Living In Canada

After You Arrive


Find the support you need

Establishing yourself when you first arrive in Canada can be difficult. You will have to find a job and find somewhere to live, among other things. This checklist will help. It provides you with a list of things you should know and shows you where you can go for more information and support.

Upon arrival in Canada you should:

  1. Contact immigrant-serving organizations in your community. They can help you find the information and services you need to start your new life, including language training and help finding work.
  2. Apply for Canadian identification, such as a driver’s licence and a health insurance card, which you should carry with you at all times.
  3. Open a bank account and begin to establish your credit.
  4. Apply for private health insurance if you are not eligible for immediate public health insurance coverage in your province or territory.
  5. Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and a health insurance card.
  6. Look for a job.

In your first few weeks you will likely need to:

  1. Exchange your money for Canadian currency.
  2. Explore your housing options.
  3. Get a map of your area and find out about public transportation.
  4. Do some shopping for you and your family.
  5. Get a telephone book from the local telephone company. You can find out how to contact your local telephone company by dialing 411 from any phone.
  6. Learn more about traveling in Canada.
  7. Register your children in school.

In your first few months you will likely need to:

  1. Practice and improve your language skills.
  2. Find a place to live.
  3. Explore your options for communications services.
  4. Get a family doctor.
  5. Have your children immunized.
  6. Find out more about what services are available in your new community.
  7. Find out where the Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) assessment centre is in your community and register for language classes. In French, LINC is called CLIC (Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada).
  8. Apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.
  9. Apply for the GST/HST Credit.

In your first year you may wish to:

  1. Get a driver’s licence.
  2. Register for adult continuing education classes.
  3. Understand your rights and responsibilities under Canadian law.

Vivre au QUÉBEC!

If you live in Quebec, or are planning to move to Quebec, the booklet Vivre au QUÉBEC! will be helpful. This booklet will give you information about adapting to life there. To order the booklet contact the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC).

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