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Settling in Canada as a New Immigrant

Settling in a new country poses many challenges whatever your background is. While immigrants face one or more of these challenges, rest assured that the country has a range of features that will surely help you to make smoother transitions. In this blog, we will provide a handy checklist that you can use to settle in this beautiful, multicultural, diverse country after arrival. 

Settlement Checklist

The more preparation you can do before moving to Canada, the easier it will be for you to settle in.

The following items should be on your settlement checklist.  In the following sections, we will give some useful tips to get you started with these items.

  1. Finding a place to stay in Canada
  2. Opening your Canadian bank account
  3. Applying for health assurance in Canada
  4. Get your social insurance number
  5. Finding a job in Canada
  6. Plan your budget living in Canada
  7. Socializing options in Canada

1- Finding a place to stay in Canada

Finding affordable housing can be a challenge, especially if you have little money. Here are some tips for finding a place to stay in Canada:

  1. Look for roommate opportunities: Sharing an apartment with a roommate can significantly reduce your housing costs. You can find roommate opportunities on the same websites mentioned above, as well as on social media groups.

  2. Check with your school or workplace: If you are a student or an employee, your school or workplace may have resources for finding affordable housing. They may have a housing board or a list of available apartments and rooms.

  3. Online rentals websites:  Once you have time to breath, you can also look for apartments & homes before arriving. Some will allow closing a lease before arriving. You can search through available rentals like View It & PadMapper.

  4. Consider alternative housing options: In addition to traditional apartments and rooms, there are other housing options that may be more affordable, such as co-living spaces, hostels, and homestays. Airbnb is a good option.

  5. If you are looking to purchase a home,  talk to a real estate agent or search on websites such as Zoocasa and Realtor

When looking for a place to stay, it’s important to consider your budget and your needs. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Rent and utilities: Make sure that the rent and utilities fit within your budget. You may also need to factor in the cost of transportation if the location is far from your school or workplace.

  2. Location: Consider the location of the apartment or room. Is it close to public transportation, grocery stores, and other amenities that you need?

  3. Safety: Make sure that the neighborhood is safe and secure. You can check crime rates and safety statistics online.

  4. Roommates: If you are considering sharing an apartment with roommates, make sure that they are responsible and reliable.

  5. Lease agreement: Read the lease agreement carefully before signing it. Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions, including the length of the lease, the rent payment schedule, and any additional fees or charges.

Other suggestions for finding affordable housing include:

  1. Networking: Ask friends, family members, and colleagues if they know of any available apartments or rooms.

  2. Be flexible: Consider different neighborhoods or alternative housing options.

  3. Negotiate: If you find a place that you like but the rent is too high, try negotiating with the landlord.

  4. Be patient: Finding affordable housing may take time, so be patient and persistent in your search.


2- Opening your First Bank Account in Canada

Yes, as an immigrant to Canada, it is possible to open a bank account. In fact, having a bank account is essential for managing your finances and accessing various financial services in Canada. Here are some options for opening a bank account as an immigrant:

  1. Canadian banks: Most Canadian banks, such as Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), TD Bank, Scotiabank, and Bank of Montreal (BMO), offer bank accounts to new immigrants. You will need to provide identification documents, such as your passport and permanent resident card, as well as proof of your address in Canada. Some banks may also require proof of employment or a minimum deposit to open an account.

  2. Credit unions: Credit unions are financial cooperatives that offer similar services to banks. Many credit unions also offer bank accounts to new immigrants, and the requirements for opening an account may be less stringent than those of a traditional bank.

  3. Online banks: Online banks, such as Tangerine and Simplii Financial, offer bank accounts that can be opened entirely online. This can be a convenient option for new immigrants who may not have a permanent address yet or who prefer to manage their finances digitally.

  4. International banks: Some international banks, such as HSBC and Citibank, have branches in Canada and may offer bank accounts to new immigrants. However, the requirements for opening an account may be more stringent than those of Canadian banks.

It’s important to shop around and compare the fees and features of different bank accounts before opening one. Some banks may offer special promotions or incentives for new immigrants, such as waived monthly fees or free transactions. Once you have a bank account, you can use it to deposit your paychecks, pay bills, and access other financial services in Canada.

3- Apply for Health Assurance as a New Immigrant in Canada

As a new immigrant to Canada, you may be eligible for health care coverage under the country’s publicly funded health insurance system, known as Medicare. Medicare provides coverage for medically necessary services, including hospital stays, physician visits, and diagnostic tests.

In order to be eligible for Medicare, you must have a valid health card from the province or territory in which you reside. You can apply for a health card as soon as you arrive in Canada, but the requirements and application process may vary depending on the province or territory. Generally, you will need to provide proof of your identity and your status as a new immigrant.

It is important to note that there may be a waiting period before you are eligible for Medicare coverage. This waiting period varies depending on the province or territory, but it is typically three months from the date you establish residency in Canada. During this waiting period, it is recommended that you obtain private health insurance to cover any medical expenses that may arise.

If you are not eligible for Medicare or if you want additional coverage beyond what is provided by the public health insurance system, you can purchase private health insurance. Private health insurance can provide coverage for services that are not covered by Medicare, such as dental care, prescription drugs, and vision care.

It is important to research the health insurance options available to you as a new immigrant to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your needs. The cost of health insurance in Canada can vary depending on your age, health status, and the level of coverage you choose. You may also be able to obtain health insurance through your employer if you are employed in Canada.


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4- Get you Social Insurance Number in Canada

he Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that is issued by the Government of Canada to residents and citizens of Canada. The SIN serves as a unique identifier that is used by the government and other organizations to track an individual’s income, taxes, and other contributions to Canadian society.

The SIN is important for several reasons:

  1. Employment: In order to work in Canada, individuals are required to have a SIN. Employers use the SIN to report their employees’ income to the government for tax purposes.

  2. Government benefits: The SIN is used to administer several government programs and benefits, including the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and Old Age Security. These programs provide financial support to Canadians who are retired, unemployed, or in need of financial assistance.

  3. Credit history: The SIN is also used by credit reporting agencies to track an individual’s credit history. This information is used by lenders to determine whether to approve a loan or credit card application.

  4. Taxation: The SIN is used by the Canada Revenue Agency to track an individual’s income and taxes paid. It is required to file income tax returns and to receive tax refunds.

  5. Health care: The SIN is used by provincial and territorial health care systems to track an individual’s health care coverage and to administer health care benefits.

In summary, the SIN is a critical piece of identification that is necessary for Canadians to access government programs and benefits, work, and participate in the Canadian economy. It is important for individuals to protect their SIN and only provide it to authorized parties to prevent identity theft and fraud.

5- Find a job in Canada

Interview Preparation

Moving to a new country can feel overwhelming. It is the second largest country in the world. Canadians have one of the highest standards of living in the world. Also, rank in the top ten of the world’s happiest country.

Getting a job before arriving in Canada will release a lot of your stress. But if you haven’t found any, there are several job search tools to use. Make sure that your cover letter and resume meet North American standards and match the job to which you are applying. You can use edilume career services to prepare a CV that meets Canada’s job market requirements.

Here are some more tips on finding a job in Canada

  1. Job search websites: There are many job search websites such as Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn that allow you to search for job openings in Canada. These websites often have filters to help you narrow down your search based on industry, location, and job title.

  2. Government job boards: The Canadian government has job boards that list open positions across the country. You can search for jobs based on your skills, education, and work experience.

  3. Staffing agencies: Staffing agencies can help match you with job openings based on your skills and experience. They work with employers to fill temporary, contract, and permanent positions.

  4. Networking: Networking can be a powerful tool in finding a job in Canada. Attend job fairs, industry events, and professional association meetings to meet people in your field and learn about job openings. You can also reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances to see if they know of any job opportunities.

  5. Cold calling and emailing: You can also reach out directly to employers to inquire about job openings. This approach requires some research to identify companies that are hiring and to find the right person to contact.

  6. Volunteering and internships: Volunteering and internships can be a great way to gain experience in your field and make connections with employers. These opportunities may lead to a job offer or a referral to another employer.

  7. Job fairs: Attending job fairs can be a good way to meet potential employers and learn about job opportunities in your field. These events are often free and provide an opportunity to network with other job seekers.

It’s important to note that the job market in Canada can be competitive, so it’s important to be persistent and proactive in your job search. Tailoring your resume and cover letter to each job you apply for and practicing your interview skills can also increase your chances of getting hired. Explore our career services here for this purpose.


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6- Plan your Budget:

Here are a few basic tips that will help you plan your budget before arriving in Canada.

a- An estimated Living Expenses:

Once you arrive in Canada – living here will also be expensive. According to Number, a database that compares cost of living around the world, as of March 2021, the average monthly cost of living in Canada for a family of four without rent is around $3,674 whereas the average cost of living for a single person without rent is around $1,109 per month.

b- Switch to a Canadian Phone Plan:

To join a Canadian cell phone service to avoid hefty international fees. You will want to start researching and comparing phone plans as some may be better suited for your lifestyle. You can find a local cell phone service store with your current phone’s GPS. 

c- Education:

In Canada, parents make sure that their children get an education. Provincial and territorial governments set up and run their school systems. Canada does not have a federal department or national system of education. 

By law, children in Canada must go to school to get their elementary & secondary education. Depending on the province or territory, children may start at the age of 5 or 6 and continue until they are between 16 and 18.

d- Get your vehicle:

To legally own a car in Canada, first, you need to secure three documents: a driver’s license, an insurance policy, and vehicle registration. Depending upon your experience, there’s a chance that you’ll be able to just exchange your old license for a new Canadian license. 

Moreover, to get your new license you need a Canadian Citizenship card, your old (foreign) driver’s license, and an official abstract document. 

Click on this link to get the car of your choice & range. 

e- Grocery Shopping:

For groceries deals, two good options are Dollar store & Walmart

Dollar Tree’s motto is that everything is $1 while Walmart uses individual pricing. Everything for a buck? It seems like a good deal but it’s important to consider what you’re getting for the money.

Comparing unit prices is the best way to gauge how far your dollars will go at Dollar Tree vs. Walmart.


f- Home Appliances:

Looking for the best quality home appliances but don’t know how to do so? Let me help you to know the best brand with top-quality products in affordable ranges.  Here is the link that enables you to design your dream home:





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7 - Socializing in Canada

Finally, our last item on the checklist of settling in Canada is socializing

Socializing is a way of building a network and is one of the keys to successfully settling as an immigrant in a new country. These relationships and exchanges help you get to benefit through advice and support. Also, develop a sense of belonging to your community.  Here are few ways you can socialize in this amazing country.

One way to do this is by joining clubs or organizations that share common interests such as sports, hobbies, or community service. These groups provide a great way to meet like-minded individuals and engage in activities that you enjoy.

Another way to socialize in Canada is by participating in community events, festivals, and fairs. These events often bring people from different backgrounds together and provide an opportunity to experience new cultures and traditions.

Attending social events such as parties, dinners, and game nights hosted by friends or acquaintances is also a great way to socialize. It allows you to connect with people in a relaxed and informal setting and can often lead to the formation of lasting friendships.

Volunteering for a local charity or non-profit organization is another way to meet new people while also giving back to your community. It provides an opportunity to connect with individuals who share a passion for a particular cause and can be a great way to make a difference in the lives of others.

Joining a local church, mosque, or synagogue and participating in their activities can also be a great way to socialize in Canada. These institutions often hold events and gatherings for their members, providing a sense of community and belonging.

Taking classes or workshops to learn a new skill or hobby, such as cooking, dancing, or painting, is another way to meet new people and socialize. These classes provide an opportunity to learn something new while also connecting with others who share your interests.

Joining a recreational sports team or league is another great way to socialize in Canada. It allows you to participate in physical activity while also meeting new people and forming friendships.

In conclusion, we hope this guide will help you settle in Canada after you arrive in a new country. Do you think, anything is missing here? let us know and we will add pertaining information.


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