No matter how prepared you may be, or how many family members are already over here, coming to a new country is a stressful, scary process. New residents never really know what to expect. They may not speak the language at all or only moderately, they might not be prepared for the weather, they may even be the first of their family to begin the process.
That is why it is important to have a detailed checklist that you can follow, so you know where to go and what to do. Whether you have the help of an immigration lawyer or not, get these tasks completed within the time frames suggested, and the transition will be a lot smoother.
Here are a few things to try and get done as soon as possible after arriving in the country:
- Seek out organizations in your new community that are designed to make the process easier by helping you find work or get the language training you need.
- Apply for the Canadian identification you will need to fit into society. This includes a social insurance number and a health insurance card. Once you have ID, open a Canadian bank account.
After you have been here for a couple of weeks, consider:
- Registering your children for school.
- Exchanging your foreign currency for Canadian currency.
- Going through your various housing options.
- Learning about public transportation in your area, and get out to do some shopping.
Once a couple of months have gone by and you are feeling more comfortable:
- Find somewhere to live.
- Get a family doctor and have your children immunized.
- Continue improving your language skills and find out what types of immigration services are available in your area.
- Apply for the GST/HST credit and the Child Tax Benefit, if applicable.
As the months continue to roll along and you become more assimilated into Canadian society, you can expand your horizons even more. Keep up with your language lessons and if you haven’t already:
- Go get a driver’s license.
- Apply for a Permanent Resident Card.
- Consider applying for continuing education in your chosen field, or in a field you wish to enter.
The list of “things to do” when you arrive in Canada is long, but if you remain focused and take action, you can have a smooth transition into Canadian culture.
For help creating or implementing your own personal immigration checklist, contact our office today and we can get started.