September 13, 2023

Navigating the first month in a new country can be overwhelming. As you prepare for your new life in Canada, there are so many things that you must do soon after arriving. Access to the right information and resources can help you embark on your settling-in journey.

Get Your IDs

One of the first things you will be required to do during your first month in Canada is to apply for your identity documents, such as your Social Insurance Number (SIN), driver’s license and health card. You would need your identity documents before you can start looking for work. These documents are essential to applying for government programs and benefits available for newcomers to Canada. Visit Service Canada for detailed information about the required documents to complete your application.

Open a Canadian Bank Account

To manage your payments and bills, you must open a bank account when you arrive in Canada. Rent payments, groceries and transportation are only a few of the expenses you start to incur as you settle in. You may want to understand the chequing account, savings account, account charges, and credit history that your banking advisor can explain to you.

Purchase a Phone and Phone Plan

Many phone options are available in Canada, ranging from prepaid to postpaid plans. Some popular phone providers like Rogers, Bell and Telus have good network plans. It is worth asking for student and discounted plans for newcomers, which may or may not be available in the market upon your arrival. However, it is a good strategy to shop around and purchase a plan that best meets your needs and is not too heavy on your finances.

Find Affordable Housing

Without mention, you need a place to stay! Your apartment search begins as soon as you enter the country. Your first accommodation may be an Airbnb or another short-term rental. However, it would be best to look for a long-term residence for yourself. A lack of credit history and employment proof can make it challenging to rent places. However, some landlords are flexible and rent out their space if you can provide references from friends or family.

Explore the Job Market

Before you start applying for jobs, make sure to update your resume, practice your interview skills, and review your LinkedIn profile. Based on your job profile, you may also want to find out if you need any certification or license to continue working in your field of interest. Newcomers may also seek survival jobs to gain Canadian experience and complete bridging programs or additional courses before finding their dream job in this competitive job market.

Get Ready for the Winters

If you’re immigrating from a country without four seasons, be prepared to experience the Canadian winters. Winters in Canada can get very cold. Getting adequately equipped for winter is essential: get your winter jackets, snow boots, warm winter hats, gloves and other essentials in advance for yourself and your family so you can enjoy the chilly, snowy weather.

Find a Settlement Service

Settlement services like Achēv can help in so many ways. From language assessments and language learning to newcomer services and finding employment, there are so many programs you can find to achieve your full potential. Visit our website to see which program meets your needs. You can also visit our Newcomer Information Centre as soon as you arrive in Canada!

Get ready to explore Canada and the Canadian culture. As you settle in your new home, make friends, spend some time exploring the country and travelling and connect with people in your community to ease the stress of settling in a new country.

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