You now have a permanent residence Visa and are on your flight to Canada. There are a number of things you need to know once you arrive, and immigration lawyers can help you figure out where to start and what your legal requirements are. Below are 7 important steps to help you settle in Canada.
1. Get Information
At the airport, look for an information Kiosk. If your port of entry is the Toronto Pearson International Airport, look for the Immigrant Reception and Information Services (IRIS) kiosk. If you land at the Vancouver International Airport, the Community Airport Newcomers Network (CANN) kiosk would be the place to go. The pamphlets and resources in these kiosks are meant to help you in your first days in Canada.
2. Get Accommodation
Once you are done with the procedures at the airport, the next thing is to find temporary accommodation. If you had done this before leaving the country of your origin, it should be easy for you to settle. A longer-term rental requires some research. Research the area in which you plan to settle. An immigration lawyer can guide you in finding affordable accommodation.
3. Get a Map
A new city can be intimidating. To navigate your way around a city, you need a good street map. Equally important is a telephone book and the Yellow Pages. These resources will help you get familiar with your neighbourhood, especially where to go for essential local services.
4. Visit an Immigrant Settlement Agency
These non-profit organizations are government-funded. They offer legal services, like free ESL training, counsel you on settling, and assist you in securing employment. They, however, do not offer comprehensive legal advice. You will have to contact an immigration lawyer for this.
5. Get a Permanent Resident (PR) Card
A permanent resident card is convenient proof of your permanent resident status. It is a wallet-sized, plastic status card, easier to carry around than your paper IMM 1000 Record of Landing document. For more information and assistance, contact an Immigration lawyer.
6. Apply for Other Important Cards
As a permanent resident in Canada, you will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card, without which you cannot get a job or apply for government assistance. Apply for a SIN card through the Services Canada office. Apart from this, you need an official health card that will enable you to access healthcare. It is essential that you apply as soon as possible after arrival since it takes time to be issued with one. Doctors’ offices and hospitals are your points of call for this application. It might be helpful to visit Bellissimo Law Group and learn more from their resources.
7. Settling Down
Having taken the steps above, you are now ready to settle down. You can open an account at a bank or credit union near you, get a cell phone and a Canadian driver’s license. This is also a good time to enroll your kids at school if you have moved with your family. If the house you have rented does not have all the furniture you need, buy some, together with any household items you may need.
Settling down in an entirely new place can be emotionally draining. However, besides the above steps, a competent immigration lawyer can help you settle with utmost ease.