This post is the part two of things to do before you arrive in Canada as a new immigrant. If you are yet to read it, I will suggest you do so now before you continue. This post will be focusing on what you need to do as a family as you prepare arrive in Canada. We will call this your settlement and integration plan..
As a potential new immigrant, your priorities should include the following actions:
- if you are married with children, you need to research on schools for your children.
- Research on affordable housing close the school you want your children to attend
- Ensure that you know what documents to bring and get on arrival.
- If required, translate your documents into English or French and get them certified.
- Contact your Settlement Agency advisor for support. If you participate in any pre-arrival program, you will be assigned an advisor.
- Learn about the public transportation system, weather and appropriate dress for the climate, shopping and different government and community services for newcomers in the place you plan to live. This becomes importance especially if you are not planning to buy a car immediately you land in Canada.
- You need to learn about laws, rights and civic responsibilities in the province you intend to live.
- Conduct research on budgeting to ensure you have a realistic budget planned for when you arrive.
The resources below should with your reach. While you parking and planning your trip, ensure that you study them. You might need to write them in your diary or bookmark the URL of this page.
- Living in Canada Tool www.cic.gc.ca/lctvac/english/index
- Welcome to Canada – What Should You Know www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/welcome/index.asp
- An Essential Workbook for Newcomers http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2012/cic/Ci4-10-2012-eng.pdf
- Before You Arrive Video www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/multimedia/video/settlement/before.asp
- Your First Two Weeks in Canada Video www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/multimedia/video/settlement/twoweeks.asp
- Proof of funds www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/funds.asp
- Canada Border Services Agency www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/
- Services Canada www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml
- Social Insurance Number (SIN) www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/sin/index.shtml
Have a Health Care Plan
Some provinces and territories require to have stayed like 90 days before you can get access to the healthcare system. If your destination has this restriction, you need to take out private health insurance for you and your family. This should cover from the time you arrive until you can qualify for the provincial health care plan. You should explore the information on potential family doctor. Also, learn about what facility to go to when there is a medical emergency
Check out this private Health Care Insurance information especially if you will be settling in BC, YT, ON and QC.
Sort Your Housing Needs
Unless you have a family or friend that can host you for some days, you need to explore how to get temporary accommodation. This will give you enough time to search for a permanent home. You should plan to sort out your permanent accommodation with the first two weeks of landing in Canada. The resources might be of help:
- Newcomer’s Guide to Canadian Housing – information on renting, buying and mortgages
- New Journey’s Housing Resource Centre for Newcomers
- Apartment Rentals: www.kijiji.ca, rentfaster.ca and www.padmapper.com
- Homes for Sale and Rent: www.realtor.ca/ and comfree.com/
School and Childcare
If you are arriving with your children, you need to do the following
- conduct research on educational systems in the province I plan to live in.
- seek childcare and schooling options for your children especially if your children are young
- plan to register your school age children in school immediately upon arrival.
You will find the resources below useful.
- Canada Child and Family Benefit
- Canadian Child Care
- What You Need to Know about Education www.cicic.ca/1130/An-overview-of-education-in-Canada/index.canada and https://www.educanada.ca/index.aspx?lang=eng
- School checklist
Banking and Tax Information
This should be on your list of what to do before you arrive in Canada. Investigate banking options available to you as a newcomer. Below are list of banking’s offering for newcomers
- BMO New to Canada
- CIBC New to Canada
- HSBC New to Canada
- ICICI Bank Hello Canada Account for New Immigrants
- National Bank of Canada Newcomers to Canada
- RBC Newcomers to Canada
- Scotiabank Advice for Newcomers
- TD Canada Trust New to Canada
For relevant information on tax advice, check the following
Immigrant Loan – Bursary and Scholarship Programs – Tax Relief
If you are looking to go back to school, you need to research immigrant loan programs. You can start by checking out these resources
- Student Financial Assistance – Information and tools designed to help you save, plan and pay for post-secondary education
- Education and Training Benefits – Scholarships, grants and funding opportunities for students whether part-time, full-time, with dependents, with disabilities and from low or middle-income families
- Loans – Immigrant Access Fund (IAF) can help pay for the costs of the Canadian licensing or training. Loans are available for any type of work.
- For clients that require a profession or skilled trades certification only – Tax relief – Canadian Revenue Agency Examination Fee for Certification
Understand What Is Required To Drive in Canada
Whether you are planning to buy a car or not, understand what to bring from home. You should also review how to get a driver’s permit and car insurance. You can take a look at this guide on how to get a Canadian Driving license. This is a good guide for new immigrants.