Most provinces run their own business immigration programs. 

One of the main questions that people face when planning to move to Canada is how to settle in the unknown country, especially, when they have neither relatives nor friends there.

So when it comes to adapting in Canada, it is difficult to give one answer because, one one hand, it doesn’t represent a problem to figure out things. There are a large number of different programs for newcomers to obtain any information, and organizations, which work efficiently. In addition, Canadians are known as kind people and they are always very helpful.  

Nevertheless, there’s another side of the coin - Canadians solve problems a bit differently. They have a different mentality, which defines how they behave in different situations. This is why the best thing a new immigrant can do for himself is to try to understand how the Canadian system works, how to communicate with people, how to approach different situations.

Here are helpful tips to start a new life in Canada.

Finding accommodation

Most immigrants, during their first weeks in Canada, find a temporary roof and stay in hostels or Airbnb. It is preferable to book a hotel in advance. Firstly, this gives a chance to choose prices among preferable options. Secondly, it’s important to keep in mind that rooms are being rented out for companies holding conferences and events, as a consequence, there might be a lack of reasonable prices in decent hotels.

Again, one might choose to stay in a hotel for weeks or even a month, though there are good deals available if a person plans to stay for a week or a longer period.

Once a problem of temporary accommodation is settled, it is a good idea to begin searching for a place to stay over for the long term.

You can look for an apartment online at websites, such as and The cost differs from city to city and will depend on the location of the rented flat.

Getting SIN and Health Insurance

The next step is getting a SIN number and Health Insurance.

For a SIN number, newcomers must apply in the Canada Employment Center nearby them.

Healthcare service in Canada is paid. But it is free for permanent residents as all medical expenses are covered by the government. At the same time, each province has its own system of insurance.

The application process for the Health Insurance takes place in the Ministry of Health nearest office, where applicants fill out the form and submit it to the clerk, after which, they will take a photo of a newcomer. Health Card – plastic card -  is usually issued within several weeks.

It is important to keep in mind that in some provinces newcomers are eligible to apply for the health medical insurance only in three months after their arrival in Canada. Another option would be buying private insurance for any newcomer’s province’s public doesn’t cover. Some Canadian employers offer health insurance packages for their employees.

Getting a phone

Local companies offer a variety of cell phone lines. There’s no need to book home telephone line. There are two systems in Canada, GSM, and CDMA. To use a cell phone which can work outside North America, it’s better to choose a GSM standard.

In general, mobile packages are more expensive than, for example, European plans. Many phone companies offer discounts on one or two-year contracts.  To avoid charges for incoming calls, it is recommended to set a monthly limit on the calls.

At the same time, cheaper mobile phone packages don’t include long-distance calls, even within Canada. A newly arrived immigrant who is looking for a job in Canada is recommended to set a package with unlimited texting and calling for local calls.

Many mobile phone packages offer international calling or texting plans, so it’s easy to stay connected with your home.

Opening a bank account

Most payment transactions in Canada are made through debit, credit cards, or bank checks. Some payments are also processed through the so-called Pre-authorized payments.

It is possible to open a bank account even without being employed. To open an account, a person needs to go to a bank in person and present valid personal identification. The process is very straightforward as many banks have separate services for immigrants.

To learn more about banking, check out this link.

Getting a driving license 

Each province has its distinct set of rules for getting a driving license. It is important that newcomers bring a copy of their driving history from their home to determine their driving experience.

South Africans can avail from the reciprocal agreement that Canada has with the country. It allows them to transfer their license without the need to pass a test.

It is recommended that you check on your country’s relationship with Canada concerning driving licenses before you arrive.

Connecting with the locals

Many newcomers are tempted to lock in their apartment, especially, with Satellite TV, and end up watching channels they used to enjoy in their home country. This is the wrong attitude because to make Canada a home, it’s important to go out and meet new friends. This helps to boost the professional network and search for a job in Canada.

Therefore, joining clubs or classes to meet people with similar hobbies is a big deal. There are lots of volunteer opportunities to participate in and local agencies which offer free employment assistance for immigrants. The information can be found in the Yellow Pages.

It’s very important to understand the Canadian style of work. Before finding the main job, newcomers should consider using their skills as a volunteer.

Another good thing to do is to start exploring a neighborhood where a newcomer is residing. It means walking around the local area and finding the nicest bars and restaurants.

Finding a job 

When applying for a job, a person should bring his CV in accordance with the resume style preferred in Canada. Check this website for recommendations. In general, job seekers include in their resume: format contact information, professional/career summary, work experience, education, and professional development. Technical skills and volunteer experience can also be included.