People who relocate face a variety of challenges and must be well-prepared in order to deal with them.There are number of tasks that one should look to complete after landing in Canada as an immigrant or a student.
Listed below are the items that one should look to include in the list :
SIM Card – This is the most important of items that one must look forward to getting once in Canada. Contacting someone during an emergency or otherwise is very integral. Quarantining has become a norm in today’s world and keeping in touch with near and dear ones helps to solve any problems that could arise. Data is a very crucial aspect of everyday life and using it often could potentially help avoid a danger or disastrous situation. You can pick from a variety of SIM providers.The big three as they call it are Rogers, Telus and Bell. Followed by the mid level carriers such as Fido, Virgin and Koodo. Then is the pocket friendly variety namely; Chatr, Lucky and Public mobile. Rogers, Telus and Bell are the most expensive but are also known to have vast coverage. Fido and Chatr are part of the Rogers groups and use the same network towers. It all depends on the individual as to what his/her requirements are and the decision totally rests on them.
SIN Number – This is like a national identification number. The PR card holder SIN number start from 5 and the temporary workers and study permit holders number starts from 9. If you’re looking for a job, you’ll be asked for your Social Security Number (SSN).It is a 10 digit number in total. You can apply for this number at Service Canada centre or online as well, the choice rests with you. You tax returns will also have this number once you start to file taxes. Make sure to not disclose this number unless asked for by certain approved bodies. This information can be confirmed by Service Canada. It is recommended to get it as soon you land in Canada, if not then within the first week.
Healy Insurance– Each province has their own health insurance policy. This is very crucial in Canada as healthcare is free and it makes sense to have it and not end up paying from your pocket. Only dental and eye care will not be covered but on most occasions the employers have provisions for that as well. In case of the students there are colleges that help them apply for it as well when they join initially.
Opening a Bank account/activating the GIC– You will be able to get your credit, debit card when you open an account for your general needs. This will help you pay most of the bills on average such as food, gas, groceries, leisure wear etc. The credit card is very important for making the credit history so it is recommended to get that along with the debit card. The credit score will be needed for owning a car, house etc in the future. Your credit score is a major factor in determining your loan’s interest rate.Your interest rate will be lower if you have a good credit score.
Identification Card – If you go to a cinema hall, bar etc you will need an ID card to prove your age. I won’t be possible to carry your PR card or passport everywhere so it’s recommended that you carry you ID card. BC ID for example is an identification card for the province of British Columbia which helps in gaining access to many locations of choice. Each state has different requirements for their ID card and it must be looked into while obtaining one.
Get Bus/Trasit pass – In most cases you would be without a car or any other form of transport when you arrive , so you will require a transit pass which covers the train, bus and other modes of transport in most cities. In Toronto for example there are the TTC service which includes the bus, subway and street cars. Brampton and Mississauga for example have their own local transit . Presto card for example is a method where you can get various transit cards jumbled into one. Other cities could have their own version of a Presto card. Toronto,Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary will the respective transit rates
Accommodation/Place to live – Its important to find a place that has close proximity to work or university due to the commute factor since you won’t have a car initially. Time is of the essence in a country like Canada and one must not waste it on commuting for an hour on average. Usually big grocery stores are located in plazas where there are office complexes as well so it would make sense to get a place closer to both. You can post about accommodations in Facebook groups.Craigslist is a major source of finding accommodation as well. Word of mouth helps in certain communities. There are gurdwaras, temples too that have posts put up for accommodation. Public laundry services as well in most major cities have posts put up on notice boards regarding accommodation.
Finding/ looking for a job – There are many stores that put up the advertisement for jobs along with the accommodation. Signs which say hiring now, help wanted, etc. These are basically mom and pop shops that put up the advertisements. If you are looking jobs at major stores such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Subway etc then it’s advisable to go to their websites and apply on them. The conversion rate could however be a bit low since many people apply online. You can apply on the major portals such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster etc for the position that you are looking for . Use a cover letter as it makes a difference in a country like Canada. The resume should be according to the Canadian format. It is also recommended to personally visit the job location or store and apply for the job after talking to the personnel over there.
Explore the neighborhood/Locality – It is important to explore the locality for places such as clubs , local community halls, religious places. Find out where the nearest hospital, police station, and post office are located before you arrive. You must know the proximity of these location to your apartment. Once you’ve settled into your new home, these items will come in handy sooner or later.Grocery stores for example have an integral part in everyone’s life and it is important to get to know their location. There could be an emergency and it would help if you knew where to look for something in that situation. Parks, grounds, Libraries, harbour-fronts, etc are also part of the locality that one can look into.
Make a list of things you want – Make a list of things or items you already have and the items that you will need in the future. Items like Matresses, toiletries, kitchenware, clothing, cleaning items etc. Once you have an accommodation you will know what to buy and what not to. Even items like bandages, health protective items etc can be bought from stores. In the process of figuring out what you need and what you don’t a lot of time will be saved.
Driving License/Certificate – Toronto for example has the G1,G2 and G licence types. BC for example has class 7 which is learners license for vehicles, Class 5 which is the full vehicle driving license, Class 1 which includes everything from commercial to regular driving license. The insurance also has to be done accordingly on the vehicle depending on the type of license.
Joining local communities/Facebook groups/Events – To make friends, get recommendations, inquire about nearby events. Facebook groups such as Toronto Indians, Indians in Toronto , Vancouver Indians, Calgary Indians will help connect with the Indian community in your locality. Recommendations on restaurants, bars, movies, hiking, trekking, etc will help. There are even college groups that are helpful in making connections and networking (Job oppurtunity, accommodations etc). You can join these groups even from India.
Canada newcomers program – This is a program hosted by the government of Canada. Jobs, accommodation, networking events etc are also helpful in Getting familiar with the place that you live in. Every province has a different program to look into. If you are unable to find a job quickly after landing then you can use this program services and it should help in securing a job but not a guarantee.
Practice your English speaking skills – At work, at school and other places you will be communicating in english and it is important that you brush up your vocabulary so that it becomes easy not only to communicate but also to leave a good impression as well. Your boss, clients, customers, colleagues and employees at work will mostly communicate in english and having a good command over it will be very beneficial. Knowing French will be an added advantage but even if you know English that is good enough but make sure to learn the correct way to communicate. Accents can vary so do not be very concerned about that. People from all over the world come to the United States, and each has a distinct accent.