada, longer than in Germany.

During this time graduates can apply for permanent residence in line with the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). As the country is thinly populated, there is a gap of highly skilled workers. It’s very common to receive PR (permanent residency) in Canada compared to most other countries.

Compare with Germany, you don’t necessarily need to have a job to come to Canada. You can apply for a residence permit through Canada’s Express Entry without a concrete offer, however having one will increase your chances.

Canada’s Express Entry immigration system is points-based, the more point the better chances. You get points for your age, education, work experience and knowledge of English or French, among other things.

57% of all Canadian immigrants gain entry as skilled workers or business-class immigrants under this points system. The vast majority of remaining immigrants arrive in Canada as refugees or join family already living in Canada.

Altogether Canada welcomes more immigrants per capita (tied with Australia) than any other developed country, for a total of about 300,000 per year.

For usual workers without a degree immigration to Germany will be easier.

Express Entry is Canada’s immigration program for skilled workers. The program aims to process new immigrants in 6 months or less.

Before you fill out an Express Entry profile, determine if you’d eligible under one of the federal programs for skilled workers.

Keep in mind that to complete your Express Entry, you’ll also need to be prepared to take a language test, and have your education credentials and experience assessed.

However, not all people succeed in moving to Canada, read here more about the prozess and success rates.

Other top countries for immigrants

Top five countries for immigrants

  1. The U.S
  2. Sweden
  3. Switzerland
  4. Australia
  5. Germany

Recommended products and services in Germany:

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