Here are the most important things you need to do, bring and learn to get prepared for Canada.
1. Get your documents translated into French or English.
When you arrive in Canada and are speaking to immigration officers, be prepared to show your documents and their certified translations if asked.
2. Find out if your profession is regulated in Canada.
Teachers, engineers, architects, accountants, social workers, any medical professionals, and trades such as electricians, plumbers, and welders, will need to get a Canadian license or certification before they can work in Canada. It differs by province.
3. Purchase private health insurance.
You will need it in case you have to pay for emergency medical treatment until you get Canadian government insurance (3 months or longer).
4. Learn about the province where you are planning to settle.
To get prepared for Canada It is very important to understand that different provinces have different laws and rules, including those that apply to healthcare, education, work licensing and other issues that directly affect immigrants’ lives. Do not research Canada in general – research your specific province.
5. Collect and bring to Canada all the official documents belonging to you and the members of your family:
- birth certificates
- marriage/divorce certificates; death certificates for a deceased spouse
- adoption records for adopted children
- educational diplomas and certificates; transcripts that list the courses you took to obtain your degree or certificate
- vaccination records
- medical records (prescriptions, test results, x-rays, allergies) and dental records
- driver’s license and/or IDP (International Driving Permit)
6. Prepare your Proof of Funds
You can bring money into Canada in different forms. When you arrive, you must tell a border official if you are carrying more than C$10,000 (per family if traveling as a family).
If you bring more than C$10,000 (or the equivalent in another currency) per family or a single traveler into Canada, you must declare the amount when you arrive. You must fill out the form Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report – Individual (E677) [PDF].
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has the right to seize any money over C$10,000 that is not declared, you may need to pay a fine or face other penalties if you fail to declare money above the threshold.
You can bring money into Canada in the form of:
- Securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills)
- Negotiable instruments in bearer form (for example, bank drafts, cheques, travellers’ cheques, money orders)
- Transfer of funds between your bank and a Canadian bank
Speak with your financial institution before you come to Canada about currency laws and regulations in Canada and in the country you are leaving. There may be restrictions on the amount of money you can take out of the country.
If you are coming from a country that has currency restrictions, you may have up to 3 years to import goods purchased with this money in your former country. However, you must show CBSA proof that you faced restrictions.
7. Learn about the Cost of Living in Canada
Find out how much things cost (rent, utilities, food, transportation, car insurance, etc.) Most newcomers are shocked when they learn about Sales Tax and Pay Cheque Deductions.
8. Learn about the Psychological Challenges of Immigration
If you have never immigrated before, you need to understand what the immigration process means from the social and socio-economic points of view.
9. Prepare yourself for the Five Stages of Culture Shock
99% of all immigrants go through the 5 stages after their arrival: Honeymoon/Tourist Stage, Crisis Stage, Coping/Adjustment Stage, Independence Stage, and Reverse Culture Shock.
10. Understand Canadian Experience and Why Employers Ask for it
Many newcomers are shocked when faced with the question “Do you have Canadian experience?”
11. Know what Canadian Employers Expect: Important Work Skills
Most newcomers don’t understand that in Canada skills have a different meaning than in their first country. For example,’ teamwork’ actually means ‘conflict resolution. To learn more about what Canadian employers expect.
12. Prepare for a Job Interview in Canada
A job interview in Canada is different than a job interview in other countries.
13. Learn Canadian English
Communication is the most important tool you can have to settle successfully in Canada and find a good job.
- Conversation Management Strategies
- What Canadians Talk about
- Body Language in Canada
- Speaking Politely in Canada
- Canadian Communication Style
- Phrasal Verbs and Idioms in Canada
14. Learn how to dress for winter in Canada
Don’t bring one thick warm sweater for winter!
Sources: englishandimmigration – settlement
If you have any more queries, you can ask your question in the forum of Canadians Live.