Checklist for Newcomers to Canada

Before You Arrive

  • Research your new province and city
  • Arrange your accommodation
  • Research the Labour Market
  • Ensure your passport is valid
  • Collect official documentation (birth certificate, marriage or divorce certificate, educational diplomas, vaccination records, medical records, driverís licence etc.)
  • Have your official documents translated into English or French
  • Photocopy all important documents
  • Exchange your money for Canadian currency for immediate usage
  • Consider buying health insurance to cover yourself until you become eligible for provincial health-care system
  • Research what you can bring or cannot bring to Canada
  • Set the date of your arrival and book your travel ticket in advance

Immediately After You Arrive

  • Call or Visit an Immigrant-Serving Organization
  • Apply for Social Insurance Number (SIN) at Service Canada Centre
  • Apply for government health insurance card
  • Open a bank account
  • Learn the best way of making phone calls or accessing internet.
  • Familiarize yourself with your new neighbourhood
  • Study your transportation option in your neighbourhood
  • Memorize the emergency telephone number: 911 for police, ambulance, and fire
  • Enroll your children in school
  • Get your credential accredited (if necessary)

First Two Months in Canada

  • Improve your English or French by enrolling in tax-payer funded language classes
  • Apply for Canada Child Tax Benefit (if you have a dependent under 18 years old)
  • Get your Canadian Driverís Licence if you plan to drive in Canada
  • Learn about Canadian laws and your rights and responsibilities
  • Search for a home to rent or buy
  • Learn your rights as a tenant
  • Search and apply for job opportunities
  • Learn your rights as an employee
  • Find the closest public library from your home
  • Find a family doctor
  • Make sure you received your Permanent Resident Card from IRCC within two months from your date of arrival (if not, contact IRCC office)

Welcome to Canada (

Get to know Canada

Start your life in Canada

Living in Canada Tool

Community Connections

Upcoming Events

Richmond Public Library, Richmond

Richmond Public Library, Richmond
Refugee figures at a glance

As of June 2018, there are 25.4 million refugees around the world according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) statistic. Over half of the refugees are under the age of 18 and 57% of the world refugees came from following three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

Photo Gallery

Images of CANN services provided to new immigrants, including government-assisted and privately-sponsored refugees, at Vancouver International Airport.

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P.O. Box 32373, YVR Domestic Terminal R.P.O.
(3880 Grant McConachie Way)
Richmond V7B 1W2 Canada
Phone: 604-270-0077
Fax: 604-279-0091

Hours of operation:

Office: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday, except statutory holiday
Kiosk: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm, Monday - Sunday, except statutory holiday

*Closing time may vary and is based on arrival trends