Moving to a new country can be both exciting and overwhelming. It's a time of change from the familiar, and being prepared and knowledgeable about the first few things to attend to would go a long way.
Make a Visit to Your Local Government Service Office
To apply for important government issued documents you need including:
- Social Insurance Card (SIN Card): a nine-digit you will need this number to work in Canada or to apply for government programs and benefits. Find a Service Canada Office near you to get started.
- Health Card: Healthcare is likely different in Canada than it is back home. With your health card, you will be covered for a range of services. The next big step is finding out what additional insurance you may need, and other healthcare providers including a family doctor in your community.
- Driver’s License: The process for getting a driver’s license in Canada depends on the province or territory in which you live and on your driving background. Learn more here.
Open Up Your First Canadian Bank Account and Start Building Credit History Right Away
Credit and credit history is needed in Canada for bigger purchases like a home or car, but may also be required for cell phone bills, rent and others monthly expenses. Additional information about banking for newcomers is available here.
Start Building a Social Network in Your New Community
There are lots of free services and community organizations for newcomers. You can even start researching before arrival to set up meetings and social events upon in advance. Visit the Canadian Immigration website for more information on what’s available in your new community.
Stay in Touch With Your Roots by Joining Cultural Associations
This familiarity may help with the transition to life in Canada and you will meet new friends along the way.
Moving to a new country requires a significant adjustment. Preparing before you leave and knowing how to effectively settle into a routine upon your arrival will facilitate the transition.
Ivy Chiu is the Senior Director of Client Strategies at RBC. As someone who has lived around the world, Ivy is familiar with challenges and opportunities that come with moving to a new country.
The following article first appeared on RBC Discover & Learn on MMM, DD, 2018