Well Done! You have done it. You have passed all the barriers to come across Canada. Yes, you have landed in Canada but the mission is not yet accomplished. 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.
So now the question is, What are the things to do after you land in Canada?
We all know you receive confirmation of permanent residency (COPR) of Canada but it is not yet activated. The letter of COPR and Visa is just the confirmation that you have received the permanent residency but it will be activated when you land at the first port of entry in Canada.
The immigration officer will ask some general queries at the time of landing interview and once he/she is satisfied with the given details and the details you are telling him/her only then the immigration officer will sign and stamp on your confirmation of permanent residency (COPR).
The next step is to apply for the Social Insurance Number. Social Insurance Number is a 9 digit unique number given to everyone by the government to access various government benefits and programs. It is a general practice to protect your SIN number and not to tell anyone unofficially. Only share your SIN number with official matters.
You can apply for SIN at the landing airport if you have any temporary address in Canada.
If you don’t have any Canadian address yet, then you can also apply to the Service Canada office located at various locations in a particular city. You can visit there without an appointment.
This is a very smooth process. After passport / CoPR documents verification, Officials will provide you with a piece of paper on which your Social Insurance Number will be mentioned with some more information.
- For more details check How to Applying for a Social Insurance Number (official website)
During the landing interview, the immigration officer asks about the permanent address for delivering the permanent resident card.
If you don’t have the permanent address at that time, he will give you a form “ADDRESS NOTIFICATION – PERMANENT RESIDENT CARD” where you will find the instructions on how to update the address for a permanent resident card later.
You can call on given PR card call centre number or fax the given form at the PR card processing centre or can access the online address notification on the official website.
- Check here How to Get a permanent resident card (official website)
Canada has various mobile networks like any other country, operates nationwide. All service providers offer different calls + text messages + data plans. The major providers are ROGERS, TELUS, KOODO, and BELL.
You can buy a SIM card from your nearest service providers stores or you can buy from amazon.ca here are the best links to buy:
There are an individual, student, and family sharing plans available and you can choose according to your need and if you do not like the services of a particular network then you can port your number to any other service provider at any time.
Some providers also offer SIM cards plus Mobile plans in which you can buy a smartphone with a SIM card with 2 years lease agreement by paying a fixed amount each month.
Get Expert financial advice for newcomers to Canada and get started with banking in Canada with RBC: https://arrivein.com/book-an-appointment/
Managing finance is a major concern for everyone in any country so is here in Canada.
The major banks all over Canada are TD, RBC, Scotiabank, CIBC, HSBC, BMO, etc.
How to open a bank account in Canada?
To open a bank account in Canada after landing, you will need a COPR document (If you don’t have a PR card), SIN number, and a copy of the passport.
You will have to call a bank and book an appointment with them.
Although you can open a bank account from your home country too before coming to Canada, I will suggest you open an account after arriving in Canada so that you can physically visit banks before making the decision.
Research before opening an account as banking is costly here in Canada where you have to pay for a transaction after a certain period.
Some banking institutions give great initial benefits to new immigrants and students so take advantage of thosse benefits like no transaction fees for the first six months, free reward points, free credits bonus (vary from $100-$500 or more) and no need to maintain a minimum balance in the account, etc.
In Canada, health care is publicly funded. You will get eligible to have the health benefits if you have your health card.
To apply for a health card, you need to visit your provincial service office. You can also apply online by searching on Google.
In some provinces, it takes almost 5 months to cover up your health benefits but in some provinces like Alberta, you will get health benefits right from landing day.
As I mentioned above, health care is publicly funded but yes everything is not free and covered under health care. Most of the province’s covered and not-covered list is as below:
What is Covered?
- Appointments with your family doctor
- Visits to walk-in clinics
- Visits to an emergency room
- Necessary tests and surgery
What is Not-covered?
- Dental Services
- Prescription Drugs
- Ambulance Services
- Laboratory Test
Every province’s health care is different from each other in terms of processing time and services provided.
To apply online, please visit the following links as per your location :
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Once you get your health card in your hand, you will get the list of doctors near your area who are accepting new patients. You can choose your family doctor from the list and your family doctor will prescribe you the medicine according to your health needs.
There are always walk-in clinics in every neighbourhood in each province, but it is always a good practice to have a family doctor so that he/she will go through your medical history and current medical situation to provide a more suitable prescription.
In Canada, you will never get some medicines like antibiotics without a prescription. Thus, better to take some general medicines from home countries as health cards can take 3 months to cover general health issues.
Your employer also gives your health benefits as everything is not covered under public-funded health care cards. Some employers also give dental benefits which are very costly in Canada.
Contact Riyaz Rauf on +1 (647) 283-1966 for further details!
As you have just landed in Canada, you may be living in a place that is not permanent. Some live at their friend’s place, some at low-cost hotels, and others prefer AirBnB which is now a day popular and cheaper option than a hotel.
Finding accommodation is a hectic job but various websites and classifications make it easy. There are various websites like Kijiji, rent board and many more where you can have a look at the property and compare prices
Things to Consider Before Renting :
There are a few things which everyone needs to consider before booking an apartment like:
- Distance from shopping centres, schools, public transport, work location, banks, walk-in clinics, parks
- Availability of Heat, water, electricity, parking
My suggestion is to take an apartment near to settlement agencies for the starting period and after that shift according to your needs or working locations as everyone needs to visit settlement agencies many times in starting days.
Make your budget according to you and select an apartment that includes heat and water. Sometimes the owner can include electricity, internet, and cable connection too with increment in rent.
An apartment or house can be furnished or fully furnished or un-furnished.
Parking can be and cannot be included in the rent so don’t forget to confirm.
Rent agreement can be renewed monthly (some companies has a month to month options) as well as yearly.
Agreements that renew yearly are cheaper than monthly ones with the difference of $25 to $50 or more each month varies according to location and company.
Most of the owners and property managers take an advance one month rent as a security deposit which is refundable or adjustable as one month rent.
To book an apartment, you will need your Passport or COPR documents copies and SIN number.
Utilities such as electricity, heat, and water. As mentioned above, heat and water are included in most of the apartments or house but very fewer houses and apartment gives the provision of electricity included in rent.
When you rent an apartment that is managed by some rental companies, you will need to apply for the utility of electricity by calling or visiting your nearest government utility provider’s office.
How to apply for Utility?
To apply for a utility, you will need to have the name of utility holders like you and your spouse/partner, SIN number, Rental agreement, and COPR document.
They will transfer the electricity connection to your name which is pre-installed in the property.
There will be a one-time activation fee which you need to pay and for the rest of the month, you will just need to pay for the consumed electricity.
Please keep your utility bill carefully every month as this is useful as proof of your resident in Canada.
Choose your province and check the details:
- Alberta – Energy Alberta
- British Columbia – BC Hydro
- New Brunswick – NB Power
- Nova Scotia – Nova Scotia Power
- Newfoundland – Newfoundland & Labrador Hydro
- Northwest Territories – Power Corporation
- Manitoba – Manitoba Hydro
- Ontario: has different options, which includes Hydro One and Toronto Hydro
- Prince Edward Island – Maritime Electric
- Quebec – Hydro Quebec
- Saskatchewan – SaskPower
The Canadian government gives benefits to parents who have a child or children under the age of 18 for a better upbringing of their child.
As a permanent resident, you are eligible to apply for Canadian child care benefits. The Canadian government will give you child benefits each month, mostly received 20th of every month.
The Canadian government considers the mother as a primarily responsible person for the upbringing of a child. Hence, if you are a couple and living in one house, a mother will be considered as a primarily responsible person and she should be the one applying for Canadian child care benefits.
How to apply Child Care Benefit (CCB)?
Anyone can apply online as well as via mail by sending filled forms to the given address.
After applying you should receive your first payment:
- Within 8 weeks when you apply online.
- Within 11 weeks when you apply by mail.
If you still have any questions on how to apply, visit your nearest settlement agencies, they will help you to apply.
As Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) so you have to declare your family income for the last three years whether it is Canada or your home country in the child care benefit form. Oh, and yes, Canada’s child benefit (CCB) is a completely tax-free benefit.
To keep getting your Canada child benefit (CCB), you must file your tax return on time every year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to file their tax return on time every year.
You must file your tax return even if your income is tax-exempt or you have no income. If you don’t file your tax return every year, your payments of child care benefits will stop.
The amount paid as child care depends upon the total net income of a family. The maximum CCB by the government is given to them whose family’s net income is under $31,120 and whose child is under 6 years of age. Take a look below:
For each child benefit amount you will get according to this :
- Under 6 years of age: $6,639 per year ($553.25 per month); If your family income is less than $31,120
- 6 to 17 years of age: $5,602 per year ($466.83 per month); If your family income is less than $31,120
Please visit the link to calculate your CCB according to your family net income:
- Calculate on the official website : How Much You Can Get – Child Care Benefit
Leaving your home country and starting a new life in any other country can be very tough, especially when you do not know the culture, traditions, and laws in a new country.
Settlement agencies in Canada are those who help newcomers or immigrants or refugees to settle down things in Canada. Settlement agencies provide information and most of the services are free to use which help you and adjust your life according to Canadian culture.
Every settlement agency is funded by the Canadian government. A settlement counsellor in a particular organization will help you with your specific settlement needs.
The various services provided by different organizations can vary but most of organization provides the following services:
- Helps to settle down your day to day life
- Fill out any kinds of forms
- Learn about community services
- Assistance applying for a Health card
- Tax filling Assistance
- Child Tax Benefits Assistance for Applying
- Helps to learn English
- Offers various employment services
- Helps in finding a job
- Helps in making Canadian resume and cover letter
- Services for Women, Youth, Refugee, Seniors
- Shopping information (food, clothing, and more)
- Information on housing and education
- Sign up your kids for school or university
- Helps signup for low budget housing
- Health and recreation information
- Information on getting a Drivers Licence or SIN
- Referrals to other community programs and resources
As mentioned above, several organizations all over Canada that help newcomers and you can check the name and address of organizations on the Canadian government official website.
- Here on the official website, you can: Find free newcomer services near you
To legally drive a car in Canada, you’ll need a driver’s license issued by the government of your province or territory. You must have it with you whenever you’re driving. With a driving license issued by any province or territory, you can drive anywhere in Canada.
Driving in Canada is different than any other country as Canada drives on the right-hand side unlike India drives on the left-hand side. Rules of driving are more strict over here which everyone has to follow strictly otherwise there will be a case of a large number of tickets, penalties, demerit points, and vehicle impoundment.
Apply for a driving license as soon as possible as you will need to go here and there for many reasons. Although there are other mediums of transport available in each city having your vehicle gives you more freedom and convenience especially during extremely cold weather.
You can drive on an international driving license up to a certain period like in Saskatchewan; you can drive up to 3 months if you have a valid international driving license.
Don’t forget to convert your license to English if it is in any other language.
How to apply for a driving license in Canada?
To apply for a license, you need to give a vision test and a written test which includes one test of basic driving rules and one traffic symbols exam.
After you pass the written exam, you can book the road test at the same time. After you have passed the road test, the Canadian driving license will be issued to you.
Practice online more and more before giving a written exam just to save your money by directly going to give test without any practice and knowledge of rules and types of questions.
Check this helpful website to practice online: Driving Test Written Knowledge – Learner’s Permit
To give a written test, visit your nearest driving test centre.
Documents required :
- SIN number
- (2 pieces of ID proof) PR card or COPR document and Passport
- (2 pieces of Residential proof) Lease agreement or Bank account statement and Your Utility Bill.
After you have passed a written exam, the officer will see your driving license from your home country. Based on that license officer will tell you that whether you need to take driving classes or not before booking a road test.
If the officer noticed that you have enough experience in your home country or have a very old license (according to the issued year), he/she can direct you to book a road test straight away.
If you do not have a license from your home country or you never drive a car, the officer will give you the direction of attending classes for a certain period to get a learner license.
This is my serious recommendation to have a good command of driving before giving a road test.
Otherwise, if instructors noticed the dangerous driving while taking a road test, you will be directed to take classes right away.
Without taking classes and having a certificate in the hand of classes attended, you can not give a road test at all. This same rule applies to all the provinces.
Various provinces have given different names to the same types of licenses. Like in Saskatchewan, a learner driving license is called Class 7, an experienced driving license is called Class 5, so on and in Ontario, for new drivers, it is called “Level One and Class G1 license”.
To apply for a license according to your province, Check the links below:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
No Need to give Written or Road Test ‘IF’
If you have a valid driver’s license from any of the following countries and it is more than 5 years old, you can apply for a Canadian driver’s license at any motor license issuer; yes you read it right you do not need to give any written and road test:
- Another Canadian jurisdiction
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
- Republic of Ireland
- South Korea
- New Zealand
Contact Yusri on +16478249245 for further details!
Keep in mind; do check with your property manager or owner of an apartment or house before applying for a Wi-Fi connection as some owners provide an internet connection within the rent amount.
Being a newcomer in any country leads to mess with transportation as we are assuming not having a car with us in initial days or sometimes later on too.
Travelling in a bus or local transit can reduce your cost from a cab and also reduce your travelling time in the case of big cities like Toronto.
Apply for a local transit card from a local transit office. A transit pass can be made according to the number of rides you need per month with less cost or for a full month with standard cost and have unlimited rides per month.
The Canadian transit system is very good and there is no hustle in catching a bus in any city. You just need to have the number of a bus that is going to take you to a particular destination.
To know the bus route, you can just download the bus route from the official website or you can also download the app on the phone which will accurately let you know the bus route, timings, and bus number.
A job is a pre-necessity for everyone to survive in any country. As a newcomer in Canada, never expect that you are going to get your dream job as soon as you land in Canada unless you are lucky to have a job in your stream right after landing.
Most of the newcomers do survival jobs just to support their normal livelihood at starting or until they find a job in their field.
Many websites help you to find out jobs in your city like Indeed, Glassdoor, Google jobs, and many more. In addition to this, you must visit local employment agencies. It can be government-funded or non-profit organizations or private agencies. Some other leading websites include:
In Canada, options for child care are varied and range from nannies, daycare centres, home daycares, preschool programs, to before and after school services. Child care services may be regulated or unregulated.
Regulated child care services include centre-based full-day child care, home child care, school-aged child care, and in most provinces, nursery schools and preschools. These are monitored, licensed, and regulated by provincial and territorial authorities.
Unregulated child care services are provided either in a family child care home (a caregiver’s home) or in the child’s own home. If using this service, as a parent, it is your sole responsibility to assess the quality of child care provided, manage the relationship with the provider, and to find a new provider if there’s any issue with the arrangement.
Visit https://arrivein.com/daily-life-in-canada/child-care-in-canada-types-cost-and-tips-for-newcomers/ for more information.