People love moving to Canada, and the country is great at welcoming them. Regardless of why you’re going, there is much to consider during such exhilarating and overwhelming change. You will need to prepare for a new life you’re not accustomed to, so we’re here to make sure you start on the right foot.
Job Hunt in Advance
Unless you are already entering Canada through an Express Entry visa, or you have connections, you need ample time to find and nail a job. If you can align prospective employment for yourself before you even set foot, make it so. If you can only be proactive after your move, it helps to:
- Have funds that will sustain you until you find a job
- Look for jobs outside of your career move until you find something better
- Network and change your resume to the standard Canadian format
Picking up where you left off in your career won’t be easy. You may have all of the qualifications and professional experience, but it won’t mean anything unless your credentials are recognized in Canada. Bring all of the documentation and transcripts you have and anticipate how much it will take to be fully accredited in your field after you move.
Locate Temporary Accommodations
No matter how prepared you are, you will still need a place to settle before looking for Oakville houses for sale, for example. If you don’t have friends or family to help you in the beginning, you will need to be thorough about where you are staying – especially if you don’t have an established Canadian credit history or local references.
Think about where you will stay, for how long, and how much it will cost before you can get on your feet. If you use services such as Airbnb, Craigslist, and other websites, request long term accommodation that may grant you a better deal.
If you’re on a tighter budget, or only need a place short term, look into hostels or backpacking/couch surfing platforms. Couchsurfing is popular in the country, and it gives you a chance to meet the locals and build connections.
Set Your Phone Up
Phone services in Canada are purchased by contract, and they are some of the most expensive mobile phone plans in the world. Avoid paying a fortune for roaming by using free WiFi whenever possible. Make sure your phone is unlocked, and work on getting a SIM card as soon as your jet lag wears off. Search and compare available phone plans in your area ahead of time.
While prepaid plans are popular in other countries, it is pricier in Canada. It is also important to note that features like voicemail and caller ID are not a standard.
When shopping for phone and internet providers, look into bundles to save money, and read the fine print to know what is or isn’t included in the package. For instance, calling outside your area in Canada may be considered “long-distance”.
Apply for Your SIN
Your Social Insurance Number is a nine-digit identification number used to pay taxes, work, and have access to government services. It is important to note that you cannot work and officially get paid until you have a SIN issued to you.
You can request your Social Insurance Number at your nearest Service Canada Office. When applying, present your original documents, and a notarized translation of them if they are not in the country’s official languages.
Finding New Banking
Another challenge you will have to face is selecting and opening a bank account. If you need to make money transfers, you may need to seek separate services. International money transfers services like TransferWise or CIBC’s Global Money Transfer are great for avoiding costly bank fees.
Since the banking systems are different, you may need to change how you spend and manage your money. Canadian banking emphasizes the importance of credit cards – so much that they add fees to debit transactions.
Using a credit card is the only way to build your credit history and sounds great if you are planning on buying a house. On the other hand, the high credit limits and incentives is a trap for newcomers to fall into debt.
Making the Transition Easier
You’re not alone: Canada receives thousands of new permanent residents each year. Plan for everything, prepare for setbacks and keep your head up because it is manageable – no matter how overwhelming it may seem at first. Give yourself time to settle and adjust to your new life, and before you know it, you’ll embrace the beauty and charm of the country as a full-fledged Canadian.