Arriving as a new immigrant to Canada

Welcome to Canada. We assume you have gone through the pre- arrival information.

The following articles will help you plan for your arrival and new life in Canada.

 

At The Border/Airport

When you arrive in Canada, you may be required to go through two interview screenings. Ensure you complete the immigration and customs form(s) you are given on the plane. The links below will guide you in this process and let you know what to expect at each stage.

 

Airport Guide

Once you have completed the immigration and customs process, you can move around within the airport and ultimately leave the airport into our new home.  We have included the Pearson airport arrival guide and frequently asked questions . More airport guides will be added in due course.

 

About CAnada

Information is critical to success as an immigrant. Below are some of the things you need to know about your new home.

 

Permanent Resident Card

If you have been given a permanent residence status, the link below provides detailed information about what you should know concerning your permanent residence (PR) status; what it can do, what it can’t do and how to retain it.

Filing Taxes

If this is your first year in Canada, the information below will guide you in filling your first tax year in Canada. For subsequent years, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency.

Accommodation

Accommodation is a very important aspect of your migration. When you get to Canada, you will need to find a temporary place to live until you can rent or buy your own place. There are several options available to which vary from staying with friends/ relatives to staying a hotel or hostel. 

Accommodation options vary from basements to houses and apartments / condos. Several landlords and agents advertise houses for rent on different websites such as KijijiAirbnbViewit and several other sites. If buying a home, realtor.ca is a good place to begin your search. There are also real estate agents that can help you rent or buy a home. 

 Whichever option you choose, it is advisable to research properly and check reviews where possible.  Also be aware of your rights and responsibilities in each case.

Key considerations when getting a house include transit score (access to transit), schools within the neighborhood and school bus eligibility (is you’re a parent).

 

Welcome Pack

Told you earlier that the Canadian government was happy to welcome you to your new home, well, in addition to everything the government is doing, they have included a welcome gift. Who doesn’t love a gift. Our fingers are itching to type what was contained in ours, but why ruin the surprise for you. This has not yet been implemented in every province. New permanent residents should click on the link below to get detailed instructions about getting your welcome pack.

  Social Insurance Number (SIN)

The social insurance number (SIN) has been made a separate topic because of its importance to almost every aspect of your life as a new immigrant; from getting a job to opening a bank account, receiving benefits etc. 
You should try to get this done at the airport, but in the event that you are unable to get it done at the airport, locate a Service Canada office near you using the “Service Canada Locator” link below and apply as soon as possible.
Please note that your social insurance number is very important and guard it carefully to prevent identity theft.

 

Newcomer Services

The Canadian government funds over a thousand post arrival and newcomer services and agencies. Yes, you heard us right,  the figure is not exaggerated, you are that important. These newcomer centers do everything to make the settlement process easier. This includes career counselling, interview preparations and settlement related services. We advise every newcomer to avail themselves of these services. Use the link below to locate a newcomer service close to you. 

 

Health Care

Canada has a universal health-care system which is funded through taxes and covers most health-care services. As a permanent resident or citizen, you are required to apply for the public health insurance for you and your immediate family . 
The health-care insurance is unique to each province and territory however all provinces and territories provide free emergency services (there may be restrictions depending on your immigration status). After you apply for the health insurance, you will be issued a health insurance card. 
You can get more details about getting a health insurance card by clicking on each province  or territory on the home page.  Some provinces have a waiting period of up to 3 months before the health card is issued. It is advisable to apply as soon as you arrive and also purchase private health insurance during the wait period.
Click on the link below to get more details about health-care in Canada.

Transportation

There are several means of transportation within Canada. Click on the link below for more details about transportation within Canada. For more details about driving within each province, click on the coat of arm of each province on the home page.

 

Applying For Benefits

As a new immigrant, it is advisable to find out what benefits you may be eligible for. If you have a family, you may qualify for family benefits such as Child Care Benefits (CCB), Goods and services tax/Harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, Child Disability Benefit, etc. If you have children, it is advisable to apply for CCB and other family related benefits as soon as you arrive in Canada. Well, not necessarily on the same day you arrive, but it is important to note that if you arrive after the tax filing season, you may still apply. 

 

Click on the link below to find out more about benefits in Canada.