Preparing before relocating to Canada will make settling in easier. After arriving, one should do a few things to start their new life in Canada well. Here are some ideas for settling in Canada.
- Find accommodation
You may stay in a hotel, short-term rental, apartment, or house. Some newcomers remain with Canadian friends or family.
Remember that your first accommodations are likely temporary, regardless of your chosen option. After you’ve settled in, you’ll be more equipped to find the right home for you. Find lodging with these resources:
- Dedicated real estate websites
- Newspapers, classifieds websites
- Colleagues, friends,
- Street signs for sale or rent
- Canada-newcomer organisations
- Student housing search resources from your school
- Some Canadian cities offer housing assistance. Eligibility usually requires a low income.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has services for newcomers to Canada on renting an apartment or house.
- Get your SIN ASAP
Apply for a social insurance number as soon as you arrive. (SIN). Canadian government-issued national identification number. It’s free and necessary for work and government benefits.
Visit a Service Canada location to get your SIN fast. Apply online or by mail. SIN information is available on Service Canada’s website.
Important: Your SIN is private. The Government of Canada website specifies when to disclose it.
- Get healthcare
Apply for your provincial or territory health card as soon as you can obtain public healthcare coverage and make treatment more accessible. Health Canada’s website covers provincial and territorial health ministries and qualifying requirements.
The Interim Federal Health Program may provide healthcare to refugees and non-eligible individuals. Canadians and permanent residents receive free healthcare.
Note: Newcomers to Canada may need temporary health insurance until they qualify for public healthcare. Provinces and territories set eligibility and waiting periods.
Finally, public health insurance only covers some services. Dental, vision and pharmaceutical coverage may be advantageous. Employers may provide this coverage.
- Open a bank account
For security, you must visit a branch to verify your identity if you opened a Canadian bank account online before arrival. During your visit, you’ll get a bank card to use in stores and at ABMs.
- When you arrive in Canada, you can open a bank account at a branch. Start online.
- Discover other financial services.
- Learn about Canadian banking at the branch or online. Start your Canadian credit history with a credit card. Canadian investing guidance is available.
- Start with lots of inquiries.
The Canadian banking system is different from yours. Make an appointment with an expert to ask questions and learn more about the system.
- Contact your consulate
Though optional, registering with your country’s consulate is typically beneficial. They may assist with the following:
- Legal papers (e.g., passport)
- Home country voter registration
- Retirement pension (if you receive one from abroad)
- Emergency help
- Canada settlement guidance
- Newcomer organisations
- Get assistance from immigrant organisations
Newcomer organisations may have helped you find a home or complete paperwork before your arrival. These local groups can help you settle in Canada. They can help with administrative procedures, transportation, schools, and jobs.
- Work or start a business
If you don’t have a job in Canada, you’ll want to acquire one quickly to secure your financial future. Check out our financial and administrative tips for obtaining a job in Canada and interview preparation. Before you can work, you’ll need to complete government paperwork if you’re a permanent resident or temporary foreign worker.
Improve your French and English with lessons. The federal government’s website lists newcomer service providers.
Do you have home-country credentials? Some vocations and professions require Canadian recognition of qualifications or experience. Contact a professional order or university, depending on your position.
Start or buy a business. New Canadian entrepreneurs can get loans, subsidies, and support. Do your homework—contact chambers of commerce or regional economic development agencies.
- Find the most convenient transportation
Canada uses cars the most. You need a provincial or territorial license to drive. Your province or territory may let you exchange a driver’s license from your native country for a new one without lessons or a test.
City dwellers can benefit from public transit. Driving is usually more expensive and slower. Transit networks vary by area and population. Bike and automobile sharing are available in some major cities.
- Get insurance
If something wrong happens, get insurance. Canada offers mandated and voluntary insurance. Some examples:
- Car insurance. To drive in Canada, car owners must get insurance immediately.
- Life insurance. This policy protects your family after your death. No need.
- Home insurance. This protects your home from theft or damage. (in a fire, for example). Some lenders require it.
Some employers offer affordable group insurance policies that cover dental, vision, pharmaceutical, disability, life insurance, and therapies not covered by the public system. Private insurance is available if your employer doesn’t provide it.
Successfully establishing a new nation requires socialising and networking. These contacts and exchanges can provide advice and a sense of community. Building a network involves several methods:
- Cultural participation
- Sporting club membership
- Participating in cultural or newcomer community events
- professional events
- Organisational membership
- Review your budget
You may have prepared a budget before leaving home. Perhaps you estimated Canada’s cost of living using accessible resources.
Once situated, you’ll know your income and expenses better. This will help you budget and attain your goals.
Moving abroad is difficult. Before and after arriving in Canada, there is plenty to consider. Use all the help you can to start your new adventure well.
- Find suitable accommodation through various resources such as real estate websites, newspapers, networking, etc.
- Obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN) as soon as possible to access work and government benefits.
- Apply for provincial or territorial health coverage and consider temporary health insurance until eligible.
- Open a bank account and learn about Canadian banking and financial services.
- Connect with immigrant organisations, register with your consulate, and socialise to establish a sense of community.