Tips for Newcomers in Canada
You made it – You got all your permits, and now you are ready to start your new life in Canada! The first few days after moving to a new country can be overwhelming, but knowing what to expect can make it a little easier. Check out these great tips for those who have just arrived in Canada (or are planning to arrive soon).
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE IN CANADA
Authorize someone to act on your behalf on your pending issues in your home country.Obviously, you will try not to have any pendencies left behind in your home country, but the truth is that the future is unpredictable. Therefore, we recommend that you hand a power of attorney form to someone you trust, authorizing them to take care of any matters on your behalf, from mobile phone services to bank access.
Gather your documentsYou would be surprised how many people forget to pack their documents when moving to Canada. So, make you sure you bring these documents with you in your carry-on bag!
- birth certificate
- marriage or divorce certificate; death certificate for a deceased spouse
- adoption records for adopted children
- educational diplomas and certificates; transcripts that list the courses you took to obtain a degree or certificate
- official vaccination records
- medical records (prescriptions, test results, x-rays, allergies, etc.,) and dental records
- driver’s licence and/or International Driving Permit (IDP)
Some of these documents may not be required immediately, but it is better to bring all your official documents with you in case they are needed or useful in the future. Better safe than sorry, right?
And of course, all those documents must be translated to either English or French (depending on the Canadian Province you are moving to).
To make sure you have everything you need, talk to your consultant!
Get comfortable with speaking English.If you are moving to Canada, there is no way around it: you need to be comfortable in your language skills so you can communicate properly with locals.
If you are looking for highly qualified, experienced and native speakers english teachers, either to prepare you for your new life in Canada or for proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL or CELPIP, e-Visa has partnered with the best in the field! Contact us to find out more.
Another great tip is to read books written in english, or watch movies and tv shows – There are several options out there, take your pick!
Plan where you’ll stay (at least at first)In order to make Canada your home, you need to have a home, right?
If you want to arrive in Canada with your own place all set up the way you want to, we have some partners that can help you with that, you can count on us to make your life in Canada easier.
Otherwise, whether you are staying with family or friends, or maybe a hotel or airbnb at first, make sure all the arrangements are done before you arrive in Canada!
Prepare yourself for the job market in Canada.If you are arriving in Canada with a job already, it is a good idea to get familiar with the company’s ethics, cultures and guidelines. If you haven’t already, try to connect with people in the same field as you that are currently in Canada, improve your networking and maybe make some new friends. That way, you know what to expect and who you are dealing with on your first few days at your new job in Canada.
Now, if you plan to get a job in Canada as an immigrant, don’t forget!
- Gather all your educational diplomas and certificates.
- Obtain letters of reference from your past employers.
- Learn about and begin the process of getting your educational and professional qualifications officially recognized in Canada.
- Find out whether your profession is “regulated” or “unregulated” in Canada.
- Learn about how to search and apply for jobs in Canada.
We at e-Visa can help you prepare yourself for the Canadian job market, from elaborating your cover letter and resume, to guide you on how to act during interviews. You can count on us to help you get a job in Canada!
Learn about the education system in Canada.If you are studying in Canada, you get familiar with the school’s location. See where the institution is located and how you will get there from where you are currently staying (if you are taking the public transportation, find out which lines you need to get). You should also be aware of the date and time your classes start – Don’t be late!
If you are arriving with your family, and your children need to enroll in a school in Canada, be aware of the schools around your area, their start dates, how to enroll, what your kids need for the academic year, and of course, how they will get to school everyday!
Apply for Canadian HealthcareThe Canadian Healthcare system is famous for being universal and efficient, and it’s for a reason! One thing you should know about public healthcare in Canada Is that each province has its own set of rules regarding who is eligible to apply for healthcare and who must pay a fee or not.
For example, in British Columbia, the system is called Medical Services Plan (MSP) and Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, and holders of Work or Study Permits (for a period longer than 6 months) are eligible for MSP coverage. The fees for this healthcare system went through some changes at the beginning of 2020 and as of now, MSP access is free of charge, except for International students, who must pay a monthly fee of CAD $75.
But if you plan to move to Ontario, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is free of charge and covers Canadian Residents, Permanent Residents and Work permit holders (for a period longer than 6 months, and that have worked in the province for more than 6 months already), however, international students are not eligible for OHIP. To understand the public healthcare system in the province of Canada that you intend to make your home, talk to your consultant!
Either way, if you are a newcomer in Canada, we recommend that you hire private health insurance at first, as most provinces have a few months of grace period before their public coverage takes effect. E-Visa can also help you find the perfect private health insurance for your first few months in Canada, contact us to know more!
Get your SIN NumberIf you intend to find a job in Canada, the first thing you need to do is apply for your Social Insurance Number (SIN), without it, you will not be able to work legally in Canada.
It is also through the SIN that your taxes are controlled. In order to apply, you must bring your permits (Study, Work, or landing confirmation) and your passport. You can go to any Canada Service Centre in your area, and the number is given to you on the spot. (Update: During the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to ensure social distancing, this process is being done online only, and it might take longer. Check the official government website for more details.)
Get your ID CARDIt is probably a good idea to not walk around town with your Passport or PR Card in your pocket, right? So make sure you issue your Canadian ID as soon as possible.
If you are in British Columbia, your Identity Card is called BCID. To be able to issue one, you need to be at least 12 years of age and be a resident in the province. The BCID costs CAD $35 and is valid for 5 years.
Now, if you call Ontario your home, you can issue an Ontario Photo Card, as long as you are at least 16 years old and live in the province. Like the BCID, this document also costs CAD $35 and is valid for 5 years.
Open a Canadian Bank AccountThis may seem quite obvious, but a lot of people forget to open a canadian bank account when they arrive. This is important not only to get your paychecks and manage your income, but also so build a good credit history in Canada and facilitate your day to day life.
If you are an international student, most popular banks offer accounts free of charge for students, and some even have customer services in different languages!
Some of the most popular Banks in Canada are:
- TD CANADA TRUST
Not only do you need a phone number so your new canadian friends can reach you, but in this day and age, it is very hard to get by without a good data plan, right?
Get a good mobile phone plan in Canada
There are several options for Postpaid and Prepaid plans. Postpaid plans are more interesting for those who wish to stay longer in the country, since it is possible to get a new device and include its price in the monthly bill (normally a minimum contract term of 2 years is required for this kind of service). Prepaid plans are aimed at those who already have their own device and want to use it with any carrier. The most popular phone carriers in Canada are:
- VIRGIN MOBILE
Are you ready to make Canada your home? Count on our team of regulated consultants to help you achieve your dream!
And don’t forget, our work does not stop after we arrive, we have several partners that are ready to assist you in settling in Canada, just contact us!