Moving to Canada Checklist

The big day is approaching: the day you move to Canada. There seems to be a lot to do, but you don’t know where to start from. We understand that the months leading up to the moving day can be quite hectic and filled with lots of activities, preparation, and packing.

But, that’s why we are here. We’ve got your back. We have developed a simple checklist for you so that you do not miss out on anything. This way, you can stay on top of all your preparation activities and have a less stressful move.

This checklist will guide you on everything you will need to do, organize or pack relevant to your moving to Canada. We have organized the checklist into sections for easy navigation. So, here goes:

Three Months Before Arrival

Learn about your new city.

The best way to do this is to visit the official website of the city. Get information about the markets, jobs, people, housing, recreation, destination/tourist sites, parks, etc. Read blogs and gather as much information as you can about where you are moving to.

Be acquainted with the area ahead of time. You may also want to consider attending pre-departure seminars to further educate you and give you insight into life in Canada.

Research about the work culture and climate.

Get acquainted with the system of working in Canada. Learn about what requirements are needed for the job of your choice. Learn about your occupation. Research job opportunities. Learn about the standard wages, skills, and abilities required for your chosen job.

Estimate how much you will need every month.

Find out what the cost of living is in your city. Determine what kind of accommodation you want and how much it will cost you. Estimate how much you will spend on feeding, utilities, clothing, recreation and entertainment, schooling, etc.

Make a rough estimate of your monthly expenses. This will serve as a guide for you financially.

Open a Canadian bank account (if you don’t have one).

After you open one, transfer money into it. This will greatly ease your transactions. It is also a secure and cost-effective way of bringing funds into Canada. Plus, you will be required to show proof of financial support once you get to Canada. A minimum of 2,500 Canadian dollars must be present in your account.

One(1) to Three(3) Months Before Arrival

Ensure that your passport is valid.

Don’t take this for granted. Cross-check your passport and make sure that it is valid. Also, check those belonging to your dependants.

Gather your work-related documents.

If you need to get letters of reference and recommendation, certificates of training, and other work-related documents, now is the best time to do it. Get your certificates and credentials recognized.

Prepare your CV/résumé.

If you intend on working in Canada, then you will need to prepare a CV/résumé for your job applications. It is very important to use the Canadian format when preparing it.

Gather official health-related documents.

Dental records, medical records(X-rays, prescriptions, etc), vaccination records, etc.: these are very important. Particularly, if you have children and they’ll need to study in Canada, you will be required to provide their vaccination records.

Book your travel.

The earlier you book your flight, the cheaper it is.

A Few Weeks Before Your Arrival

Fill your prescriptions.

Get a supply of medications that will last you for up to six months. This is because brands in Canada may be different and more expensive.

Order Canadian currency.

While awaiting the activation of your account in Canada, you may need to make some purchases or payments. In order not to be stranded, it is advisable for you to carry some Canadian dollars as cash.

If you have 10,000 Canadian dollars and above (or the equivalent), you will need to inform the border services officer when you get to Canada.

Arrange for medical insurance.

The medical insurance provided for you by your territory will be inactive for the first 90 days of your stay in Canada. You might need to get Visitors to Canada insurance.

  • Ensure you get your travel insurance.
  • Get your visa.
  • Process your application for a work permit.
  • Gather your foreign licenses and certificates. You will need foreign credential recognition to be allowed to work in certain jobs in Canada.
  • Make ready your bank statements to show proof of funds.
  • Arrange for accommodation

You may need to gather accommodation references from landlords in whose properties you have lived previously.

Proof of driving history

You might want to consider asking your previous insurers with a “no claims” letter.

  • Ensure your phone can work with other networks.
  • Do your medical exam.
  • Fill your Customs Declaration Card.

What To Pack When Traveling

  • Your valid passport
  • Your work permit
  • Your visa
  • Any additional immigration document
  • Bank statement
  • A government-issued identity card
  • The address of your accommodation in Canada
  • A Confirmation of Permanent Residence for each family member traveling with you.
  • Student transcript
  • Vehicle insurance letter
  • Prescriptions
  • Some clothing. Be sure to include scarf, gloves, hat and a coat for cold weather.
  • Canadian currency
  • Mobile phone, tablet and laptop
  • Extension cord
  • Nonperishable food items
  • Your CV/résumé
  • Some books
  • Jewellery
  • Your filled Customs Declaration Card
  • Marriage certificate or separation/divorce papers
  • Birth certificates
  • Adoption papers
  • Two copies of a detailed list of all the personal or household items you are carrying along to Canada.
  • Two copies of a list of additional items that will be  arriving later as well as their monetary value.

Please note that all the documents should not be packed with your large luggage. They should be kept handy at all times as they are essential and will be presented upon your arrival in Canada. Make photocopies of all the documents. Put all the original documents in a file and all the photocopies in another file. Make electronic copies of all the documents by scanning them and then back them up to a storage system e.g cloud storage.

Moving to Canada might not be a walk in the park, but it can definitely be a lot easier if you are organized. This checklist serves to help you achieve that aim. Check off items one by one and before you know it, you’ve done all. Congratulations! Safe trip!

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