Get Settled in Canada Through These Simple Steps

If you are planning on immigrating to Canada or if you just received your immigration visa acceptance, there are several things you should review before moving!

Newcomers in Canada sometimes need help with settling into the “True North, Strong And Free.”

We have compiled several items that you should do once you prepare to arrive in Canada. When immigrants/newcomers move to Canada many of them are a little lost on what they should do to start their new life but here are our top items to help get you started.

Create a budget before landing

Walking into any situation without a plan is typically a recipe for disaster. Get your financial hat on and chart out your current available funds. Figure out the basics to build out a plan of action that you can set into motion the second you land. 

Plan for the worst, and make sure to have an emergency fund for a “rainy day”.

Here are some additional tips on good budget planning.

Landing formalities (SIN & health card)

Your MOST IMPORTANT government-issued document in Canada is your SIN. Basically, it acts as a national identification number and is what legally allows you to be in the country (so don’t lose it!).

Your SIN will be unique to you and should be treated as confidential. To acquire your social insurance number, visit a Service Canada office. Complete information about obtaining and using a SIN is available in the SIN section on Service Canada’s website.

Opening a bank account

Once you immigrate to Canada, you will want to open a Canadian bank account as soon as possible for obvious reasons. 

Opening a Canadian bank account is extremely easy compared to other countries. In Canada to open a bank account, all you need is to walk into the bank and provide some valid personal identification (this is why your SIN number comes is important). You do not need a job, permanent address, money to put into the address, or credit. 

In fact, the whole process is easy as the bank teller will walk you through the whole thing (we’re nice here in Canada).

Here are some great banks to check out:

Look for housing (rent or buy) (Kijiji, Facebook marketplace, realtor.ca)

Next, finding a place to live will be one of your top priorities. You will have the option of renting an apartment or house or buying one.

Here are some things to consider to make the best choice for your needs.

If you rent a home: 

Renting is always a great place to start when you first arrive in the country (unless of course, you have the funds to buy). It is important to understand what a home rental looks like in Canada and the rights and obligations in relation to the landlord and yourself. 

You can find more information within the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

If you buy a home: 

You have the funds, and you found your new place to call home, now what?

Buying your first home in Canada is a significant investment that requires tons of planning, consideration and is a long process. So it’s critical that you get accurate information at every stage of your home purchasing journey from borrowing capacity to picking up your keys.

This government website walks you through everything you should know when buying your first house in Canada.

Switching to a Canadian Phone Plan

Phone bills in Canada are expensive, but luckily we have great coverage here!

You’ll want to join a Canadian cellphone service provider as soon as you can to save on hefty international fees.

Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Freedom Mobile (budget friendly)

  • Bell Media (the biggest in the Country, but expensive)

  • Rogers (a close second to Bell, and equally expensive)

  • Fido (a great middle ground provider that is reliable and affordable)

Do your research and find the phone plan that best suits your current lifestyle and needs.

Obtaining a driver’s license

To drive a vehicle in Canada, you will need a valid driver’s license. You will need to take a driving test or exchange your existing driver’s license for a local one (if you have a license issued in your country of origin). 

Each province and territory has its own regulations, which can be viewed on the Service Canada website.

Buy a car (or not)

In Canada, owning a car is often a necessity (there’s a lot of distance between places over here — unless you live downtown Toronto). Therefore, it is important to choose the type of car that best suits your needs, and to find out which financing solution is the most appropriate for you. 

After you arrive, you will need to choose between leasing or buying a new or used car, evaluate your borrowing capacity and verify the payment terms.

Take the time to shop around and ask for all the information you need!

Protect yourself (Insurances)

Have you thought about how you would repay your loans if you became disabled, were diagnosed with a critical illness or died? (fingers crossed that you remain healthy).

By insuring your loans, you will have the certainty that no one will have to worry about your debts, here are a couple outlined below:

Life insurance: The insured balance of your loan is repaid in the event of death.

Disability insurance: Your insured loan payments are taken care of in case of disability.

Critical illness insurance: The insured balance of the loan is repaid in the event you are diagnosed with one of the three critical illnesses covered: cancer, stroke or heart attack.

Contact us for more information on how to move to Canada

We’re here to help!

Migration to Canada is a result-oriented firm that offers professional immigration lawyers’ advice and representation to the Canadian Government. Our goal is to represent our clients’ immigration matters with integrity and efficiency to assist families, business professionals and international corporations in immigrating to Canada by facilitating their visas with dedicated professionalism and courtesy. Book a free call with us here for further questions, or contact us today to get started!

Get Settled in Canada Through These Simple Steps