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Immigrating to Canada > Tools & Resources > Checklist for Newcomers

Checklist for Newcomers



You are on: Landed Immigrant

What You Need to Know

Click where you are in the process and find out what you need to consider.

Before you leave home

Moving

Arrange for temporary accommodation for the first few days after you arrive in Canada. Ask friends or relatives if you can stay with them, or if they can provide recommendations. Or, consult with your immigration consultant in your home country. You can also find temporary accommodation on sites like www.kijiji.ca (opens external website in new window) and www.craigslist.ca (opens external website in new window).
Plan your permanent accommodation. Speak to friends and relatives about the various options available, and the areas they recommend. Then get an idea of availability and cost by visiting sites such as www.mls.ca (opens external website in new window), www.viewit.ca (opens external website in new window), www.kijiji.ca (opens external website in new window) and www.craigslist.ca (opens external website in new window).
Visit the website of your new city to learn about the area, job and housing markets, schools, recreation and other features. For official municipal websites in Canada enter “City of [your destination]” into your search engine. Or try federal government websites like www.canada.gc.ca (opens external website in new window) and www.workingincanada.gc.ca (opens external website in new window).
If you are going to sell your house or car, begin the process immediately so that you have enough time to evaluate all the offers and get the best price. Consider whether the market conditions are right to sell, or whether you should consider renting out your home and selling when market conditions are more favourable.
Evaluate what you would like to take with you and what you want to leave behind. Obtain an estimate from a moving company for packing and shipping charges of items that will arrive later. You may wish to re-evaluate your packing list, as the cost of shipping large items like furniture could be as expensive as the purchase price for a new item in Canada.
 

Banking

Open a bank account with a Canadian Bank (opens new window). This will make it easier to transfer funds to Canada and is one of the most cost-effective ways to bring money into the country. It also means you will have your funds readily available when you arrive, making it easier to settle in Canada. For example, to rent an apartment you may be asked to show proof of funds, which you will be able to provide with a bank statement if you have already opened an account and transferred your funds.
Estimate monthly living expenses based on: where in Canada you will live, type of accommodation and transportation, schooling and living expenses such as food, clothing, utilities and entertainment.
 

Living

Consider taking additional language courses to continue your mastery of English or French if you are not proficient in the language you expect to be using. While you will find that many different languages are spoken in Canada — and large organizations like RBC® offer services in 200 languages — speaking one or both official languages will help you settle successfully.
Learn more about Canada’s large cities, smaller cities and rural areas — including the climates in the various regions of the country — to help you decide where you want to settle down.
 

Working

Research the labour market in the area of Canada where you will be living. Different provinces and cities have different concentrations of industries. The official government website that will give you all statistics on the labour market is www.workingincanada.gc.ca (opens external website in new window). Other useful websites include www.workopolis.com (opens external website in new window), www.monster.ca (opens external website in new window) and www.careerbuilder.ca (opens external website in new window)
Collect all documents pertaining to your education, such as degrees, diplomas and certificates, transcripts, program descriptions and detailed course information, language skills test results, and accreditation, for each family member. Allow time to order any that are missing.
Have your credentials evaluated and get information about regulated professions, to create a plan for how to acquire equivalencies or a licence from the regulatory body in Canada. Different provinces in Canada may recognize different credentials, and obtaining accreditation may be challenging. Depending on your country or origin and where you are planning to immigrate, the process for accreditation may be different and may require you to make arrangements before you leave. For more information, visit www.workingincanada.gc.ca (opens external website in new window).
 
 

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You are on: Foreign Student

What You Need to Know

Click where you are in the process and find out what you need to consider.

Before you leave home

Moving

Take Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (or the French language test required by each particular institution). For more details visit ets.org.
Apply to university or college programs.
Complete the required medical examination by a Designated Medical Practitioner after submitting your visa application.
Consider taking additional language courses to continue your mastery of English or French if you are not proficient.
 

Banking

Open a bank account with a Canadian Bank (opens new window). This will make it easier to transfer funds to Canada and is one of the most cost-effective ways to bring money into the country. It also means you will have your funds readily available when you arrive, making it easier to settle in Canada. For example, to rent an apartment you may be asked to show proof of funds, which you will be able to provide with a bank statement if you have already opened an account and transferred your funds.
Visit the RBC student site, www.betterstudentlife.ca (opens external website in new window), for information about studying, living and banking as a student in Canada. You will find a range of tools and resources to help you manage your finances in Canada.
 

Living

Check the websites of the schools you are applying to for information about student life in Canada, including the cost of tuition, books, accommodation, food and transportation.
Make a budget so you know how much you will need to complete your studies. You’ll find a budget calculator at www.betterstudentlife.ca (opens external website in new window).
 
 

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You are on: Business Investor

What You Need to Know

Click where you are in the process and find out what you need to consider.

Before you leave home

Moving

Arrange for temporary accommodation for the first few days after you arrive in Canada. Ask friends or relatives if you can stay with them, or if they can provide recommendations. Or, consult with your immigration consultant in your home country on where you can stay. You can also find temporary accommodation on sites like www.kijiji.ca (opens external website in new window) and www.craigslist.ca (opens external website in new window).
Plan your permanent accommodation. Speak to friends and relatives about the various options available, and the areas they recommend. Then get an idea of availability and cost by visiting sites such as www.mls.ca (opens external website in new window), www.viewit.ca (opens external website in new window), www.kijiji.ca (opens external website in new window) and www.craigslist.ca (opens external website in new window).
Visit the website of your new city to learn about the area, job and housing markets, schools, recreation and other features. For official municipal websites in Canada enter “City” into your search engine. Or try federal government websites like www.canada.gc.ca (opens external website in new window) and www.workingincanada.gc.ca (opens external website in new window).
If you are going to sell your house or car, begin the process immediately so that you have enough time to evaluate all the offers and get the best price. Consider whether the market conditions are right to sell, or whether you should consider renting out your home and selling when market conditions are more favourable.
Evaluate what you would like to take with you and what you want to leave behind. Obtain an estimate from a moving company for packing and shipping charges of items that will arrive later. You may wish to re-evaluate your packing list, as the cost of shipping large items like furniture could be as expensive as the purchase price for a new item in Canada.
 

Banking

Open a bank account with a Canadian Bank (opens new window). This will make it easier to transfer funds to Canada and is one of the most cost-effective ways to bring money into the country. It also means you will have your funds readily available when you arrive, making it easier to settle in Canada. For example, to rent an apartment you may be asked to show proof of funds, which you will be able to provide with a bank statement if you have already opened an account and transferred your funds.
Estimate monthly living expenses based on: where in Canada you will live, type of accommodation and transportation, schooling and living expenses such as food, clothing, utilities and entertainment.
 

Living

Consider taking additional language courses to continue your mastery of English or French if you are not proficient in the language you expect to be using. While you will find that many different languages are spoken in Canada — and large organizations like RBC® offer services in more than 200 languages — speaking one or both official languages will help you settle successfully.
Learn more about Canada’s large cities, smaller cities and rural areas — including the climates in the various regions of the country — to help you decide where you want to settle down.
 

Working

Research business and franchise opportunities in the area where you plan to settle if you are applying as an entrepreneur. The municipal website of the city you plan to live in and Industry Canada (opens external website in new window) are good places to start.
If your spouse or other family members plan to work in Canada, collect all documents pertaining to their education (degrees, diplomas and certificates, transcripts, program descriptions and detailed course information, language skills test results and accreditation), and employment (job descriptions, evaluations and training). Allow time to obtain any that are missing.
 
 

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