Self-Help Aid: NEWCOMERS

Self-Help Aid: NEWCOMERS

New to Canada? 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 section will provide you with a list of things you should know, show you where you can go for more information and support, guide you on where you can get the help you need, explain what to do in the first few days and weeks and give you information about living and working in Canada. Here you will find the links that will take you directly to the source.

General helpful info
New to Canada?

Find out how to get the help you need and learn all about living in Canada.

  • Citizenship Certificate
  • Citizenship Program
  • Immigration Loans Program
  • Interim Federal Health Program
  • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Permanent Resident Program
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
  • Reaffirmation Ceremony
  • Resettlement Assistance Program
  • Right of Permanent Residence Fee Loan
  • Study Permits
  • Temporary Resident Visa
  • Travel Document – Permanent Resident Abroad
  • Travel Documents
  • Work Permits
  • Working in Canada Tool

Life Events

  • Buying a Home
  • Changing your Address
  • Credential Recognition
  • Finding a Job
  • Raising a family
  • Starting a Business
  • Travelling Abroad

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:

  • 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.
  • Apply for Canadian identification, such as a driver’s licence and a health insurance card, which you should carry with you at all times.
  • Open a bank account and begin to establish your credit.
  • Apply for private health insurance if you are not eligible for immediate public health insurance coverage in your province or territory.
  • Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and a health insurance card.
  • Look for a job.

In your first few weeks you will likely need to:

  • Exchange your money for Canadian currency.
  • Explore your housing options.
  • Get a map of your area and find out about public transportation.
  • Do some shopping for you and your family.
  • 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.
  • Learn more about traveling in Canada.
  • Register your children in school.

In your first few months you will likely need to:

  • Practice and improve your language skills.
  • Find a place to live.
  • Explore your options for communications services.
  • Get a family doctor.
  • Have your children immunized.
  • Find out more about what services are available in your new community.
  • 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).
  • Apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.
  • Apply for the GST/HST Credit.

In your first year you may wish to:

  • Get a driver’s licence.
  • Register for adult continuing education classes.
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities under Canadian law.
  • If you intend to travel, the Permanent Resident Card is the official proof of your status as a permanent resident in Canada.

Working in Canada can help you prepare for the Canadian job market by producing a report based on your occupation and a location. It includes information about job descriptions, licensing and certification, wages, skill requirements, language training and job opportunities, and much more.

Finding a permanent job in Canada

New immigrants face some significant challenges when trying to get jobs in Canada:

  • Your credentials may not be recognized.
  • Your language skills may not be sufficient.
  • You might need Canadian work experience.

You may also need to learn new job search skills, create a new group of contacts and find out what Canadian employers want.

Work permits for students

It is possible to work in Canada while you are here as a student, and there are opportunities for jobs on and off campus.

Work permit for temporary jobs

It is possible to work temporarily in jobs that help Canadian employers address skill shortages, or to work as live-in caregivers.

Learn more about

  • Preparing to Work in Canada
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Credential Recognition
  • Workplace Language Skills
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