Moving to a new country, including Canada, unfailingly generates intense excitement. However, it is also true that behind all the excitement, there are lurking insecurities and apprehensions, often followed by teething issues following arrival in an unfamiliar land. It is always a wise to do your homework about the country you are relocating to.
Getting to Know Canada
The Geography. The sprawling nation of Canada stretches for 9,984,670 square kilometres. Owing to its enormous land coverage, Canada happens to be the second largest country on earth.
Provinces and Territories. Canada consists of three territories and ten provinces. The nation is broadly segmented into five regions:
- The Atlantic region in the East
- The Central region
- The Prairies
- The West
- The North
Natural Resources. Canada has a rich treasure house of natural resources – lush forests and wildlife, pure water and protected areas. Canada proudly houses as many as 71,500 species of flora and fauna. The Canadian coastline is the longest in the world.
Seasons. Canada enjoys four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter, although winter often seems longer than all other seasons.
The People. Eighty percent of 31 million Canadians have their homes in the cities and towns in Southern Canada. In terms of the size of population, Canada is the 33rd largest country in the world, although Canada is the second largest country in the world in land-size (Russia is the largest).
Multiculturalism. Canada is a country that truly prides itself on not just tolerating but celebrating diversity. As a resident in Canada, you are bound to obey and abide by Canadian laws, the directives of the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which clearly states that any discrimination against any person with regards to his ethnic background, colour, creed, age, sex, disabilities, religion etc. is forbidden.
The Government and Laws. Canada is a thoroughly democratic country with ample rights granted to citizens. The justice system is sound and treats every citizen as equal.
Education. Free public education is provided to every child throughout Canada. Children receive compulsory education till 16 years of age.
Healthcare. Referred to as Medicine, Canada practices a province-based health insurance plan and endeavours towards access to healthcare for all.
Financial preparation before arriving. Along with your application for visa, you will need to submit proof of your financial capability of supporting yourself and your family in Canada . Rules may be varied depending on what kind of work you are taking up in Canada.
Choosing a place to settle. This would depend on your specific needs –good schools, wider career opportunities, climatic preferences, communal preferences, facilities etc. The majority of immigrants settle in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Locate an immigrant assisting organization that would help with accommodation.
Language. To qualify for Canadian citizenship – even for permanent resident status, you need to be conversant in at least one of the two official languages of the country – English and French. Learning both is encouraged. Language training is available widely in Canada.
- A Canadian immigrant visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residence
- Two copies of a list of personal goods you are arriving with
- Two copies of a list of personal goods you are expecting to arrive later and their financial worth
- Receipts and registration certificates of goods you are carrying
- Education related documents, if you expect to work in Canada
- Your Birth Certificate