Things you should do first when you arrive in Canada

Date: October, 2021

Landing in Canada does not mean the journey comes to an end but it is just the beginning of new life where you have to settle yourself down in a completely new environment. There are many government programs to ensure newcomers get the support they need as they settle to new life in Canada. Some settlement agencies even offer pre-arrival services before you land in Canada.

  1. Finding a place to live – Housing and Accommodation

    You’ll need a place to live right away when you land in Canada. Get Support from Settlement counselling and referrals before or after you land in Canada. A big first step is finding housing and accommodation. Get more information and resources for finding housing in Canada, information on landlord laws and regulation or any other housing related topic.

  2. Applying for Health card (OHIP)

    Accessing free health care is one of the reasons that Canada is known for having some of the best health care in the world. And if you’re moving to Canada, here are some important things to know about how to access free health care and the medical system. As a newcomer, knowing how to get free medical care when you’re sick, or have an accident can save you from worry and out of pocket expenses. Applying for health care is one of the first steps you can take when you arrive.

  3. Get your driver’s license

    To legally drive a car in Canada, you’ll need a driver’s license issued by the government of your province or territory. Driving in Canada, or any new country can be stressful until you become familiar with the environment. Whether you’re moving to Canada or have recently arrived, it’s important to become familiar with the essentials of driving in Canada.

  4. SIN number

    Social Insurance Number (SIN) You must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to receive benefits and services from government programs and also to be able to work in Canada. Every person who is a Canadian citizen, a newcomer of a temporary resident will have a SIN. It is not legal for an employer to pay you without this number.

  5. Connecting with your community

    Whenever you are new to the country its important that you connect with the community and build networks. Get enrolled in community events and activities available in your area, attend sessions like employment workshops, religious gatherings, community events, educational sessions and more. Get community service referrals, you can look for volunteer opportunities to learn more about your community, join social groups/clubs to interact with people who share similar interests and hobbies.

  6. Employment – Find an employment resource center

    The pandemic has made searching for a job more challenging, so it’s especially important that you stay up to date on what’s happening in the labour market, so you’re prepared for the upswing. Build your employment opportunities by attending workshops on job search skills, interview techniques, group mentorship program, workplace etiquette, resume preparation and others.

  7. Open a bank account

    When you move to a new country as a permanent resident (PR) or an international student, having access to your savings is not only essential but also critical. Starting your life in a new place is linked with your financial journey, making it important to understand the basics of banking.

    To open a bank account in Canada, you need to provide two specific pieces of identification, such as:

    1. a Canadian driver's license,
    2. a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship and immigration,
    3. a Permanent Resident card or Confirmation of Permanent Residency,
    4. a foreign passport.
  8. Find LINC and ESL classes for you

    There are a range of innovative language services that support newcomers, language learners` and community partners across Ontario and Canada. For many immigrants, learning one of Canada’s official languages is essential to their success at work, in school and in their community.

    First important step for a newcomer is to take a language assessment in their nearby language assessment centers. The language accessors provide you with language program information and referrals to get help you with your communication skills.

  9. Enrolling your children in school when you land in Canada

    One of the main reasons you are planning to immigrate is no doubt to give your children a better future. That starts with education.

    Many newcomer information, settlement service providers conduct information sessions about educational system in Canada where you can get education information and referrals.

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