Canada offers some of the best newcomer services in the world. These are services designed to help new immigrants find housing and jobs, improve their language skills, help file taxes, enroll children in school, and much more. These programs are government-funded and vary by province and territory.
Finding accommodations is usually an immediate concern for newcomers to Canada. The first place you stay when arriving in Canada may be temporary, and that’s fine. A hostel, short-term apartment rental, or stay with friends can help you get to know the new city you’re in. Short-term rentals can also allow you to move to different neighborhoods, so if you find a job across town you can move closer to work if you would like.
If you know where you would like to stay and are ready to commit to more long-term accommodations, make sure you are aware of all the housing costs involved. Keep in mind that housing prices vary throughout Canada, with major cities such as Toronto costing much more than cities such as Montréal. Some rental agreements include certain services, such as heat and electricity, while others do not.
Employment services are not only designed to help you find a job, but also to help you feel comfortable in your new work environment. The process of finding and applying for a job in Canada may be different than your home country. Check with your local newcomer service center for assistance preparing your résumé.
Canadim clients have access to our Canadian Employment Advisor, who can help you prepare to find a job in Canada even before you arrive!
Once you find a job you may also want to attend informational sessions on Canadian workplace culture. This will help you understand what is expected of you at your job, for example, how many hours per week is acceptable to work and how employees communicate with each other and clients.
If you are coming to Canada with your children, you may need help enrolling them in school. If you don’t know where or how your child can attend school, check with a local newcomer service in your area. Here you can learn what documents you will need to register your child. If you already know the school your child will be attending, the school guidance counselor can assist in registering for classes and explaining school policies such as what is expected from students, parents, and teachers at the school. It can be difficult for children to adjust to a new way of life and make new friends. Most schools offer language training for French and/or English as well as group activities after school.
With two official languages in Canada there is no shortage of language training. Residents with a valid Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ), permanent resident status, or citizenship may be eligible for government-funded language classes. The first step to signing up for language classes in Canada is to assess your language ability. You can do this both online before coming to Canada, at different newcomer service centers, and before enrollment in a government funded language course.
As an international student you may have questions about healthcare, student housing, opening a bank account, transportation, and working in Canada. If you have not yet been accepted to a university you can read about living as an international student in Canada. If you have already been accepted to a college or university in Canada, be sure to check out your university website.
Most colleges and universities in Canada have a department on campus to assist all students with various services, such as finding housing, enrolling in a healthcare plan, and adjusting to Canadian culture. There may even be a specific department on campus for international students.
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