Planning Your Pre-arrival Strategy for Canada

Canada By Janaina Da Costa December 21, 2022

You’ve been thinking about your opportunity to start a new phase of life in Canada. Now’s the time to make sure all the steps are in place for your move to pro-immigration Canada, a country many from India, the Philippines, Jamaica, China, and other countries now call home. Here are some resources to make the transition to Canada easier.

Immigration Answers and Forms

Before you move, look at Prepare for Life In Canada, a resource the Government of Canada put together for new immigrants. It provides thorough and useful information, from getting to know Canada to finding help on becoming a citizen, getting a work permit, obtaining a job, accessing health exams, and more.

The site will answer many questions as you’re planning your move. And in your early days as a newcomer to the country, it will assist you with important documents you need as an immigrant to Canada. The Canadian government also created resources for new immigrants to help with their first year in Canada. It provides information on permanent residency cards, finding nearby immigrant services, taxes, and more.

Have Money in Canadian Currency Waiting for You

Did you know that you can send money ahead of time so it’s ready in Canadian currency when you arrive? Use our currency converter to help you monitor exchange rates and to make the best decision on when to send your money ahead. With the Western Union app, you can view exchange rates, send money, and find locations for picking it up once you get to Canada.

Set Up Housing

Before you arrive, of course, you will need to arrange for a place to live. Friends and family in Canada are a good start and can be great on-the-ground resources. If you need other help, see these resources for temporary and longer-term housing and information on each of Canada’s provinces.

Job Services and School Enrollment

If you plan to get a job or enroll yourself or your kids in school, try to arrange these before you arrive because these tasks can take time. As a temporary worker, businessperson, student, or family member, use these websites (linked to in this section) to learn more about your new country’s operations.

Canadian employers want to hire skilled professionals across many fields. Once you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, you should be able to get a visa that leads to permanent residency.

Jobs openings in healthcare, welding, carpentry, truck driving, caregiving, seasonal nurseries, hair salons, bakeries, and others are typically available. Start by getting a work permit and a Social Insurance Number (SIN), the Tax Identification Number (TIN) you will use on your taxes.

Healthcare Once You Arrive

Contact the Canadian Friends Service Committee in Toronto or other immigrant organizations in the area you choose. They can give you information about accessing healthcare, so you know what to do if you need medical attention after you arrive. Newcomers established as permanent residents or with a work permit should be eligible for Canada’s healthcare within three months.

Getting Around

Transportation options vary depending on where you live in this vast country. The larger cities—like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver—have mass transit (subways, buses, and streetcars), which is convenient and may let you skip relying on a car. Keep in mind the geography and population of locations you’re considering and where you’ll be working or going to school to be sure you can manage the trip back and forth. Some areas of Canada are very rural and having your transportation is necessary.

Sponsorship as a Path to Citizenship

Sponsorship by a family member is one of the most direct paths to becoming a citizen in Canada. A relative can sponsor you, assuming eligibility and guidelines are followed. Review the Sponsorship Guide for an explanation of the process.

Canada Wants You

Moving to a new country is enormous! It takes flexibility and being open-minded. A change in food, customs, geography, currency, and language can require energy and time to get accustomed. Fortunately, Canada, long considered a country with an international culture, is officially welcoming workers and families from around the world. In both 2023 and 2024, the country plans to receive approximately 450,000 immigrants each year. So, if you’re interested in moving to this vast country with breathtaking scenery and dynamic cities, take advantage of all the resources available from the Canadian immigration services, learn how the immigration system works, and connect with community outreach, family, and friends.

For more information on relocating to Canada, see these publications produced by the Canadian government.

Note: the official website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is You will find free forms and guides on CIC’s website.