“Canada is a great country, One of the hopes of the world.” – Jack Layton.
1. Get prepared well in advance before your landing date
2. Prepare your documentation
- a Canadian immigrant visa (if this applies);
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) for each family member traveling with you;
- a valid passport or other travel document for each family member traveling with you;
- two copies each of:
- a detailed list of all the personal or household items you’re bringing with you;
- a list of items that are arriving later and their money value;
- a list of your educational and professional qualifications and job experience for your résumé;
- school records, diplomas or degrees for each family member traveling with you;
- car registration documents (if you’re importing a motor vehicle into Canada);
- trade or professional certificates and licences;
- letters of reference from former employers;
- birth certificates or baptismal certificates;
- adoption, separation or divorce papers;
- driver’s licence, including:
- an International Driver’s Permit
- a reference from your auto insurance company;
- marriage certificates; and
- health documentation especially for children.
- get your gold/diamond jewellery valuation certificates if you are bringing jewellery in a large amount; and
- get a driving license extract from your home country so that you can obtain the G license directly.
3. Book your accommodation at least for 2-3 months
It is not a good idea if you book a hotel for the first few days and then plan to look for a longer term accommodation after landing due to the following reasons:
- Airbnb or any other accommodation is difficult and expensive to get for a longer period if you don’t book it in advance.
- You should have an immediate address for the rest of your paperwork such as SIN number, Bank, Health Card, PR card etc.
- Moreover, you would not want to waste your time in searching for accommodation when you can spend that time searching for a job.
Tip: Check the reviews in Airbnb and opt for an accommodation hosted by a superhost. Those are always the best. Get $45 CAD in travel credit by signing up here Airbnb.
4. Start your job search before you land
Getting your first job in Canada is a catch-22 because most of the employers want to hire someone with Canadian experience, but that is the biggest question of all, how can anyone get experience unless someone gives them a job? For that reason, my foremost advice is – if you work in a multi-national company in your home country, try to get an internal transfer to a branch in Canada. By far that is the best option you should consider (I will write an elaborate post on job search in the coming weeks). If you get an internal transfer, half of your struggle is over. If that is not possible, get in touch with your previous employers, expand your networking circle and start actively looking for jobs in LinkedIn, Indeed, Job Bank etc. and also contact local recruitment agencies. Remember, the key to land a job in Canada is a kick-ass resume and awesome interpersonal skills along with your technical knowledge. Take a virtual phone number and provide it in your resume and to the recruitment agencies and you can answer their calls from your home country even before you land.
5. Convert your currency in your home country before you fly out
6. Don’t pack unnecessary stuff
7. Go beyond Toronto and Vancouver
8. Don’t rent a long-term apartment/house immediately after landing
9. Utilize government programs for newcomers
The Canadian government offers various programs with benefits and privileges to assist the new immigrants to settle in the country. For example, you can join English language classes fully funded by the Canadian government to improve your language skills. Check here to know your benefits Canada Government Benefits.