Becoming a new permanent resident in Canada is very exciting and can be a huge relief after a difficult and lengthy application process. However, stress does not end at the last step of the application process. In fact, it is just the beginning. Once you have your permanent resident visa stamped on the passport, you need to create a list of priority things that need to be done before and after landing in your new home country. Think of it as a checklist of things to do before landing as a permanent resident in Canada and after.
Once you have obtained the lawful status in Canada, the first step is to decide what city you would like your new life to start in. After you have figured out the big things like the date of landing, and the city you want to live in, the next major thing on your list should be to find an accommodation. It can be tricky to find accommodation if you are not in the country, but we have businesses like Airbnb and Homeaway at our disposal, that offer short term rentals across the world. So, go ahead and book yourself a room or an entire apartment depending upon your budget and likes.
Now that you have the basics covered, it is time to book the flight and make your way over to the Land of Maple Syrup. But that means a new set of concerns await as you begin to settle down and enjoy everything this beautiful country has to offer.
Set up your phone
Canada has three major wireless phone providers, as well as several cheaper discount providers. Bell, Rogers and Telus are the largest companies, and their services have very few differences between them. The base rate for plans from these companies is $90 minimum ($100 in Telus’ case) and there are small differences in terms of the costs of add-ons like international calls or roaming charges.
Canada also has several discount networks aimed specifically at new permanent residents in Canada. If you’re looking to save money, some names you’ll want to look into are Wind Mobile, Chatr, Koodo and Freedom. Sometimes, the discount carriers won’t be compatible with the latest devices. Thus, it is advised to research your hardware and capabilities needs before settling on a service provider.
Your bank account
Anyone can open a bank account, as long as they provide two pieces of ID such as:
- a Canadian driver’s license,
- a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship,
- a Certification of Naturalization, in the form of a paper document or card but not a commemorative issue, or
- a Permanent Resident card or Citizenship and Immigration Canada Form IMM 1000 or IMM 1442.
You may also use a foreign passport and an employee card with a photograph. Failing that, one piece of ID will suffice if another bank client in good standing will verify your identity.
Canada has one of the best banking systems in the world, and each of the major banks has services aimed at new Canadians. Things to consider include the cost of banking – most will offer no-fee accounts to new Canadians, at least for a period of time; interest rates on their products, like loans and credit cards; and any other savings tools that might be offered, like Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs).
Canada has a very competitive banking industry, so be sure to shop around. Note that banks will have a fee for sending money to your loved ones abroad, so ask about that too.
Social Insurance Number
You need a Social Insurance Number, or SIN, issued by the federal government to work legally in Canada. Since you are a permanent resident in Canada, you are eligible to get your SIN, as soon as you land in Canada.
If you apply in-person at a Service Canada centre, you can likely walk out of there with your SIN number in the same visit, as long as you bring one of the following documents:
- a Permanent Resident Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC);
- a Confirmation of Permanent Residence issued by CIC, accompanied by either a travel document (for example, a foreign passport) or an alternate photo identification issued by a provincial/ territorial authority (for example, a driver’s licence). Note: The Confirmation of Permanent Residence is acceptable if used within one year of the date you became a permanent resident. The Permanent Resident card is required after this period; • a Record of Landing issued by CIC before June 28, 2002; 3
- a Verification of Landing issued by CIC; or
- a Status Verification or Verification of Status issued by CIC
If you are not a permanent resident in Canada – there are other requirements for temporary residents like international students. You’ll need to bring one of these:
- a work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC);
- a study permit issued by CIC. International students must present either: – a study permit that indicates the permit holder “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada; or – a study permit and a “confirmation to work off campus” letter issued prior to February 6, 2015. If neither of these requirements is met, you may contact CIC to verify if you are eligible to apply for an amended study permit.
- a visitor record issued by CIC indicating you are authorized to work in Canada
- a diplomatic identity card and a note of permission of employment issued by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Making Money in the Meantime
We know you’ll want to get to work and make money ASAP, so you should sort out the legal stuff as a high priority. Once you become a permanent resident in Canada, you’re legally entitled to work in Canada. Whether you are looking for full-time, part-time or “side hustle” jobs to make some money, there are a number of resources to help you.
- Adam Helps – Well, of course we were going to mention this one. Signing up for this app will give you access to Toronto locals needing help with tasks like meal prep, pet care, furniture assembly, and other indoor or outdoor jobs. You will meet neighbours willing to exchange cash for your support. This is a great way to keep some cash flowing in, and to get to know people around you. Getting to know people are you will help you adjust in a foreign country.
- Kijiji – Kijiji is another great platform to search for local and part-time jobs. Kijiji job postings are not very corporate, but you can find internships and low level jobs.
- Monster – Monster is a global brand of job search. As with Indeed and LinkedIn, you can upload your resume and sit back and wait to be contacted by recruiters. Or search for the roles that interest you and apply to them directly.
- Indeed – Indeed is another job search platform aimed at professional jobs. You can filter down the location and easily search for job roles that fit your credentials. You can also upload your resume and cover letter and apply easily with a couple of clicks.
- Workopolis – Another search engine similar to Indeed, but simpler. Workopolis will take you to job postings on other websites, but does not feature resume hosting or one-click applications. It’s a clean, uncomplicated search process.
- LinkedIn – Of course, you’ll want to have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is used by many professionals on a regular basis for recruiting new employees. You can also apply to many job postings on LinkedIn. Jobs on LinkedIn tend to be more on the professional side. LinkedIn is best suited for long-term, career-goal-oriented jobs than side hustle jobs.
If you make diligent use of these ideas and more, you’ll be making money in no time flat. Remember, as long as you don’t have a job in Canada, your job is finding a job! Set some time aside every day for your job search, so you can enjoy sightseeing, socializing and exploring guilt-free.