New immigrant – Starting your life in Canada
Congratulations!! You are coming to Canada! This is exciting, but challenging at the same time.
Here are some facts that may help you settle in:
- All Canadian citizens and permanent residents may apply for public health insurance, which gives you access to basic medical needs.
- Each province/territory has their own health insurance plan.
- All provinces and territories will provide free emergency medical services, even if you do not have a government health card.
- In order to obtain a health card, visit: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/subjects/cards/health_card.shtml.
IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH OR FRENCH
- Canada’s two official languages are English and French.
- Permanent residents can take language classes funded by the Government of Canada to learn English or French at no cost. These classes are called Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), and Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC).
- The classes can be taken online or in a classroom.
- Before starting a class, a formal language assessment must be done at an assessment center to find out your language skills.
- Subsidizing housing is available to newcomers. This provides affordable housing to people who do not have a lot of money.
- The amount of rent you pay is determined by your income. Generally, you pay 30% of your monthly income on rent and the rest of the rent is subsidized by the government or a private organization.
- There can be waiting lists for subsidized housing. You can choose to apply for one building or many. The more buildings you apply for, the sooner you will be offered an apartment.
- In order to have work in Canada, you will need a SIN number, which is a nine-digit number.
- Generally, you are required to apply in-person. By doing so, if your application is in order, you can obtain your SIN in less than 15 minutes and do not need to part with your original proof of identity documents.
- To apply, visit a Service Canada Centre with your original proof of identity documents.
- There is no fee to apply for a SIN request.
- Education in Canada usually starts with kindergarten followed by grades 1 to 12.
- The school year usually begins at the end of August and finishes toward the end of June. Students go to school from Monday to Friday.
- To enroll your child in elementary or secondary school, contact your local school board.
- For more information on elementary and secondary schools in Canada visit: http://www.cicic.ca/1240/An-overview-of-elementary-and-secondary-education/index.canada.
If you have any questions, or would like some assistance, drop us a line.