After You Arrive

The Checklist

Soon after arriving in Canada, you should obtain the help of immigrant-serving organizations to seek information on jobs, language training, and services. Don’t waste time before applying for health insurance card (there are a required waiting period for each provinces), driver’s license, Canada Child Tax Benefit, Social Insurance Number (SIN), a bank account, and job. Also, build a stock of Canadian currency, search for accommodation, get acquainted with your locality and transportation options, understand laws, and locate good schools if you have children with you.

Accommodation. Scan the classifieds section of your newspaper and the internet to rent or buy a suitable house or an apartment. If planning to invest in a property, look out for For Sale signs in front of houses. Canadian banks will approve home loans only if you have a good credit history, along with required deposits or down-payment for your home.

Currency. If you are not carrying Canadian currency when you arrive, get it from the money exchangers at the airports or get in touch with a Canadian bank.

Education. The Government entitles every child to free education. It is compulsory for every child to receive an education from the age of four or five to sixteen. Certain legislations regarding education vary across provinces and territories.

Transportation. Depending on your requirements and affordability, you can choose to buy a car (new or used) or lease one. Each car needs to be registered and insured. Many Canadians choose to walk, bike or use public transport (buses, trains, taxis and subways).

Healthcare. Every citizen needs to have a health insurance card, which are issued by the provincial government. Health insurance legislations and coverage vary across territories and provinces. You can choose to opt for private health insurance, for medical treatments not covered by your public health insurance.

Laws and Police. All citizens and permanent and temporary residents in Canada are bound by the Canadian justice system, which treats everyone as equals.

Federal laws are enforced across Canada by The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Being a Permanent Resident. As a permanent resident of Canada - while remaining a citizen of your homeland, you would have the right to apply for citizenship and live, work and study anywhere in the country. You can enjoy social benefits and be protected by the Canadian law. However, you are not allowed to vote or take part in politics and are ineligible for certain high-security jobs. As well, you are subjected to any government laws regarding terms of stay for permanent residents.

Becoming a Citizen. Find out if you are qualified and eligible to apply for citizenship. If your age is between 18 and 54, you are required to take a citizenship test. Those over 14 years of age would have to attend a citizenship ceremony.

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