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illustration of a student Confused about choosing between Canada and USA for higher Studies from India.

Canada VS USA: Which Country Is Better To Settle For Indians in 2021?


Canada and the United States are considered ideal places for migration. Although both are well known for their employment opportunities, economic growth and better quality of life, you won’t know for sure until you experience it for yourself. 

We can help you make an informed decision with the facts listed below. 

When you compare, always keep in mind the long-term implications of factors like affordability, quality of life, professional growth and how you can make the best of the country’s benefits. 

So, let’s find out, shall we?

1. Job Security and Average Work Hours

Working in Canada

Owing to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has remained focused on ensuring the job security of Canadian Citizens as well as immigrants in Canada.

Thanks to Canada’s economic recovery policy, the country is showing a steady decline in the unemployment rate. In 2019, the unemployment rate in Canada fell to 5.67 %. 

However, the US registered an unemployment rate of 10.2 % in 2020.

Here are some of the jobs in Canada that were in demand in 2021:

Job Profile

Annual Salary

Web Developer

$62,522

Medical Workers

At least $76,362

Restaurant Servers

$24,668 - $30,377

Supply Truck Drivers

$45,825 - $77,903



Average work hours: The standard work hours for an employee under Canada’s federally regulated sector are 8 hours per day (during any period of 24 consecutive hours), which sums up to 40 hours a week.

Canadian Companies give a minimum of 10 paid leaves annually.

Working in The US

The USA is the silicon capital of the world, with the maximum number of industries headquartered in the country. 

However, 2021 caused a rift even in the US markets.

One-third of the total population were worried about their job security, which included loss of job or reduction in salary as per the report by Marketplace.

However, some jobs were recession-proof even during the pandemic. They are:

Job Profile

Annual Salary

Domestic Health Workers

$24,200

Software Developers

$103,620

High-Skilled Nurses

$107,030

Market Analysts

$63,120

 

Average work hours: As per data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employed Americans worked for about 34.4 hours per week in the USA in 2019.

The USA has a minimum of 10 paid annual leaves for all employees.

Key Takeaway: 

  • While the USA offers better salary packages, Canada has better healthcare, more maternity leaves and other social benefits.
  • Average work hours for Canada is slightly higher than that of the US.
  • The annual leave structure of both countries is similar.

2. Taxation

Canada

Income Tax

A Canadian employee, regardless of the original nationality, must pay a federal tax of 15% of their total income if their minimum salary is $46,605. 

However, if an employee earns more than $46,605, the income tax required to pay will also increase. 

Besides the federal tax, a Canadian employee needs to pay a provincial tax. 

Here’s a tax-breakdown for you:

Province

Province Tax

Alberta

10-15 %

British Columbia

5.06- 16.8%

Manitoba

10.8%- 17.4%

New Brunswick

9.68%- 20.3%

Newfoundland and Labrador

8.7%- 18.3 %

Northwest Territories

5.9%- 14.05%

Nova Scotia

8.79%- 21%

Ontario

5.05%- 13.16%

Prince Edward Island

9.8%- 16.7 %

Quebec

15%-25.75%

Saskatchewan

10.5%- 14.5 %

Yukon

6.4%- 15%

Goods and Service Tax

Canada has a very fair system of GST cuts. Healthcare provisions like drugs, dental services, etc., are ‘Zero-Rated’ items as they are exempt from GST. However, the federal taxation system varies with different provinces with a minimum of 5 % taxation.

USA

Income Tax

Income Tax in the US is paid in 2 divisions: The Federal and the State.

An average software engineer in the US pays an income tax of 25%- 30%, comprising the federal and state taxes annually.

Did you know that employees working in Washington are exempt from paying state taxes? Here are some of the states and their respective state income taxes:

State

State Tax

California

1% to 13.3%

Minnesota

5.35% to 9.85%

New York

4% to 8.82%

Kansas

3.10% to 5.7%

Iowa

0.33% to 8.53%

Virginia

2% to 5.75%

Georgia

1% to 5.75%

Illinois

4.95%

Arizona

2.59% to 4.54%

Indiana

3.23%

Sales Tax

The sales tax is levied on purchases made in the US in every state. 

It is a state tax that varies with the state. For example, the sales tax in New York State is 7%.

Key Takeaway: US and Canada both have a Federal and a State/Province Tax. However, some states in the US like Washington are exempt from paying the state income tax.

3. Education

Studying in Canada

University Tuition Fees in Canada is cheaper than in the US by an average of 27%.

Top Universities in Canada include McGill University, University of Toronto, Université de Montréal, Queen’s University and more.

QS World University Rankings 2021 – Top 5 Universities in Canada

Canada Rank

Global Rank

University

1

  25

University of Toronto

2

  31

McGill University

3

  45 

University of British Columbia

4

  118 

Université de Montréal

5

  119 

University of Alberta



Canadian immigration system allows children (until the age of 16 or 18) access to free public school education. However, private schools in Canada have a fee range of CAD 8,000 to CAD 14,000 per year.

Studying in the US

The US is home to 8 Ivy League Schools, which include Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University.

QS World University Rankings: USA – Top 5 Universities in the US

Rank

Institution

Location

1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

2

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

3

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Cambridge, MA

4

The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Berkeley, CA

5

Columbia University

New York, NY

 

Note: The USA also allows eligible F-1 students to opt for Optional Practical Training. This is a type of permit that lets students gain real-time work experience related to their field of study.

Because of the comprehensive system of education in the US, tuition fees are higher than in Canada.

Here is a list of top universities in the US with the average annual tuition fees:

University 

Average Tuition Fees (USD)

California Institute of Technology

$54,600

University of Washington

$38,796

Princeton University

$51,870

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

$53,790

Harvard University

$51,925

University of California--Berkeley

$43,176

Stanford University

$53,529

Columbia University

$61,850

 

The United States allows all children to access free public schools. The average cost of schooling in a private elementary school is $10,000 a year, and it is $15,000 for private high schools.

Key Takeaways: 

4. Immigration Pathways to Canada and The US

Canada Immigration

Here are the types of Canadian visas you can apply for:

  • PR Visa (Permanent Residence):
  • Express Entry Visa
  • Federal Skilled Worker Visa
  • Provincial Nominee Programs
  • Family Sponsorship
  • Visitor Visa
  • Student Visa
  • Business Immigrant Visa

US Immigration Pathways

When aiming for USA immigration status, here are the major immigrant visas you can apply for:

    • F1, J1, M1 Student Visa: For students to pursue higher education
    • E1, E2 Visa: Migration visa for employees
    • IR1 and CR1 visa: Spouse of a US Citizen
    • K1 visa: Fiance to marry a US citizen
    • I-130 petition (K-3) Visa: Spouse of a US Citizen awaiting approval.

5. Cost of Living: USA Vs Canada

Cost Parameters

Canada (Cost in CAD)

The US (Cost in USD)

Average Difference

Rent (Monthly)

$ 839.64 

$ 833.32

29.61% higher in the US

Public Transportation(Monthly)

$ 139.73

$ 107.85

Almost the same 0.01 % higher in the US

Healthcare 

Free public healthcare

Subsidized public healthcare 

Higher in the US.

Groceries (Monthly)

$ 114.95

$ 91.07 

1.4 % higher in the US

Apparel and Accessories

Varies between $ 64.22- $ 126.69

Varies between $ 44.04 to $ 96.17 

10.8 % higher in Canada

Restaurant 

$ 17 (Meal for 1)

$15 (Meal for 1)

9.94 % higher in the US.

Luxury and Leisure

Besides the other leisure activities that are on the expensive side, you can buy a movie ticket here for only $ 10.76.

Here the luxury activities cost slightly less than in Canada. A monthly gym membership costs around $ 37.

This is a specific category. Hence, an exact difference cannot be provided.



Note: As suggested by Numbeo these indices are relative to New York City (NYC). Which means that for New York City, each index should be 100(%). If another city has, for example, a rent index of 120, it means that on an average in that city rents are 20% more expensive than in New York City. Rent Index of a city is the primary justifying criteria of the cost of living in the US.  

 

Key Takeaway: 

  • While the average annual income of both countries is similar, the cost of living is higher in Canada.
  • You’ll be paying less for health insurance and rent in Canada, but utilities, gas, and consumer goods will be higher.
  • Costs also vary depending on the city you live in.

6. Challenges faced by Indian Migrants

  • Language Barriers

Language Barriers in Canada

Language Barriers in the US

The dominant languages are English and French.

The dominant language in the States is English.

Provinces like Quebec are dominated by french-speaking citizens.

But globalization has made the US a hub for every community.

Indians may face challenges in communicating with the locals.

Indians generally tend to adapt easily to their countrymen.

 

  • Academic Barriers 

Since the Indian Education system follows a specific approach in the teaching process, Indian students in the US and Canada are usually startled by the curriculum initially. 

The Canadian and US Education System is solely driven by in-depth research. This may involve practical exposure to the field with a limited time-frame. Hence, Indian students take some time to cope with the newer ways of learning.

  • Racism

Both Canada and the US have strict policies in place against any form of racism. 

However, due to the recent rise in crime-rate caused by racism in the US, Canada is a more immigrant-friendly country to settle in.

In June 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walked in an anti-racism rally in Ottawa to signify his solidarity with sufferers of racism.

Did you know that the soon-to-be US President Joe Biden’s Vice President, Kamala Harris, is of Indian and Jamaican origin?

Key Takeaway: Both countries present their own challenges for Indian migrants. However, the Native- Indian Population in the two countries has skyrocketed in the last decade.

7. Latest Updates in Immigration for Canada and The US

Canada Immigration Updates 2021

  • Canada’s Annual Immigration plan is to invite 400,000 immigrants in the year 2021.
  • Canada is sending 100,000 ITAs to Express Entry ]candidates by the end of December 2020.
  • Temporary Residents are being transitioned to Permanent Residents with lesser stringency in policies.
  • 4,500 candidates received ITA’s for permanent residence- a record-breaking endeavour.
  • Between August and September, 378,200 jobs were created in Canada’s labour market.

US Immigration Updates 2021

  • As promised, Joe Biden’s first priority as a President will be to ease immigration policies within 100 days.
  • Journalism Jobs will get high-preference in the job sector in 2021-22
  • Spouses of US Green Card Holders will get a conditional alien visa (green card) to the US for 2 years.
  • Joe Biden’s 2021 plan indicates the increase of high-skilled immigration visas including the H1B visa and increased vacancies in the employee-based visa programs.  
  • The new administration also intends to rescind Mr. Trump's travel and immigration restrictions on 13 countries, most of which are African or predominantly Muslim.
  • International students currently in the US will also benefit from Joe Biden’s immigration reforms.

Immigration Pathways: Express Entry Canada Vs U.S. H1B Visa 

Permanent Residence via Express Entry Canada

U.S. Green Card via  H-1B visa program

Popular visa choice is the Express Entry immigration system.

Popular visa choice is the US H1-B visa.

Fast-track visa process. You can get a PR in just 6 months.

Getting a Green Card can take many years.

Allows you to get a Permanent Resident Status in Canada.

You arrive with a temporary work visa and later extend the visa or convert to Green Card status.

No Canadian job offer is required.

You must have a job offer in hand.

No sponsorship from family or employers is required.

You need employer sponsorship and work experience to get a PR status

You can bring your family to Canada to live and work there.

Dependants of H1B visa holders may not be allowed to work in the US

You can apply from outside of Canada.

You can't apply on your own. Your employer will apply for your H1B visa.

You can get citizenship after 3 years of employment.

Getting citizenship is quite difficult.

Increase in immigrant intake to 4 Million for 2021

Higher refusal rate of H1B by the US government in the past years.

 

Top 10 Most Desirable Countries of the World

  • Canada
  • Japan 
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Qatar 
  • Australia 
  • Switzerland 
  • Portugal 
  • USA
  • United Kingdom 

Best Cities to live in Canada

In a recent survey, Canada ranked #1 as the World’s Most Desirable Country to live in.

Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto are listed among the 10 most liveable cities in the world according to the Global Liveability Index 2019.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, named after the Royal Army British Officer, George Vancouver,  is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. Along with the hustle and bustle of the city life, Vancouver is also home to the best beaches and mountain ranges in the world.

Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is the city of skyscrapers. It has the most number of youth-driven policies in the Alberta region and promotes the welfare of the society in every aspect.

Toronto, Ontario

Known for its CN Tower and elite city life, Toronto is the heart of Ontario. It has IT-Hubs, top-ranking universities and a diverse population of Indo-Canadians. 

Best cities to live in the USA

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, as the name suggests, is the boulder foothills of the Rocky Mountains of the United States. Apart from the marvellous sights to visit and the natural beauty, Boulder is also where students with keen interests in Geology come to pursue higher studies at the ‘University of Boulder.’

Denver, Colorado

Denver is the Capital city of the State of Colorado. Known for its historical significance in the Old World Era, Denver is also known as the ‘Outdoor City of The Us.’ The city is a vibrant and culturally-rich hub for immigrants. The University of Colorado, specializing in MBA courses, is located in Denver.

Austin, Texas

Home to the University of Texas, Austin is the live-music centre of the State of Texas. It has pleasant weather throughout the year, and its flagship University is known to produce revolutionary professionals. Their motto is “What Starts here changes the world.”

Other General Comparisons

  • As per a report, Population Density in the United States is 84 residents per square mile of the land area. Canada’s population density is about 3 people per square kilometre as per the survey. 
  • According to the Global Economic Competitiveness report, Canada scored 79.59 points on a scale of 100 while the USA’s scored better with 83.7 points.
  • Wages, Racial Discrimination and Safety: The crime rate is much higher in the USA than in Canada. Still, the US job market is more open to new immigrants, and it offers better pay. Incidents of racial discrimination and hatred are higher in the USA. US Homeland Security tries its best to ensure the nation’s safety along with its citizens.
  • Canada scored an average of  7.6 on the Average Life Satisfaction Ranking scale, whereas the USA’s ranking is 7. 
  • Canada ranked in the top ten most peaceful countries, and the US ranked 121st overall.

Other Important FAQs

How long does it take for USCIS to process the application for a Green Card in the USA?

USCIS consulate now uses an automated methodology. It takes anything from 7 months to 33 months to process the application Form I-485.

The pilot program of granting US citizenship only applies to the following scenario:

  • N-400 Application for Naturalization
  • I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card
  • I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

Is Canada PR better than H1B?

Canadian PR is better to ensure an overall safe and secure life. It also comes with a quick Canadian citizenship option, whereas the US H1B visa is perfect for exploring high-skilled job opportunities and ambitious careers.

Can I go to Canada with an H1B?

Yes, you can. You can travel to Canada with US H1B provided your trip duration is not more than 30 days.

Can I work in the United States with Canadian PR?

You can not work in the USA with Canadian PR unless you have an H1 visa for the USA.

How do I keep my PR and H1B in Canada?

You can hold the US H1B visas and Canadian PR simultaneously. To maintain the PR, you have to live 2 years out of 5 in Canada.

How many Indians stay in Canada?

As per a survey, there are more than 10,00,000 Indians in Canada right now.

Conclusion

Canada and the States are two of the top countries that foreign-nationals prefer. However, to choose between the two could be a difficult task. 

Here’s a quick comparison between the countries for you:

 

 
 
 
Average Salaries
Canada

Average Salary $50,000 every year

USA

Average Salary $48,672 every year

 
 
 
Average Salaries
Canada

Average Salary $50,000 every year

USA

Average Salary $48,672 every year

 
 
 
Job Security
Canada

There is better job security in Canada and most people are able to retain their jobs.

USA

Job security in the US is dismal and can be laid off when not required. Finding another job can be crucial

 
 
 
Job Security
Canada

There is better job security in Canada and most people are able to retain their jobs.

USA

Job security in the US is dismal and can be laid off when not required. Finding another job can be crucial

 
 
 
Taxation
Canada

Canadian Income Tax ranges from 15% to 33%

USA

US Federal Income Tax ranges from 10% to 37%

 
 
 
Taxation
Canada

Canadian Income Tax ranges from 15% to 33%

USA

US Federal Income Tax ranges from 10% to 37%

 
 
 
Cost of Living
Canada

$24,000 to $30,000 per year

USA

$8,400 to $12,000 per year

 
 
 
Cost of Living
Canada

$24,000 to $30,000 per year

USA

$8,400 to $12,000 per year

 
 
 
Healthcare
Canada

Medicare system is publicly funded & offers $900 average cost per year

USA

No free medical treatments. Though healthcare may be subsidized.

 
 
 
Healthcare
Canada

Medicare system is publicly funded & offers $900 average cost per year

USA

No free medical treatments. Though healthcare may be subsidized.

 
 
 
Permanent Residence Opportunities
Canada

You can apply for Canadian citizenship after having stayed for 1,095 days in the country within the last 5 years.

USA

H1B visa holders can apply for Green Card after the expiry of the visa. H1B is valid for 3 years and can be extended for another 3 years.

 
 
 
Permanent Residence Opportunities
Canada

You can apply for Canadian citizenship after having stayed for 1,095 days in the country within the last 5 years.

USA

H1B visa holders can apply for Green Card after the expiry of the visa. H1B is valid for 3 years and can be extended for another 3 years.

 

If you have doubts about migrating, working or studying in any of the two countries, feel free to contact us.

Book a free consultation

How can Kansas Help you?

Kansas Overseas Careers specializes in Permanent Residency Visas, Work Visas, Study Visas, Temporary visas, and Dependent Visas to Canada, UK, USA, Germany, and Hong Kong. 

Apart from these services, Kansas offers its clients personalized services such as:

  • Profile Evaluation: Professional guidance based on an in-depth assessment of the client profile to determine the chances of visa success.
  • Documents & Review: Detailed, error-free documentation based on the visa type drafted to meet specific formats.
  • Dedicated Case Officer: A dedicated consultant to assist clients throughout the process.
  • Visa Filing: Kansas ensures that the visa applications meet all the standard requirements of concerned immigration authorities and governing bodies.
  • Test Preparations: Complimentary online courses are offered to help aspirants improve their Language Proficiency for important exams like IELTS, French, TOEFL, and PTE.
  • Visa & Interview: Guidance is provided for aspirants attending visa interviews along with verified documents. 
  • Post-Landing Service: Kansas helps clients settle down in the new country with a comfortable stay after they have received their visas.

Additional services offered to job-seekers:

  • Resume Writing: Dedicated team of resume experts to craft the best resumes that meet the prerequisites of immigration authorities and potential employers. This greatly improves their chances of selection.
  • Profile Marketing: Kansas is well-known for creating the best-in-class portfolios that boost applicant profiles in job-portals. And yes, this is a complimentary service!

Additional services For students looking for a study visa:

  • Admission Guidance: Comparisons between the best programs, colleges, and countries to study in, including arranged mentorship from existing students.
  • Writing Services: Admission Essays, Student CV, Statement of purpose (SOP), Letter of recommendations (LOR), and other important services offered by a dedicated team.
  • Scholarships & Financial Aid: Offer help to find the best Scholarships programs, Education loans, Study abroad loans, and also offer help in sourcing paid-Internships

Don’t wait. Begin your visa application today!

Book a free consultation

Topics: Migrate, Canada, USA

K Nagaraju
K Nagaraju

Nagaraj is a veteran in processing Canada visas. He proves as the best professional to handle all PR visa process.

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