This is your official guide to a successful settlement in the province of New Brunswick.
In this landing guide, you will find contact information for each service agency that you will require to begin your new life in New Brunswick, whether you are moving to the city of Saint John, the cities of Fredericton or Moncton, or the surrounding areas.
Learn more about life in New Brunswick.
Included in this Landing Guide to New Brunswick you'll find information on:
- General Information
- Health Care
- How to obtain a driver's licence
- What can I bring to Canada?
- Emergency Services
- Directory of Immigrant-Serving Agencies
General Information on New Brunswick
Official provincial immigration website: www.gnb.ca/immigration
Official city of Fredericton website: www.fredericton.ca
Official city of Saint John website: www.saintjohn.ca
New Brunswick community overviews: www.gnb.ca
Health Care in New Brunswick
Permanent residents of New Brunswick are entitled to free basic health care. In order to receive health coverage, you must register with New Brunswick Medicare. It is important to apply as soon as you can after arriving in New Brunswick.
There is a three-month waiting period after you have arrived in New Brunswick before you are eligible to receive full healthcare coverage with Medicare. Ensure that you have private health insurance to cover you and your family during this three-month waiting period in case of emergency.
You can find registration forms and additional information regarding New Brunswick Medicare, here: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health/MedicarePrescriptionDrugPlan.html
Employment in New Brunswick
In order to work legally in New Brunswick, you must apply for your Social Insurance Number (SIN), a 9-digit registration number that all employees legally require to work anywhere in Canada.
For information on how to apply and obtain a SIN, visit: www.servicecanada.gc.ca
You can also call Service Canada at 1-800-0-CANADA (1-800-622-6232) to obtain information on how to get your SIN number.
After you have obtained your SIN number, it is important to have your credentials are assessed. This way, Canadian employers will be able to understand your qualifications and experience in comparison to Canadian standards. The Canadian Centre for International Credentials will be able to provide you with their services: www.cicic.ca
If you are a tradesperson, you must be certified to practice that trade in New Brunswick. For trade certification, begin by contacting Red Seal, a nation-wide trade certification organization at: www.red-seal.ca
Where required, register with the appropriate provincial regulatory organization for your profession. You should be able to find them in your local phonebook, or by doing an online search.
To improve your employability, you should be fluent in either English or French. It can be helpful to register for language classes to improve English or French language skills. Most local community centres and education institutions offer language classes. See the directory, below, for a list of immigrant-serving organizations, many of which provide English and/or French language instruction.
Note: While Canada is a bilingual (French and English) country, New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province. This means that both French and English are spoken and used in schools, family, and work life on a daily basis, whereas in all other provinces and territories one language is used predominantly over the other. Therefore, it would be extremely beneficial for any newcomer to New Brunswick to have proficiency in both languages.
Before you begin searching for a job in Canada, ensure that your resume is up to date and that you have carefully checked it and your cover letters for spelling and grammatical errors. Many immigrant-serving organizations offer resume writing and cover letter services to help you with this. See the Directory, below.
Searching for a Job
The province of New Brunswick also offers an incredible online job resource at www.nbjobs.ca where you can search job postings, contact employers, and learn about living and working in New Brunswick.
Note: Finding work can take time, so be prepared to support yourself financially while you are looking for employment.
Tip: Having trouble finding work? Gain Canadian work experience by volunteering! Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your new community, and gain work experience from Canadian organizations. Volunteering opportunities are available through most community centres, or in your local newspaper.
Finances in New Brunswick
Within the first days that you arrive in New Brunswick, you should open an account at a local bank or financial institution. Popular banks in Canada include HSBC, Scotia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), TD Canada Trust, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), National Bank of Canada, and Desjardins Bank. You can find contact information for these banks by looking them up on the internet, or simply walking into a local branch and asking for information.
It is advantageous to make an appointment with a financial advisor at the banking institution, so they can help you organize your finances in Canada, provide you with information on financing home and automobile purchases, inform you about paying for further education for yourself or your family members, and advise you on preparing for your retirement.
For general information on banking and financial matters in New Brunswick and the rest of Canada, visit the Canadian Bankers Association website at www.cba.ca.
Important to know: Canadian Money is made of cents and dollars. There are 100 cents in 1 Canadian dollar. Currency is found in denominations of coins and bills, or paper currency. Divisions are as below:
- Coins of 1 cent ($0.01) called the "penny" - Note: the penny is no longer used in commercial transactions
- Coins of 5 cents ($0.05) called the "nickel"
- Coins of 10 cents ($0.10) called the "dime"
- Coins of 25 cents ($0.25) called the "quarter"
- Coins of 1 dollar ($1.00) called the "loonie" for the Canadian loon featured on the coin
- Coins of two dollars ($2.00) called the "twoonie" as it is the equivalent of two loonie's, and,
- Bills of five dollars ($5.00), ten dollars ($10.00), twenty dollars ($20.00), fifty dollars ($50.00) and one hundred dollars ($100.00).
To find out what your home currency is against Canadian currency, talk to a representative from a local bank, or visit this popular currency exchange website: www.xe.com
If you have children under 18 years of age, you may be eligible to receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit. For information, visit the website for the Canadian Revenue Agency at www.cra.gc.ca, or call toll-free 1-800-959-2221.
Schooling and Education in New Brunswick
Children under 16 must be registered for school. Schooling generally begins at age four or five. Most children stay in school until they finish high school, generally at 18 years of age.
The Canadian public school system is government-funded, meaning that there are no tuition charges for students. It is generally divided into two levels, Elementary and Secondary. Post-Secondary education, such as college or university, is only partially funded by the government and requires students to pay tuition. Some districts or private schools may organize their grade levels differently, though education standards are regulated by the provincial government.
New Brunswick offers government-funded elementary and secondary schooling in both English and French.
For information on the Anglophone (English-speaking) system: www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/biling/eecd-edpe.html
For information on the francophone (French-speaking) system: www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/fr/ministeres/education.html
The academic year for all levels of education begins in September and runs through June for elementary and secondary students, and to April for college and university students. Standard holidays include Christmas and New Year's holidays in December and January, and a spring break in either March or April. In addition, students have the right to observe religious holidays. Contact the local school board in your neighbourhood for information on registration, or visit the government of new Brunswick's Department of Education website: www.gnb.ca/education
New Brunswick is home to multiple academically recognized universities and colleges. For complete information on post-secondary education visit the Study in New Brunswick website: http://www.educanada.ca/
Obtaining a Driver's Licence in New Brunswick
If you are planning on renting, leasing, or buying a car, you must have an official New Brunswick driver's licence.
In order to obtain a New Brunswick drivers licence, you must take written, vision and road exams to show that you have knowledge of the laws and regulations of driving in the province and of safe driving practices. Obtain additional information on the process, and book your exam appointments by visiting a Service New Brunswick office in your community. Find the closest Service New Brunswick office to you by visiting: www.snb.ca
Note: Every vehicle and driver must have insurance. Contact a local insurance provider to become properly insured before you drive.
Housing in New Brunswick
There are multiple different housing options across Canada. If you have not visited to your new city previously, it may be best to rent a temporary apartment when you first arrive, and/or hire a real estate agent to guide you through the housing process and provide you with knowledgeable advice on the best areas to live for you and your family.
Typical Housing Options in New Brunswick
Apartment buildings are large, multi-unit buildings owned by one person or company where each inhabitant rents a unit.
Studio or bachelor apartments are generally one room with a kitchen area and bathroom and are suited only for a single individual.
Larger apartments can accommodate families as they have bedrooms and additional living space.
A large multi-unit building where each unit is owned by the inhabitant is called a condominium, and each unit is called a condo.
Often apartments and condos are found in homes that have been divided into separate living spaces.
Houses can be connected in a row, when they are called townhouses or row houses, or detached, as separate, individual dwellings.
Though average living costs vary given size of family, location and level of income, housing is generally more expensive in cities. As a result, many families choose to live in suburbs which are towns located just outside of the city limits, where housing is more affordable. Suburbs often provide good neighbourhoods, schools, shopping and healthcare, all within close proximity to the amenities of the city. Housing in the country can be even less expensive and is desirable for many families, but you will require a vehicle in order to travel for your basic needs including groceries, work, school and healthcare.
Pets: If you are renting your home or live in a condominium, it is important that you ensure pets are legally allowed on the premises before you move in with your family pet, or purchase a family pet. It is also important to check with city bylaws to ensure that your animal is legal in New Brunswick.
It is important that you take your family, your place of work, neighbourhood and finances into account before deciding on a place to live.
What can you bring into Canada?
Canada has strict rules concerning what can and cannot be brought into the country. There are regulations regarding food, alcohol, nicotine products, plants, animals, cars and other products. To avoid problems, be sure to check in advance what is and what is not allowed to come to Canada, as well as what procedures must be followed to bring certain items into the country.
For automobiles, contact:
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5
Weather in New Brunswick
Most Canadian cities enjoy very warm summers where temperatures can go above 30 degrees Celsius. However, it can get very cold in almost all parts of Canada in the winter, when temperatures can go below -20, even -30 degrees Celsius. It is very important to ensure that you are prepared for the cold weather. Invest in warm winter clothing, including sweaters, winter jackets, boots, hats, scarves and gloves or mittens. If you do not dress warmly in the winter you will risk becoming ill or getting frost bite. Frost bite is severe damage to the skin caused by winter wind exposure.
It will be important for you to know what the weather will be like in New Brunswick when you arrive. Make a point of checking the weather online at the Canadian Governments official weather website: www.weather.gc.ca/canada_e
Note: Canadians keep candles and matches, warm blankets, flash lights, first aid kits, and a small snow shovels in their cars and homes in case of emergencies. In most parts of Canada your car must have specially designated winter tires in order to legally, and safely, drive in the winter.
Emergency Services in New Brunswick
In emergency situations dial 911. When you dial 911, you are connected with an operator who will assist you and dispatch emergency services.
In non-emergency situations, if you only require the police, you can find contact numbers for major cities below.
Fredericton Police: 506-460-2300
Saint John Police: 506-648-3200
Moncton Police: 506-857-2400
Directory of Immigrant-Serving Agencies in New Brunswick
It is important to visit an immigrant-serving agency that can answer your questions and provide you with guidance in the future.
Multicultural Association of Carleton County
381 Main Street
Florenceville, NB E7L 1Y8
Tel: (506) 392-6011
New Brunswick Multicultural Council Inc (NBMC)
390 rue King Street, Suite 301
Fredericton, NB E3B 1E3
New Brunswick Latino Association
123 York St
Fredericton, NB, E3B 3N6
(506) 476 3796
Prude inc. (Pride, Race, Unity, Dignity, Education)
47 Charlotte Street
Saint John, New Brunswick E2l-2H8
Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA)
Association Multiculturelle du Grand Moncton (AMGM)
1299A Mountain Road, Suite 2,
Moncton, New Brunswick E1C 2T9
The Multicultural Association of Fredericton (MCAF)
New Brunswick Scottish-Cultural Association
411 Yoho Lake Road
Yoho NB E6K 3C1
Disclaimer: This guide is a compilation of information from multiple sources. Though the information is maintained and updated regularly, the law firm of Campbell, Cohen is not responsible for information that may have changed. This is not a government document. Neither the federal nor the provincial governments were involved in the making of this guide.