Things To Do After Landing in Canada as a Permanent Resident

Welcome to Canada! After a long period of planning everything, you have finally arrived at your destination. After going through the immigration process,  you probably are asking what to do next? When I arrived in Canada, I was totally lost, that’s why I’ve created this guide for you. Stick around, and you will be able to figure this out!

Here is the list of things you should do after arriving in Canada:

  • Apply for a social insurance number
  • Open a Canadian Bank Account
  • Apply for  Government Health Insurance
  • Search for a Place to Rent 
  • Provide Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) with your Canadian Address
  • Obtain a Canadian Driver’s License or Province Photo ID
  • Find a Family Doctor
  • Register Your Children in School
  • Find a Mobile Plan
  • Contact settlement services 
  • Start networking and applying for jobs
  • Enjoy your new city
  • Buy Winter Clothes
  • Obtain Transit Pass and Learn About Public Transportation

1) Apply for a social insurance number

The first thing you need to do after landing in Canada as a permanent resident is applying for a social insurance number. The Social Insurance Number is the most important document for any person living in Canada, most especially those who will work here. However, you cannot work in Canada without this document, so it’s a good idea to apply for your SIN as soon as you arrive.

The issuance of the SIN is very easy. In a few airports,  you can get it from the airport itself while the process of immigration is being done. If that’s not the case,  go to Service Canada Center in your city, take your passport and either your Pr Card or landing documents. Remember, your permanent residency or work permit must already be valid!

In the case that your permission is for study and work, it will be valid only on the first day of class. You must wait for this date to issue your SIN number. After the issue of your SIN, keep it in a safe place and memorize the number.  There are so many details for each item from the list, keep reading you will have all the information needed.

2) Open a Canadian Bank Account


Once you have your SIN, you will be able to open an account with a Canadian bank. There are several Canadian banks to choose from. Usually, it is a good idea to search for offers, fees required, and the number of locations of a branch. Additionally, ask for a credit card to start building your credit history in Canada.

The process of opening a bank account is quite simple. You will need your passport, your Landing Papers or PR Card, and SIN number. Some banks will require additional documents. Before you go, double-check the requirements. You can find the most popular banks in Canada in the list below.

3) Apply for  Government Health Insurance

As a permanent resident, you can apply for the Government Health Insurance. With a Health Insurance card, you will be able to access healthcare in Canada.

In order to apply, go to a Service Canada Center with the documents required to create your health card.

In some provinces, you need to wait a certain period (usually up to three months) before you can use the health benefits. Make sure you buy private health insurance to use during your waiting period.

Note:  You will need to provide an address for your health card to be mailed. To find out how to apply and see the list of documents, please refer to the list below:

4) Search for a Place to Rent 

place to rent


One very important task is finding a place to live. Most of the newcomers prefer to rent a house or an apartment. Buying a home is a big investment that will require ample time to make a decision. When you rent a home, you can find a place to settle down in Canada. This will give you time to choose the best neighborhoods for you and your family.

Before you look for a new place, you have to figure out how much you can spend each month on rent. Then, you need to come up with a list of neighborhoods where you would like to live. Once you have that, you can find places to rent using the following methods.

  • Visit neighborhoods you are interested in and search for available places that have a “for rent” sign posted.;
  • If you have a friend in Canada, you can ask them if they know anyone that is renting a place.
  • Enlist the services of a real estate agent, which might cost money. 
  • Use the services of an immigrant support organization.
  • Check classified sites or real estate agency websites. Examples include; Kijiji, Facebook groups, and
  • Contact-free newcomers services to get help.

5) Provide Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) with your Canadian Address

Once you find a new place to live in, update your address on the CIC website. This is important to receive your permanent resident card by mail. Updating your address is quite easy online at change-address.asp.

6) Obtain a Canadian Driver’s License or Province Photo ID

If you plan to drive in Canada, it’s a good idea to obtain a Canadian Driver’s License instead of the Province Photo ID. This is important to avoid keeping your passport as identification. With a Province Photo ID or Canadian Driver’s License, you will not be required to show your passport anymore. In some provinces, you can even bring your driving experience from your home country if you have one.

To get a Canadian driver’s license, you will need to pass a test, to find out more about the rules of each province, To find out more about it, go to Be aware, in Canada, most of the smaller cities you would need a car to do groceries and to go to work. Also, during the winter is hard to stay outside for a big amount of time. I personally, don’t own a car, because in Toronto I don’t feel that’s necessary for me. But if one day, I decide to move out of Toronto, I’ll certainly need a car.

 7) Find a Family Doctor

After you get your health insurance card, you need to find a family doctor in your location. You will need a check-up and verification of any vaccinations needed. In Canada, you don’t pay for most of the healthcare services. Instead, all residents in Canada pay for these services through taxes.

In Canada, most people go to a family doctor when they need medical care. A family doctor will provide you with all the basic health care needed. If you need a specialist, your family doctor will be responsible for finding a specialist for you.

Depending on your location, it can be hard to find a family doctor who is accepting more patients.  If you need to see a doctor, but don’t have a family doctor yet, you can go to a medical clinic without an appointment. To find out how you can find your family doctor, please refer to the table below according to your location.

Website to find your family doctor by province

Province Information
Alberta Alberta Health and Wellness
Telephone: 780-427-7164
 British Columbia  British Columbia Ministry of Health Services
Telephone: 1-800-663-7867 or 604-660-2421
 Manitoba  Manitoba Health
Telephone: 1-866-626-4862
 New Brunswick New Brunswick
Department of Health
Telephone: 1-888-762-8600
 Newfoundland and Labrador  Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services
Telephone: 709-729-4984
Northwest Territories Northwest Territories Health and Social Services
Telephone: 1-800-661-0830
 Newfoundland and Labrador  Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services
Telephone: 709-729-4984
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia Department of Health 1-800-563-8880 or 902-496-7008
Nunavut Nunavut Health and Social Services

Ontario Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Telephone: 1-866-532-3161

Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island Department of Health and Wellness

Telephone: 902-368-6130

Quebec Santé et Services sociaux Québec

Telephone: 418-644-4545 (in Québec City),

514-644-4545 (in Montréal),

1-877-644-4545 (rest of Quebec)

Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Health

Telephone: 1-800-667-7766 or 306-787-0146

Yukon Yukon Health and Social Services
Telephone: 1-800-661-0408


8) Register Your Children in School

Before you enroll your children in school, it’s important to choose what type of school you are interested in for your children. Above all, If it’s the first time you are enrolling your children in a Canadian school, the school board will conduct an assessment to determine what level they should be placed in and if your children will need free additional language support.

To get specific information for your location, please check your local school board in the Blue Pages or at (click on “Education in Canada,” then “Elementary and Secondary Schools in Canada”).

9) Find a Mobile Plan

This item is important for two reasons. The first is that you will probably need to have internet outside of your home. The second is that you will need to communicate with local people primarily if you are looking for a place to live or looking for a job.

When it comes to finding a mobile cell plan, there are numerous companies to choose from. For example, you can do some research to find a company that fits your budget. The largest Canadian mobile companies on the market are:

10) Contact settlement services 

Canada provides services for free for newcomers. Make Sure to contact the settlement services to get all the information you need to settle down in Canada. Some staff is able to speak other languages than English.

The services that settlement has are:

  • Translation of documents
  • Provide help to fill out forms
  • Help about health care system
  • Help to find Schools and community services
  • English training

You can find settlement services in your area on Services Near Me.

11) Start networking and applying for jobs

After a few weeks of living in Canada, you have an idea of how is life in Canada. Now it’s time to looking for a job. You can start your searching by looking at job posting online. Before that, please make sure you have a CV  and a cover letter in a Canadian standard.

If you need help to create a CV, contact settlement services. their staff can you help you create a CV for free.

12) Enjoy your new city

It’s important to familiarize yourself with your new city/neighborhood. I know in the first few days, it is hard to enjoy it, because of so many things you have to do. However, try to get to know how it works public transportation, what are the supermarkets and figure out what your city has to offer.

In the beginning, it’s a good idea to not spend a lot of money in attractions, Fortunately, most of the provinces have free options to enjoy the City, such as visiting a park, going to a museum on a day that is free, and many others.

13) Buy Winter Clothes

If you arrive during the winter and don’t have enough clothes to deal with the low temperatures in Canada, find a place to buy your winter clothes. If money is an issue for you, search on Kijiji or letgo for used winter boots and winter coat to save a few hundred dollars.

14) Obtain Transit Pass and Learn About Public Transportation

I would recommend you to get a transit pass for the bus or subway,  wherever you live. In Ontario, where I live, you can get a transit pass and use the bus and subway has many times you want.

Usually, the transit pass worth it if you need to use transportation every day for a period of 3 weeks. If you arrive in Canada in the end of the month, it might be a better idea to buy a few subway or bus tickets and wait to buy the transit pass in the beginning of the month.


In conclusion, All of the above items can be completed in the first few days after your arrival in the country so you can ensure that everything happens as smoothly as possible.

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