Arrival To Do List-Canada

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  • If you don't have longer term accommodation lined up immediately, you may need to stay in a hotel for the first few days.
  • You probably will find it more convenient to stay in a place that has a kitchen and a little more space for your family.
  • To find self-catering accommodation, do a Google search for "suite hotel" or "apartment hotel" or "furnished apartment" or "executive suite." Depending on the time of year you may also look for a motel chalet that could have more than one bedroom for a lower cost than a hotel.
  • You also might try furnished vacation rentals, such as those advertised on:
  • Furnished, self-catering accommodation tends to be expensive, but it will be a convenient base in those first few days while you're getting things sorted out.
  • It would be a good idea to have a reservation for this short-term accommodation before you leave the UK.

Apply for PR Card

The procedure for doing this is outlined in the BE Wiki article entitled Permanent Resident Card-Canada.

Social Insurance Number

  • Get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) as soon as possible.
  • You will need an SIN to work in Canada, to file an income tax return and to benefit from government programs.
  • To apply for an SIN, go to your nearest Service Canada Centre (listed in the blue pages of your telephone book or on this website).
  • Permanent residents need to provide the original copy of their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292) and visa counterfoil attached to their passport (if any) or their permanent resident card.
  • Temporary residents need to show their study permit or their temporary work permit and their contract of employment.
  • If the name you are using to apply for your SIN card is different from the one listed on your supporting document, you must also provide a marriage certificate or a change of name document.
  • There is no fee for applying for an SIN.
  • You need to wait 48h after landing to apply for the SIN.
  • More details and links are available in the BE Wiki article entitled Social Insurance Number.


  • Register with your provincial health care insurance program.
  • Even if you are not eligible for it right away, and have to wait three months before you can benefit from it, it's a good idea to register as soon as possible.
  • It takes some time for the paperwork to go through.
  • While you are waiting to join your provincial health care insurance program, it would be prudent to arrange for private medical insurance.

Longer term accommodation

  • After your first few days in a suite hotel or furnished apartment, you'll probably want to rent longer-term, unfurnished accommodation.
  • To find out more about that, please see the BE Wiki article entitled Renting.
  • If you are ready to buy a residence immediately, please see the BE Wiki article entitled Housing.

Children's Schooling

  • Register your children in school.
  • Please see the BE Wiki article entitled Canadian Schooling.

Bank Account

If you have not opened a Canadian bank account in advance of your arrival in Canada, you will need to do so once you've arrived. Be warned that some Canadian banks will not permit you to open an account if you do not have a "reason", like arranged employment.


  • Soon after you arrive, you will want to buy a vehicle.
  • There is a wiki article on Buying a car here.

Job Hunting

  • If you do not have a job to come to, please see the BE Wiki article on job hunting.

Driver's Licence

  • Exchange your UK driver's licence for a driver's licence of the province in which you live.
  • Some provinces exchange UK driver's licences without requiring a driving test. However, some provinces do require that you take a driving test.
  • Refer 'Drivers Licence - Canada' wiki article [Here]

If you are landing and returning to UK

  • If you are a British citizen who is "landing" just to activate your permanent resident status and if you will be returning to the UK to finalize up your affairs there before actually settling in Canada, you don't really need to take any of the steps outlined in this article.
  • There's the matter of your PR card, for example. Having a PR card does make it easier to get through Canadian immigration and customs. If you are a citizen of a visa waiver country such as the UK, you technically don't need a PR card to re-enter Canada, BUT you will need one to fly into Canada since you won't be able to apply for an eTA (and any pre-existing ETA would have been cancelled).

Departure To Do List

The BE Wiki also has a suggested To Do List that guides you through the preparations before you leave your point of origin. It is called Departure To Do List.