+1(514) 937-9445 or Toll-free (Canada & US) +1 (888) 947-9445

IMPORTANT Things to note BEFORE & AFTER arrival in Canada

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by NEVERLOGON, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Hi,

    I am from Australia. I just got my Permanent Residency in Canada. I am planning to be in Canada in January 2008 in about 2 months time.

    Below is the list that i came up with and i believe, it list few of the important things that anyone should know who is planning/preparing to be in Canada.

    1. Landing formalities?
    2. How and where to find Accommodation?
    3. Information about Driving License.
    4. Opening Bank Account.
    5. Medical Benefits?
    6. Job search.
    7. What other things to keep in mind before landing or after arriving in Canada?
    8. Can I start Applying jobs online even before arriving in Canada after getting my PR?
    9. Do I have to have some kind of Tax File # or Social Security # before I can apply for a job?
    10. Any other important notification or documents that I need to bring from Australia(any other country) that I can organize right now before arriving in Canada?

    So if any one can provide more information about any/all of the topics from the list above, it will really be appreciated.


    S S
  2. 1. None to speak of. There's a special line for immigrants. You'll give them your COPR and passport, and they'll ask you a few questions - usually something like 'have you ever committed a crime,' etc. Be truthful with everything - if any of it contradicts what you've said on your application, they could bar you from entering. Make sure you tell the immigration officer if you're carrying CAN$10,000 or more in cash or negotiable instruments. You can throw away the customs declaration they give you on the plane, since you're neither a visitor to Canada nor a Canadian.
    2. craigslist.org; also just rent a car and drive around neighborhoods you think you'd like to live in; apartment buildings often post a phone number and whether there are any vacancies just outside the building
    3. Your Aussie driver's license is good for 3 months; you have that long to go to the local department of motor vehicles (or whatever they call it here) to turn in your old driver's license and get a new one for Canada. You may need to take a test as well.
    4. No problem if you show them your COPR and passport. It'll be easier if you have a place to live first, but some banks will let you use an old address in your home country until you can provide a new one in Canada. That was the case for me at Citizens Bank of CA - www.citizensbank.ca
    5. When you land, they'll give you a form to fill out and mail in for provincial health benefits. You're on your own for the first three months, though. There are companies that will insure you during that period, or you can fly by the seat of your pants - and pay out of pocket if anything happens.
    6. monster.com, jobs.ca, jobsdb.ca
    7. Social Insurance Number is the most important - you'll need it to get a job. So get that as soon as you can. You'll get instructions for how to go about it in the welcome kit they give you upon arrival.
    8. See #7
    9. See #8
    10. Letters of reference, if you have them, might help. Proof of employment from past employers. Also bring any professional certificates/diplomas. I used them to help me get an apartment - since I had no local references for landlords to refer to.

    Best of luck.

  3. Thanks TG,

    This information is helpful.


  4. Hi Neverlogon,
    Our company provide temporary accommodation to Canadian newcomers. Please visit us at: www.canadiantransitions.org. Thanks.
  5. As for housing, some provinces allow the landlord to take from you a security deposit. Then they do what is called a walk through before you move in where they write down all damages to the apartment. Make sure all damages are written down or you may be blamed for it later. Take pictures. You should get a copy of your lease as well as the walk through report. When you later move out, you are supposed to clean the apartment and do a walk through with your landlord and another walk through report. If he tries to blame you for something that was already there, write a note yourself on the report before you sign it or don't sign it. You should also get a copy of this report. It is very common that the landlord tries to keep some or all of the deposit even when you did not damage anything. Having the report is the only weapon you have to fight that.
    In some other provinces, you don't pay security deposit, just first and last months rent so the landlord will keep your last months rent until you tell them that you are leaving, then they will use it for your last month. If there is no security, normally you don't need a walk through. Only if there is a lot of damage to the apartment, they might try to sue you.
    Also make sure you know the terms of your lease. If you sign up for one year and decide to leave earlier, the landlord can sue you for the entire rent for the year. If you are month to month, make sure you know how much notice you have to give before you move and that you give proper notice to the landlord before you move. Don't get pets in the apartment until you have cleared it with the landlord that it's ok. Make sure you always get a receipt when you pay your rent.
    Also make sure you know the law where you live. In some cases the landlord may try to trick a foreigner into paying a few months in advance or they may not keep their building in very good order. There should be a tenants board everywhere that you can go to but always try to solve problems with the landlord first because he will very likely be pissed off if you report him. If you are stuck in a lease and the landlord will not improve, you can go to the tenants board. If you are not in a lease, it is probably better just to move than to go there.

    As for drivers license, there is a handful of countries that have agreements with Canada about exchange of drivers license which means you walk in, hand in your foreign license and get a Canadian one, no test. These countries are Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland). If you are not from one of those countries, you will have to take a test. Since most of the provinces now have a graduated drivers licensing program, this means that they might not allow you to take the test until they have verified your foreign license. Therefore, if your license is not in English, either get an international license also or get a certified translator to translate your license so you can hand in the translation with the license. If they can not understand it, they can not verify it. It's best to do this while you are still in your home country because you may not be able to find a certified translator in your language where you will be living in Canada. After handing in your license, you could be waiting for a month or so before they tell you you can take the test.

    As for medical benefits, some provinces do insure you right away if you are coming from another country. Others will make you wait 3 months uninsured. You have to check this in the province where you live.

    One thing that is handy is to keep a credit card from your old country if you have one. You might not be able to get a credit card right away in Canada, even if you had excellent credit history in your old country. Having a credit card from back home, something well known like Visa or MasterCard will tell people you are dealing with in Canada that you have good credit somewhere or at least something they can use as insurance if you don't pay your bills. You can use the credit card to help you get an apartment, and as insurance for utilities without anybody actually charging your card. Utility companies will sometimes make you pay a security deposit if they don't trust that you will pay your bills, when you give them a valid credit card, they may not.
  6. This might be a bit late for the original poster but for anyone who else scheduled to land, hope you find this useful.


    The document is available in a number of languages other than English as well.

    Richie Yu

Share This Page