Canada tip: 11 Tips to Prepare Your Move to Canada Canada tip: When you move to Canada, there are a number of things you’ll need to do in order to make sure your new home is set up for success. Whether you’re moving here from another country or relocating within Canada, there’s a lot to take care of when you arrive. The good news is that getting everything done won’t take too long, and you’ll soon be officially settled in. Here are some things to do while preparing for your transition to Canada. Use this list as a checklist to make sure everything gets done on time, or if there’s something that has to get done right away, don’t put it off!
- 1 1. Canada tip: Know what you’re bringing with you
- 2 2. Canada tip: Gather the necessary paperwork for crossing the border
- 3 3. Canada tip: Find out about Canadian health insurance and other benefits
- 4 4. Canada tip: Learn about immigration requirements, including visas and work permits
- 5 5. Canada tip: Get your children enrolled in school as soon as possible
- 6 6. Canada tip: Tips on settling into life as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of this country
- 7 8. Canada tip: Things to do when you first arrive in Canada
- 8 9. Canada tip: Settling down after arriving in your new city
- 9 10. Canada tip: Making friends while living abroad
- 10 11. Canada tip: How does culture shock affect newcomers to Canada
1. Canada tip: Know what you’re bringing with youBefore you go, note what appliances and other household items you’ll need to buy once you’re here. You may want to buy some things before your move, or, take them with you when you travel. For example, if you don’t have access at home to a clothes washer/dryer, consider packing a few loads of laundry to take with you on the plane. It’s also important to know what documents you’ll need for crossing the border. This includes your passport, proof of Canadian residency (e.g. utility bills, bank statements), and if you’re moving with children, their birth certificates, and other important paperwork.
2. Canada tip: Gather the necessary paperwork for crossing the borderIf you’re coming into Canada from a foreign country, you’ll need a valid passport to cross the border. In some cases, you may also need a visa or other special documents. You may be able to get these from your local Canadian consulate or embassy in your home country. You’ll also need proof of Canadian residency, which you can show with bank statements, utility bills, or other documents.
3. Canada tip: Find out about Canadian health insurance and other benefitsFind out if your health insurance plan is valid in Canada, and what’s covered by it when you’re living abroad. Learn about the other benefits you may be entitled to as a newcomer to Canada, such as the Child Tax Benefit and the GST/HST Credit. You can find more information on government websites, or by contacting Service Canada.
4. Canada tip: Learn about immigration requirements, including visas and work permitsThere are a number of different visas and work permits that may be applicable to your situation. Make sure you know which one is right for you, and start the application process well in advance of your move. You can find more information on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, or by consulting with a qualified immigration lawyer.
5. Canada tip: Get your children enrolled in school as soon as possibleIf you have school-aged children, it’s important to find out about the school system in your new city. Find out when children can start attending school, and what paperwork you need to send to the local school board or district office. You may also have to provide proof of immunization or other records before your child can attend school here in Canada.
6. Canada tip: Tips on settling into life as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of this countryAs a newcomer to Canada, learn about taxes, driving licenses, bank accounts, and setting up utilities at home, which you’ll want to do as soon as possible after arriving in your new locale. Take advantage of community programs designed for newcomers such as Welcome Wagon and newcomer information centers, where experts will be able to help answer any questions you may have, or point you in the right direction.
8. Canada tip: Things to do when you first arrive in CanadaThe first few days are crucial for settling into your new home so take this time to get organized. Visit the local library or bookstore to find out about local newspapers and magazines, check out a map of your city so you know where everything is located, shop around for health insurance. Go online to check if there are any clubs or organizations that might interest you, especially if they’re related to work or hobbies that you enjoy. Also, make sure to visit the government websites for your new province or territory, and Canada.ca, so you can find out more about living in this country.
9. Canada tip: Settling down after arriving in your new cityThe first month is crucial for settling into life as a newcomer to Canada. Spend time getting to know your neighbors, signing up for local newsletters at work or school, and getting involved with clubs that interest you. Take advantage of newcomer services such as Welcome Wagon where possible. These programs are designed to help new arrivals adjust to life in their new homes faster than they would otherwise be able to do on their own. You can also take advantage of other free or low-cost services available in your area, such as language classes or help to find a job.
10. Canada tip: Making friends while living abroadOne of the biggest challenges for newcomers to Canada is making friends. There are a few things you can do to make the process a little easier. Start by attending social events at work, school, or in your local community. Look for activities that interest you and try out new things – you might be surprised at how many people share your hobbies and interests. Be open to meeting new people and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Most people are more than happy to lend a helping hand to someone who’s just starting out in their new home.
11. Canada tip: How does culture shock affect newcomers to CanadaCulture shock is a major adjustment that can affect immigrants and refugees, no matter how well they know the language or the culture. The first few days of settling into life as a newcomer to Canada can be an overwhelming experience, and it’s important not to feel pressure to adjust too quickly. Give yourself time every day – even just 10 minutes of quiet time alone – so you can readjust at your own pace. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the differences in language, culture, or place of living here in Canada, don’t hesitate to ask for more information from friends or family members who have come before you; they’ll be able to help you feel more comfortable sooner than if you try and go it alone. The process of immigration can be challenging, but with the right preparation, you can make the move to Canada a smooth one. By gathering the necessary paperwork, learning about Canadian health insurance and other benefits, and getting your children enrolled in school, you’ll be well on your way to starting a new life in this country. With a little effort, you’ll be feeling at home in no time.
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