11 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Canada

11 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Canada

Moving to a different country can be a bit daunting, albeit very exciting. Surely, the impending journey to a new and unfamiliar place can give you pre-moving jitters.  

A common misconception about Canada is that it's just like the US. But every Canadian will certainly disagree and tell you that his/her country is unique and in fact, very different from other English-speaking countries in the world. 

Although knowing a lot about your new home through books or blogs won’t make you a connoisseur of its essentials, a little research won’t hurt. Indeed, you have to experience the country firsthand for you to understand its culture and people, but it pays to know the basics before you leave your country for Canada.

Toronto is not the National Capital.
It’s actually Ottawa. Both Toronto and Ottawa are in the province of Ontario while Toronto is the capital of Ontario. Fun Fact: Toronto is also the largest city in Ontario with an estimated population of 13,983,000.  

Canada is predominantly bilingual. 
With English is spoken everywhere, French is predominant in Quebec and many other places across Canada including francophone provinces.  Nonetheless, other languages such as Gujarati, Aboriginal, Yiddish, Tagalog, and a myriad of European languages such as Italian and German are also widely spoken due to Canada's diverse culture.

Diversity is real.
There are currently over 40 current Members of the Federal Parliament who are either children of immigrants or naturalized citizens, in addition to the hundreds of officers at the provincial and municipal levels.

Also, Canada is a strong supporter of multiculturalism and equality, which explains why Canada is considered the country most welcoming of immigrants and refugees in the world. In 2015 alone, Canada welcomed over 13,000 Syrian refugees among others and plans to do the same for 1 million more before the end of 2017. 

The weather is almost perfect.
That is if you want to get a balance of each season: alluring autumn, snowy winter, beach-perfect summer, and some spring rain. But if you’re not really into hot summers, you can choose to relocate to any of  Canadian provinces or territories. 

It is customary to tip.
Like the Americans, Canadians love to tip, especially in restaurants and bars. The standard is 15 percent of your actual bill or a dollar per drink. At the end of the day, though it’s up to you.  

Be polite.
While being impolite has no place in any country, Canada adheres to a different level of politeness. In this respect, the Canadians are more British than American, especially in terms of constantly apologizing, thanking and inserting an amiable “please” into almost every statement, especially when speaking to a stranger. 

Smoking is not permitted in public.
Smoking can be prohibited in public spaces and you may only do it in your own house or car.  

Job hunting is a bit easier now.
The new administration’s marching order includes tapping into more foreign talents since many Canadians are either retiring early or becoming finicky about their preferred job, especially the younger generation. The federal government welcomes immigrants and works to enhance their entry into the job market with plenty of vacant job posts, for applicants legally entering Canada.   

The cost of living varies.
Understandably, it is expensive in the main cities and cheaper in the provinces.  In places like Montreal, salaries are generally lower, the cost of living can also cheaper, too.  Many options exist to find a stable job to meet your expenses.  

Buying a car? Get a drivers license.
Drivers Licenses are awarded at the provincial level, which means driving rules and license issuances vary depending on your location in Canada. You will need to change your license for a new driver's license once you arrive in Canada.  

Healthcare is accessible to almost everyone.
Your healthcare depends on your status in Canada, however, most provinces offer local healthcare for most permanent residents in Canada and some temporary visa holders. If you do not, its best to obtain private insurance as hospital and medical bills are quite expensive and you may need to have private health insurance before your local healthcare benefits kick-in.

Don’t hesitate to ask, to go out, and immerse yourself in the culture. Talk to the locals if you want to get acquainted with the local jargon and idioms. Become part of the festivities to experience the culture. If you're unsure about your rights as a migrant/immigrant/expat/visitor, you can visit the government offices or browse through government website for more information. Alternatively, you can enlist the assistance of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant to help clarify any queries.

Think and live like a Canadian! It’s the only way to debunk common misconceptions and eliminate groundless fears.  In the end, you don’t have to be anxious, Canada is a very friendly multicultural and welcoming country.  

For more questions about moving to Canada, speak with one of our ICCRC approved Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants

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