Settle in Canada

The decision to migrate from your home country to settle in Canada is a big one! This post will offer some guidance on what you need to do before and after arriving in Canada.

We have also included a few tools and resources that may help you get settled more quickly.

Starting your life in Canada as a Permanent Resident: First Steps to Settle in Canada

Your first week in Canada will be hectic. You will have tons of documentation and applications to go through. Thankfully, most of these are now online and can be completed quickly.

Social Insurance Number (SIN) Card, Permanent Resident Card and opening a Bank Account should be your top priority in your first week in Canada. Acquiring a Drivers’s License would also help make your settlement process more manageable. Still, it can wait for the next week. Getting a health insurance card is also one of the essential items; however, some provinces require you to wait for up to three months before applying for it.

Apply for SIN Number

The first thing to do as soon as you land is get a SIN Number at the airport or provincial service center. For example, if you reside in Ontario, you can head to the nearest Service Ontario office. A SIN number is your Social Insurance Number. You require it to work or open a bank account. You can now apply for a SIN number online at the Government of Canada website:

Apply for Permanent Resident Card

You will automatically receive your permanent resident card after landing in Canada. You will receive it by mail at the Canadian address that you will provide at the time of landing. Suppose you didn’t give any Canadian mailing address. In that case, you can use the Government’s online address notification tool from to send your address to IRCC for processing your PR Card. Do this within 180 days of becoming a permanent resident.

Open a newcomer bank account in Canada

A bank account will help facilitate the transfer of money internationally and pay your bills online in Canada. You can choose from any of your banks of choice. Some of the favourite banks of newcomers in Canada include TD Bank, RBC and Scotia Bank.

Most of the banks in Canada have “Newcomer” packages to help you settle faster in your financial life. Credit Cards come as part of the package.

Apply for Canadian Driver’s license

Driving in Canada requires a valid licence from your province of residence. If you have an international driving license from your own country, bring it with you. You can drive for up to six months on International Driving Permit. However, it is recommended that you get your Canadian driving license as soon as possible.

Steps to apply for a driving license varies by province. Still, it generally involves a written test and a driving test.

Types of Driving Licenses in Canada: G1, G2 and full G licence. Visit your province’s website for more information on requirements for each test.

Apply for Provincial Health Insurance Card

In some provinces, you must wait, sometimes up to 3 months, before getting government health insurance. Contact the ministry of health in your city or territory for more information about how long it will take.

If you live in a province or territory where it takes three months to get government health insurance, make sure you have private coverage.

Getting Private Insurance

Government healthcare covers only the basic and primary medical needs of the citizens. It does not cover items such as prescription medicines etc.

This is where private insurance plays its role in protecting you and your family from financial losses when it comes to medical treatments. You can get coverage for prescription medications, dental care, physiotherapy, ambulance services, and prescription eyeglasses with private insurance.

Most employers provide some form of private insurance facility to their employees. Check with your employer or choose from the recommended list.

Find a job

Once you have received your SIN number and opened your Bank Account, you must start your job hunting immediately.

The sooner you find a job, the faster your income starts. There are two ways to go about it-

You can contact employers directly or register with one of the Job Bank sites that allow Employers and Job Seekers to connect online. The latter option will enable candidates to upload their resumes for review by hiring managers looking for new openings. Use Linkedin to connect with potential employers.

Before you apply, make sure you create your Canadian Style Resume. We have a free template for you to use immediately.

Check out these websites:, (Canada’s largest online employment website), and