First 6 things you need to do when you arrive in Canada

First 6 things you need to do when you arrive in Canada

As every migrant will tell you, your first few weeks in Canada will be the most gruelling.  As you adapt to your new surroundings, you'll discover local restaurants, motels, malls and shopping centres and general way of life here in Canada. For some people, this can be a bit scary, especially if you don’t have any friends or relatives residing nearby.
But don't panic! Every first timer has felt the same way too, and your experience is no different. For your first day, we advise you take all the rest you need, get a delicious breakfast, and begin your day planning the following:
  1.   Start searching for an apartment  
Spend your first day scoping out the area and allocate some time for apartment searching. If you’re not into the exhausting task of scouring the entire city for the best apartment deals, you can do it online via 4Rent, RentSeeker, or Zumper.  There are also apps like Apartments by Apartment Guide, Lovely Rent, and Zillow that can also be a tremendous help.
  1. Get a local mobile phone plan
Life is easier when you have a reliable mobile phone (especially if you are house/apartment hunting and job searching). A local data plan will not only allow you to call emergency numbers or order quick food. Compare the different plans available and get the one that fits your needs. In the beginning, a simpler, cheaper plan that allows emergency calls and a bit of data (for Google and GPS maps applications) will suffice. Then you can always upgrade to a better plan once you've settled in properly. 
  1. Get your SIN  
Also known as Social Insurance Number. It’s a nine-digit number you’ll need when you apply for work or start working in Canada. Some apartment landlords also require their new tenant's SIN before handing you a lease contract. You will only be eligible to receive a SIN, if you are allowed to work in Canada. You can apply for it at any Service Canada office near you, or follow this link. To find out more about SIN, check this page.  
  1. Start looking for a family doctor
 With most provincial healthcare systems, the government offers new immigrants a three-month waiting period before they get activated. Therefore, obtaining private medical insurance before local benefits kick in is important. One of the first things you need to do is scour the local phone book or the Internet for local family doctors around you and ask if you can be put on their waiting list. It's always handy to know that you have a doctor near you just in case. Additionally,  most family doctors offer cheaper services than most private hospitals in the cities.  

       5. Set up a bank account  
Having a local bank account will save you from additional charges incurred when using a foreign ATM account and will allow you to make financial transactions more efficiently.  Additionally, most employers require their new employees to have a local bank account for their salary. After opening a Canadian bank account, you may want to start building your credit history to make it easier for you to apply for loans in the future.

       6. Build networks 
Go out, make friends, and build networks. Canada is a fun place. Canadians are not only polite but also friendly so it won’t be hard for you to make new acquaintances.  The advantage of having a network? Having a stable network can help you find job opportunities, future business partners, and of course, new friends and being part of a community. But if you’re still not in the mood for these things, try visiting the parks, the markets, and the entire city as you plan your first days here in Canada. 
Welcome to Canada!

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