In this article, we're going to talk about some of the first things you need to do when you arrive in Canada as a permanent resident.
Health Insurance Card
One of the first things you'll want to do after arriving is apply for health insurance cards for every member of your family. Applications are available in many places, including doctor's offices and pharmacies. These cards allow you to receive care through the Canadian health insurance program for the following services:
- Examination and treatment by physicians and most specialists
- Many types of surgery
- X-rays and laboratory tests
You will not have to pay for these services, these expenses are covered by the taxes that you will be paying as a working Canadian permanent resident.
In most provinces in Canada, you can begin receiving medical coverage as soon as you apply. In Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and British Columbia, however, you must wait 3-months from the date you apply for your coverage to begin. In the meantime, short-term health insurance is available through private companies.
You may also want to ask potential employers about their health coverage options as well. Many employers provide additional health insurance benefits that cover expenses, such as prescription drugs and dental care.
Social Insurance Number
Before you begin working in Canada, you need to have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). This 9-digit number is used to help you receive the social benefits you are entitled to as a Canadian permanent resident and to ensure that you are paying taxes to help support those benefits.
To apply for a SIN, you should visit a local office of the Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSD) to complete an application. You should also bring along your Permanent Resident card to proof your identity and your residency status. The cost of application is $10, and it takes about three weeks for you to receive your card.
You can begin working before your receive your SIN card, however. You simply need to provide your employer with proof that you have applied.
In most cases, you will also want to begin searching for work almost immediately. It is possible to have a position lined up even before you apply for permanent resident status, but chances are that you'll be unemployed when you first arrive.
Depending on the type of work you are searching for, you may first need to apply for permission to engage in that profession. In Canada, some careers are classified as regulated fields. These fields included doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. In order to obtain work in these areas, you will need to contact the regulatory office in the province where you intend to work. The regulations vary from province to province.
The regulatory board will have to evaluate your experience and credentials then decide whether you need to take further steps to meet their standards.
Some trades, such as carpenter or plumber, are also considered to be regulated. Therefore, you must make sure that you have the appropriate licensing before attempting to work in those fields. Carpentry and plumbing, as well as 43 other trades, are considered Red Seal Trades. This means that the regulations for that trade are the same in all provinces. Therefore, if you are a licensed welder in Quebec, you can also do that type of work in New Brunswick without having to go through another assessment.
Fortunately, the majority of jobs in Canada are non-regulated, so you can begin searching for a position in your chosen field as soon as you arrive.
One of the best ways to find a position in Canada is to use the Job Bank service. This online site allows you to post up to 3 employee profiles that can be viewed by employers. You can also view postings placed by employers throughout Canada. The daily newspapers in all of the provinces also include job listings.