Things to Consider…
Canadian culture is heavily influenced by European and French traditions, in particular if you have chosen to relocate to Québec. As with all moves speaking to locals, and visiting the area first are all recommended so you can get a good feel for the area before you take the leap to relocate abroad.
With such a vast and varied landscape Canadians are known for their love of the great outdoors partaking in winter sports in the colder months and enjoying the warmer weather throughout the summer. Canada has a wide and diverse culture and Canadians are proud of their heritage. In addition to celebrating Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Canadians also celebrate Canada Day on July 1st.
Whilst the Federal language in Canada is defined as English and French, individual provinces are responsible for setting their official language. In Quebec the official language is French and in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario it’s English. The only bilingual state is New Brunswick. Due to its diverse culture many European languages are also spoken in Canada.
To open a Canadian bank account you will need to present two forms of identification. These can include; passport, driver’s license, Provincial Health Card, Social Insurance Card and will need to provide a proof of address. Foreign residents may need to provide a reference from an employer, university or previous bank.
As with any bank account it’s best to set up a meeting to discuss your requirements and find the best bank package to suit you.
As Canada is such a large country with many amenities in out of town locations it is likely you will require a car during your time in the country.
If you are spending a year or less in Canada then you will not need to apply for a Canadian driving license. However, if you are staying longer than a year then you will need to obtain a Canadian license. Different rules apply to obtaining a license across the provinces, with a graduated system in place in some states.
If you plan on importing your car from your home country you will need to contact the provincial ministry of transportation to ensure your vehicle adheres to the transport regulations. Importation taxes may also apply.
Whether you are looking to buy or rent a house or apartment, furnished or unfurnished it’s best to start by speaking to a real estate company to establish what you’re looking for. Visiting the area you wish to relocate to beforehand and familiarising yourself with the local transport, neighbourhoods and amenities can also help to establish what type of property you are looking for.
Finding employment in Canada will be dependent upon the qualifications and skills you have currently attained and the industry you wish to work in. Finding a job is often easier in the larger cities within Canada and a work permit will need to be obtained.
Many Canadian employers will offer benefits plans which may include medical and dental insurance, bonuses, life insurance and retirement plans.
Full time education is mandatory in Canada, including the education of foreign nationals, from ages 5 to 16. Each province is responsible for the education of its inhabitants and therefore the education systems may vary from district to district.
Free schooling depends on the type of visa that has been granted for the parents of foreign nationals. Extracurricular activities are also chargeable and fees may apply for activities such as, music, sports and art. There are three levels of schooling in Canada; Elementary, Secondary and Higher Education.
Take a look at our blog post about relocating with a family for more information.
Healthcare in Canada is funded by the public and is governed by the Canada Health Act. To be eligible for treatment in Canada you will need to have been granted permanent resident status.
Upon arrival in Canada you will need to apply for private healthcare, as you will only be eligible for healthcare after 3 months. Healthcare plans vary from province to province as the provincial government is responsible for the delivery of its healthcare services.