One of the things to note when you decide you are moving to Canada is that the relocation or process is very complex. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time in Canada or not, you will have to go through different steps and stages. If you have no experience or prior knowledge, you will be confused and you make a lot of mistakes.
As complex and confusing the process might become, it all comes down to three basic steps; the preparation or planning stage, the relocation stage, and the post-arrival stage.
The Preparation Stage
This is the stage where you decide you want to move to Canada, consider your options and resources, then decide on the best way to migrate to Canada. There several ways immigrants can use to enter Canada, you just have the best one for yourself and prepare accordingly. Check out the 7 Easiest Ways To Move To Canada.
For each program you choose or you fall under, you will have to meet the necessary requirements. There are general requirements, as well as documents that must be provided to become eligible. You will find out more about some of the important documents you must have such as a visa and if you intend to work there then a work visa is a necessity.
The Relocation or Moving Stage
At this stage you have everything ready: your documents; selected the best way or program with which you want to enter Canada; have sufficient funds to take care of yourself as well as your family in Canada if you have any; you must have paid all the necessary fee and cost regarding your visa, flight, and accommodation.
Now it is time to pack your bags and actually move to your dream country; but what can you bring with you to Canada? How do you ship all your belongings? Your pets, can you bring them along? Have you got your health insurance ready? All these questions and more are things you need to consider.
There are items that you are allowed to bring to the country and there are some that are prohibited such as firearms, endangered species, animals, and plants, find out more about the prohibited goods and consumer products here. You may bring with you, items such as; personal belongings, household goods, a car, etc. some of them, the Canadian officials demand you pay duty and some are shipped for free no duty required;
Items you may not pay duty for are;
- Jewelry (see below for more information on jewelry)
- Musical instruments
- Hobby items
- Private coin, stamp, or art collections
- Kitchen appliances
You will have to pay duty on:
- Farm equipment
- Contracting, construction, or manufacturing equipment
- Vehicles you plan to use for business
- Items bought on the way to Canada
- Any leased or rented items
There also limits on the alcohol or tobacco you are allowed to bring into the country duty-free, and there are age limits allowed for drinking in Canada;
- Wine up to 1.5 liters or 53 fluid ounces
- Alcoholic beverages up to 1.14 liters or 40 fluid ounces
- Beer or ale up to 8.5 liters or 287 fluid ounces
These are the limits for bringing in tobacco duty-free (for which you have to be 18 years of age):
- Cigarettes – 200
- Cigars – 50
- Tobacco – 200 grams (seven ounces)
- Tobacco sticks – 200 tobacco sticks
Shipping Your Belongings
Shipping is done in two ways; one is by air which is more expensive and the other is by sea and it is considerably cheaper but takes time to arrive.
When you have so many items to bring with you to Canada, the best way to do that is by sea especially if they are very heavy items such as cars. Not only will it save you a reasonable amount of money, but shipping items by sea also helps you bring bulkier items easily.
When you arrive you will be required to give the list of all the items traveling with you to Canada including the ones yet to arrive at the customs officials. You will have to pay for storage space for your items and belongings at least for the main time before you ship them.
Maybe you want to bring you goods or belongings much later from the time you arrived, then a storage space either long term or short term storage option might just be what you need at least for the time.
Health Exam and Insurance procurement
Your health and medical histories are taking into consideration when it comes to moving to Canada. Your health or medical condition must endanger the lives of the people living in Canada. To ensure that you in good medical condition and good health, the Canadian government added to the travel requirements a medical exam from an approved specialist.
The medical exam activities include; undergo a physical test, which includes measuring your weight, height, testing your hearing and vision, taking your blood pressure, feeling your pulse, listening to your heart and lungs, feeling your abdomen, checking how your limbs move, and looking at your skin, etc.
You will also need to provide a health travel insurance that covers for at least one year. this would allow you to take care of your medical bills easily and cheaply too.
Getting an Accommodation in Canada
There so many options for accommodations in Canada. They can be houses, condominiums, and apartments.
You can rent an entire house or it could be divided into several units. A division into 2 units is called a duplex, while 3 units’ division is called a triplex. You can a room either for yourself or you could share (a room with bathroom facilities).
An apartment, on the other hand, can range from a bachelor unit (where you have a single room serving as a bedroom and a living area) to the one with multiple bedrooms and separate living areas. Get more information about getting accommodation and settling in Canada.
The Post-Arrival Stage
At this stage, you are already in Canada and have already gotten an accommodation, your work permit and other important things you must have in place to completely settle in Canada;
- You need a Social Security Number (SIN)
- A Canadian Phone Number
- Set up Your Canadian Bank Account
- Enroll your child or children in a Canadian school.
Social Insurance Number (Sin)
To get a job in Canada you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) which is a major requirement to apply for or be considered for any position in the country. Look at a SIN as your identity in the country telling the government you exist in Canada. And without it, you practically do not have any identity in Canada and will be unable to apply for any government assistance or credit. Find out more about how to apply for SIN.
Changing Your Phone Number
As you will notice everything changes when you arrive in Canada; weather, views, houses, environment, and depending on the country you are coming from, your time zone changes as well. And one thing you will most definitely do is change your number or even get a new phone. The cell phone service providers will not be the same as one in your country and the prize will most definitely vary.
Set up Your Canadian Bank Account
In your first week of arriving, you will need to calmly select a good bank near you and open a bank account. It wouldn’t be the same as you have in your home country. To open a Canadian bank account as an immigrant, you will have to provide your immigration documents, passports, and other means of identification you have with you.
Canada mostly operates the cashless policy so you will need a Canadian bank account and a credit card to pay the bills easily, or receive loans, and to receive money and salary when you eventually start earning money.
Enroll your child or children in a Canadian school.
Getting your child or children a good school is also a priority and luckily Canada has the best of the best when it comes to education. From Kindergarten up to the University or college level, the Canadian educational system offers you the best. Everyone is guaranteed education because there are lots of free education for students, especially in government schools.
You can also check out this amazing book that covers every single step you can take from immigration application to finally moving to Canada, the costs, and everything you need to be able to handle your own application and avoid paying travel agents to help you.