New to Canada
Are you just starting to think about immigrating to Canada?
So many thoughts must be reeling through your mind right now.
Well, you've come to the right place! We are here to help you with this next big step in your life and provide you with the best recommendations and resources we can. It is tough, but, oh. so. worth it!
So sit back and relax.... we've got your back.
You have questions? We have answers!
One of the most important first steps you should take is to determine if you are eligible to become a permanent resident. There are a number of ways that you can enter Canada as an immigrant. To determine which process you should apply under, take a short quiz to determine your eligibility here. If you are eligible you will be given a list of instructions of what to do next.
The next step is to talk to an Immigration Lawyer. We strongly recommend getting in touch with a lawyer to discuss your eligibility first and foremost. You can begin by getting in touch with an Immigration Lawyer here in Halifax. We recommend, Ethan Kim. Ethan is the Principal Lawyer at Ethan Kim & Associates, who is also a Licensed Recruiter with the Province of Nova Scotia. You can find his website and contact information here. Ethan and his team will help you feel both supported and informed throughout your whole process. There are many ways you can get in touch with him including WhatsApp, Zoom and many more.
Once you've determined your eligibility and you meet all the necessary requirements, you can start your application. You can find the application here. This link will take you to the Immigration and Citizenship page with the Canadian Government. Always be sure that you are always on a secure and verified government website when dealing with important things like this.
So, you have completed your application and initiated the process of becoming a Permanent Resident, now you wait! . During that time, you should start to prepare for living in Canada. Remember, not everywhere is cold all the time! We can have some pretty hot summers here in the North!
Visit this link here to find out some things that you should do and know to prepare for life in Canada, such as:
- Preparing to work
- What you can bring to Canada
- Learn some Canadian History
- The cost of living in the Province you have chosen
- How to drive in Canada
The government websites are very helpful with all types of questions and so are we! We've come up with a list of questions that you may have when they arrive in the Great White North. Check them out:
Social Insurance Number (SIN Card)….what’s that?
A SIN card allows you to do many things in Canada. Without it, you will not be able to work in Canada, obtain credit or receive government benefits. There is no cost for this card. You should apply for your Social Insurance Number as soon as possible when you arrive in Canada. You can apply here.
Driving in Canada..... You drive on what side of the road?
To legally drive in Canada, you'll need a driver’s licence issued by the government of your province or territory. With it, you can drive anywhere in Canada. Visit this Driving in Canada Government website to find out some more information about driving here. When you're here physically, you will go to your nearest Registry of Motor Vehicles to have your picture taken and pay for your new licence. If you've chosen Nova Scotia to be your new home, you can visit the provinces website here to get a license in Nova Scotia.
Healthcare.....Yes, we really do have free healthcare!
In Canada, basic health care is sponsored by the Government and in order to obtain that care, every resident needs to have a health card. Information and forms are available here. Mind you, this doesn't mean you can get a free tummy tuck or botox! Remember, it's basic healthcare :p
To Rent or Buy..... that is the question!
Many of you may have never heard of a Tenancy Act or signed a lease for a whole year to live somewhere. You will need to determine if you want to rent for a little while or buy a home right away. So, let's talk about money for a minute here. Unless you have come to Canada as a Refugee, you would have had to have enough money to sustain you for a bit. You had really great credit in your previous country and had a fantastic paying job. Now you've come to Canada and have zero credit and not enough money for a 35% down payment on a home (non-residents must have a minimum of a 35% down payment towards their mortgage it they are applying for one). Well that's where banks come in! There are many different banks to choose from in Canada, so choose wisely. Do your research and get some recommendations (or criticism) from local websites. The major banks in Nova Scotia are: Bank of Montreal (BMO), Scotiabank (also known as The Bank of Nova Scotia), TD Canada Trust (TD Bank), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Credit Union Atlantic (CUA). We recommend you visit a bank to first help you establish some credit here in Canada; unless you have come with cash in hand to buy a home. If that's the case, you can come straight to us!
Mortgage Broker..... what is that?
Many people think that going straight to a bank is the best way to get a mortgage for their financing needs. Well, guess what? That is not necessarily true. Here at Century 21 All Points, we always advise our clients to get a Pre-Approval for your mortgage amount before looking into purchasing a home. This will help with easing some heartbreak when you see your perfect home and fall in love with it, only to find out that is $700,000.00 and you've only been approved for $450,000.00. See the problem there? In order to provide the best information to our clients, we recommend talking to a Mortgage Broker who can "shop" you around to a few different banks in order to get you the best interest rate. Working with a Mortgage Broker gives you the ability to look at many different options without having it affect your credit score. If you'd like to talk to a Mortgage Broker in the Halifax area, we recommend, Lola Gentile at Premiere Mortgages. You can visit her website and contact information here.
I think I’m ready to buy a house - where do I start?
When you decide to make Nova Scotia as your destination, here’s what you need to do-
Public transit, that includes the buses and the ferries between Dartmouth and Halifax pretty much reaches every corner of the city and is a very reasonable mode of transportation compared to having your own vehicle. Visit https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/halifax-transit to check schedules, fares, tickets, passes, etc. The transit buses are climate controlled and have assistance for people with physical disabilities. Transit schedules are available on apps like Google Maps, that provides shortest routes with a click of a button.
Moving to Canada? Want to learn more? Contact us!