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, driver’s 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 the 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 a government health insurance card
  • Open a bank account
  • Learn the best way of making phone calls or accessing the 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 Driver’s 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)

Resource Links

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