New Beginnings Immigration

Moving to a new city like Calgary is an exciting adventure, but it’s essential to be prepared for the costs involved. Understanding the cost of living in Calgary is crucial for budgeting effectively and ensuring a smooth transition. In this guide, we’ll break down the various expenses you can expect when moving to Calgary, from housing and transportation to healthcare and other living expenses. By gaining a clear understanding of these costs, you can better plan your budget and make informed decisions as you embark on this new chapter in your life.

Understanding the Cost of Living in Calgary

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Calgary’s cost of living is generally higher than the national average in Canada, but it offers a high quality of life. Factors contributing to the cost of living include housing prices, healthcare, transportation, and groceries. Housing prices in Calgary can vary significantly depending on the location and type of accommodation. Healthcare costs include insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, which can be mitigated by enrolling in provincial health insurance. Transportation expenses vary based on owning a car or using public transit, with options like transit passes and carpooling available to save money.

Budgeting for Housing Costs

Renting or buying a home in Calgary can be expensive, but there are affordable options available. Renting a room, living in a shared house, or exploring suburban areas can help reduce housing costs. It’s essential to research the market and consider your budget carefully when looking for housing in Calgary.

Estimating Transportation Expenses

Owning a car in Calgary can be costly due to maintenance, insurance, and fuel expenses. Public transportation is a more affordable option, with options like transit passes and carpooling available to save money. Biking is also a popular and cost-effective mode of transportation in Calgary, with many bike-friendly routes and amenities.

Factoring in Healthcare Costs

The healthcare system in Calgary is publicly funded, but there are still costs associated with healthcare, such as insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Enrolling in provincial health insurance is essential to access affordable healthcare. Understanding what is covered by your insurance plan can help you budget for healthcare expenses effectively.

Budgeting for Other Living Expenses

In addition to housing and transportation, there are other living expenses to consider when moving to Calgary. Groceries, utilities, and entertainment are common expenses that can add up. Shopping at local markets, conserving energy, and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities can help you save money on these expenses.

Visa Options to Live in Calgary

If you’re considering making Calgary your new home, it’s essential to understand the visa options available to you. Here are some visa options that may allow you to live in Calgary:

Express Entry System:

The Express Entry system is a points-based system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for permanent residence. It is the primary pathway for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada, including Calgary. To be eligible, you must meet the criteria for one of the three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class. If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through Express Entry and your application is successful, you will receive permanent resident status, which allows you to live and work anywhere in Canada, including Calgary.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP):

Alberta, the province where Calgary is located, has its own Provincial Nominee Program. Through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), Alberta nominates individuals with the skills and experience needed in the local labor market to apply for permanent residence. There are various streams under the AINP, including the Alberta Express Entry Stream, the Alberta Opportunity Stream, and the Self-Employed Farmer Stream, each with its own set of criteria and requirements. If you are nominated by Alberta, you can apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system or the regular immigration process.

Study Permit:

If you wish to study in Calgary, you can apply for a study permit. Studying in Canada can be a pathway to permanent residence through programs like the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. To be eligible for a study permit, you must have been accepted by a designated learning institution in Canada, prove that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees and living expenses, and satisfy other requirements.

Work Permit:

If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, you can apply for a work permit. Working in Canada can also be a pathway to permanent residence through programs like the Canadian Experience Class. There are two types of work permits: employer-specific work permits, which allow you to work for a specific employer, and open work permits, which allow you to work for any employer in Canada.

Family Sponsorship:

If you have a close relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Calgary, they may be able to sponsor you for permanent residence. The Family Class sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, dependent child, parent, or grandparent for permanent residence.

Entrepreneur Immigration:

If you plan to start a business in Calgary, you may be eligible for the Entrepreneur Immigration program. This program is designed for individuals who have the skills and experience to contribute to the Canadian economy and who are willing to establish or invest in a business in Canada. To be eligible, you must meet certain criteria, including having a minimum net worth and creating at least one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Visitor Visa:

While a visitor visa does not allow you to live in Canada permanently, it can be a way to explore Calgary and assess whether you would like to pursue permanent residence in the future. A visitor visa allows you to stay in Canada for up to six months at a time and can be extended if needed.

Budgeting Tips from Immigration Experts (NBI)

When it comes to budgeting for your move to Calgary, it’s invaluable to seek advice from immigration experts like those at New Beginnings Immigration (NBI). Here are some budgeting tips from immigration experts that can help you manage the costs associated with your move:

  1. Plan Ahead: Start budgeting as soon as possible to give yourself enough time to save and prepare for your move.
  2. Research Costs: Thoroughly research the cost of living in Calgary, including housing, transportation, healthcare, and other living expenses, to create an accurate budget.
  3. Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable financial goals based on your income and expenses, and adjust them as needed.
  4. Create a Moving Budget: Make a detailed budget that includes all anticipated expenses related to your move, such as travel costs, visa fees, and initial living expenses.
  5. Save for Emergencies: Set aside some money for unexpected expenses that may arise during your move or after you arrive in Calgary.
  6. Reduce Unnecessary Expenses: Cut back on non-essential spending to save money for your move.
  7. Seek Financial Advice: Consider consulting with a financial advisor or immigration consultant for personalized advice on budgeting for your move to Calgary.


In conclusion, moving to Calgary can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand the costs involved and plan your budget accordingly. By understanding the cost of living in Calgary, and budgeting for housing, transportation, healthcare, and other living expenses, you can make informed decisions and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

At New Beginnings Immigration (NBI), we understand the challenges of moving to a new country and are here to help. Our team of experienced consultants can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the immigration process and make your move to Calgary as seamless as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in starting your new life in Calgary.

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