Coming to Canada: Dos and Don’ts

By Asfandyar Memon

Canada is the second largest country in the world with a diverse population, many cultures, and great opportunities. However, one should never assume that they can just come to Canada and instantly find housing and jobs. If, as an immigrant, that is the extent of your planning, then you may not even make it to the border. Below, I have compiled a list of some major DO’s and DON’Ts when coming to Canada.

DO: Know the country, province and the place you plan to live in well before arriving. You must be prepared for licensing for employment or education, know the language barriers, be keen to understand the new policies, expect culture shock, and adjust to the new way of living.

DON’T: Do not assume that the immigration process is quick. It is a time-consuming procedure and one has to be very patient. The time taken for processing an individual application versus an entire family’s application could vary from a month to a year.

DO: Establish a strong support network. This is imperative. You are not just moving into a different house or neighborhood, but to a different country, so your whole life is about to change. Not having a network of family and friends in place before the move can be stressful. Being connected to someone already in Canada can benefit you in many ways.

DON’T: Never fail to provide proper, original documentation and/or paperwork. As an immigrant, you must first be legally eligible to work in Canada. The government requires that certain documents be provided and appropriate permits are issued before you start work.

DO: Canada has two official languages, English and French. Being fluent in one or both of these languages will give you a tremendous head start when you arrive; the inability to converse with your peers will make the transition to life in your adopted country much more difficult.

DON’T: Never arrive in Canada with insufficient resources or funds. To get established, you must have strong or sufficient financial stability that will sustain until you find a job or suitable housing in the first few weeks or months of your arrival.

DO: You have to meet certain criteria and, sometimes, have educational documents credentialed to qualify for specific jobs or programs. Failure to educate yourself about these criteria beforehand can result in you being ineligible to work in Canada.

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