Newcomers to Canada Checklists: What To Do After Landing


Newcomers to Canada Checklists: What To Do After Landing

No matter which country you immigrate to, new immigrants have to apply for different documents and open different accounts as soon as they land in the new place. Newcomers to Canada are no exception. 

Take the landing in British Columbia as an example. After landing, you should head to the official departments to apply for SIN, MSP, and driver’s licenses, as well as find a bank to open an account. 

Whether you move to Canada with a student visa or a work visa, you will need to apply for the above documents in order to start a new life in Canada. The following article will explain how new immigrants can apply for these documents and how to open different accounts.

Apply For SIN

SIN (Social Insurance Number), also named “SIN Card” or “SIN Number”, is a system operated by the Canadian government to record all your income, taxes, assistance subsidies, and other social benefits in Canada.

How to apply for SIN number?

SIN is a set of social insurance codes consisting of nine digits. It is a reminder to newcomers to Canada: the Social Insurance Number must be kept secret as SIN is as important as your identity.  It is an official certification identifying “Who You Are” in Canada. To avoid identity theft, you should never give your SIN to anyone except government organizations, employers, banks, or credit unions. 

If you come to Canada through a Study Permit, generally speaking, the Study Permit holder is allowed to work 20 hours a week in Canada. That’s why Study Permit holders should also apply for a SIN card. In the 2-year diploma program provided by CCC, the second year is a paid internship (Co-op). According to different course requirements, you can apply for graduation after completing the specified hours of the Co-op Program, which lies between 960 to 1,000 hours. 

The school’s diploma program covers Canada’s trendy and practical subjects including Business Administration, Accounting, Digital Marketing, Hospitality Management, Web Design, and Development. Our major focus is on helping students to adapt to the Canadian workplace culture.

For admission details, please contact our CCC Admission Department.

Open A Bank Account

For newcomers to Canada, opening a local bank account is a MUST. However, why is it preferable for a local bank account to a foreign bank account? The time difference is always a concern. It is to avoid encountering account problems during non-business hours, due to the time differences, and it is more convenient for you to manage personal accounts.

Canada’s Big Five Banks

There are five major banks in Canada, namely:

  • RBC, Royal Bank of Canada 
  • TD, The Toronto-Dominion Bank 
  • Scotiabank Bank of Nova Scotia 
  • BMO, Bank of Montreal 
  • CIBC, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce 

If you open a bank account in Canada, you are mainly considering using one of the five largest banks in Canada. Each bank launches a newcomer offer for new customers or new immigrants. The offer package depends on which bank you choose.

Apply For MSP

MSP (Medical Services Plan) is a health insurance plan in BC. If you live in other cities in Canada, you will use the provincial health insurance plan according to where you live. For example, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is the health care plan in Ontario. Newcomers to Canada should apply for a provincial health insurance plan upon arrival.

You can apply for MSP through the online or postal application. Online applications are also very convenient. You can just enter the MSP website and follow the steps to submit your online application.

After successfully applying for MSP, you will receive a BC Services Card. When you are sick, you will need to bring your BC Services Card to make an appointment with a family doctor for your diagnosis and treatment. Then go to the pharmacy to get the medicines with the prescription. If your situation is serious or requires further medical check-ups, your family doctor will refer you to a medical specialist. 

Canadian doctor visits are free with a valid health card. But buying medicine is at your own expense. 

MSP Coverage

The items included in MSP are medical services such as consulting doctors, hospitalization, laboratory tests, etc. Services such as dental or vision care, Chinese medicine, and medication are not included in MSP. Simply put, MSP is a large-scale medical insurance plan.

Create Career College is located in Vancouver. The school’s diploma program includes one year of theoretical studies, and one year of co-op education. The school allows students to take classes online, and the internship location can be located in any city in Canada. Therefore, students do not necessarily need to apply for MSP and BC Services Card in BC. You can apply for the provincial health insurance plan according to the province of residence.

Apply For A Driver’s License

A driver’s license in Canada is as important as an ID card. In other words, your driver’s license is your ID card. There are always tons of people waiting to take the written test and road test. For newcomers to Canada, it is recommended to take the time to make an appointment and complete the required driving test as soon as possible after landing. 

The quicker you finish the first written test, the faster you can get the Full License. More importantly, the driver’s face will be shown on the license card as a legal photo identity document (Photo ID) in Canada. Holding a driver’s license means that there is no need to spend extra to apply for an official Photo ID, such as a BC ID Card.

How to get a driver’s license in BC province? If you start the test from scratch, you will get the L, N, and Full Licensing accordingly. 

First, if you pass the written test and vision test, you will be able to get an L (Learner’s License). You will need to learn to drive at a specific time accompanied by a qualified supervisor to accumulate driving experience. 

The second step is to pass the Class 7 road test which will examine your basic driving skills. You can get an N (Novice License) if you pass the test. 

Finally, when you hold an N license and accumulate two years of driving experience, you can take the Class 5 road test to test advanced driving skills. After passing the test, you can get a Full License.

Some international driver’s licenses cannot exchange for a full BC driver’s license directly, but there are still some exemption policies for the re-examination of a driver’s license. For example, Hong Kong driver’s license holders who have accumulated 2 years of driving experience can directly take the Full License test (BC Province). 

For detailed driver’s license application and license replacement tutorial, please continue reading: Tips on How to Apply for a Driver’s License in B.C.

What To Do After Landing Conclusion

Above is the checklist for newcomers to Canada. When new immigrants landed in Canada, whether they are holding a student permit or a working permit, they must apply for the above documents in order to start the journey in Canada.