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A Comprehensive Guide to the Initial Week for Recent Permanent Residents and Foreign Workers in Canada


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Friday, 08th December 2023

For individuals who have recently become permanent residents or foreign workers in Canada, there are five essential steps they must follow during their initial week in the country. It is crucial for these newcomers not only to focus on their future in Canada but also to take the necessary actions upon arrival to set themselves up for long-term success as either permanent residents or temporary foreign workers.

Five Essential Steps for Newcomers to Canada:

1. Obtain Health Insurance

  • Secure health insurance in your province or territory of residence.
  • Private health insurance may be needed while waiting for public coverage eligibility.
  • Confirm and understand employer-provided health insurance policies.

Note: All residents of Canada will also benefit from following up with their employers about health insurance policies if they already have a job in Canada

Private health insurance is recommended for all residents of Canada, even as a complement to public health insurance, because there are limitations to what each provincial/territorial government covers with their public health insurance plan

2. Update Address with IRCC

  • Inform Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of your residential address.
  • Complete the address update within 180 days of landing in Canada.
  • Ensure timely receipt of essential documents, including the permanent resident card

3. Open a Bank Account

  • Open a bank account to manage daily spending and financial transactions.
  • Explore special offers for newcomers provided by various Canadian banks.
  • Essential for controlling income and expenses; facilitates bill payments.
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4. Obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • Obtain a SIN at the nearest Service Canada location.
  • Necessary for individuals with legal status in Canada that permits work.
  • Unique nine-digit identifier for employment and wage-related transactions.

5. Get a Cellphone/Phone Number

  • Acquire a cellphone to stay connected locally and internationally.
  • Explore options from various Canadian telecom providers with different plans and devices.

Note: Most telecom companies may require a Canadian credit score for post-paid phone plans.

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Important Notes:

  • 1. Health insurance is crucial to avoid out-of-pocket costs for healthcare.
  • 2. Permanent residents should update their address promptly to receive essential documents.
  • 3. Bank accounts are essential for managing finances and daily expenses.
  • 4. A SIN is required for legal workers in Canada to facilitate wage payments.
  • 5. Cell phones are essential for communication in the digital age; explore various telecom options.
  • 6. In some cases, certain providers will allow newcomers to access post-paid plan options if they have a good enough international credit score (checked at the point of sale).
  • 7. Newcomers who are initially ineligible for a post-paid plan may opt for a pre-paid option and switch to a post-paid plan once they build their credit score.

Related FAQs -

1. What is a Canada Immigration Visa?

A Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa is a document which allows a person to live and work anywhere in Canada, and confers upon that person Permanent Resident status.

2. How is a Work Permit different from a Canada Immigration Visa?

A Work Permit allows an eligible individual to reside and work in Canada for a limited period of time, and restrictions are sometimes placed on the type of employment which can be pursued. Canada Immigration Visa entitles its holder to live and work anywhere in Canada, enjoy many of the privileges of Canadian citizenship, apply for Canadian citizenship after three years and sponsor family members for Canadian Permanent Resident status.

3. Is there a benefit to using an attorney for immigration to Canada?

Yes, there is. Immigrating to Canada has become more and more complicated over time. There are currently more than 100 different federal and provincial immigration programs under which an applicant may qualify.

4. Can I apply for Permanent Resident status and Temporary status at the same time?

Yes, you can apply for Permanent Resident status and Temporary status at the same time. Canadian Immigration policy recognizes the concept of dual intent.

5. I have heard that Canada Immigration Regulations have changed. How will I be affected?

Canada immigration regulations, laws and policies are constantly subject to change. To remain continuously informed on changes being made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), please visit our Latest News Section daily.

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