Your Guide to landing in Canada

Welcome to Canada

by Cohen.Canada / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

To have a stress free landing and settling process in Canada, you need to have knowledge of the basics of living in the country. Each country has its own unique set of requirements and customs that a migrant needs to adhere to for a peaceful landing and settlement. Lack of sufficient knowledge or refusal to follow important guidelines is likely to lead to legal issues and/or a stressful transition.

Each province of Canada has a set of information geared to assist immigrants to settle in their particular region. You can find comprehensive information that will assist you in settling in any location in Canada from Click Here


First Things First

The first requirement for a seamless landing is to land before your Permanent Resident Visa expires. If you are coming with your family, you all need to have arrived before the Canada Immigration visa expires. Your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) has to be validated, and, if applicable, your visa has to be checked for validity by a CBSA officer at the point of entry.

If you want to land in Quebec, you need to have a selection certificate for the particular region that will enable you to transit (work/live) in that province.


Required Documents

Landing documents via

by Morgan / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

There are several documents that one needs to carry when landing in Canada. They include:

  • A valid passport or travel documents for each person coming into the country.
  • Canadian visa and a Confirmation of Permanent Residence for each person.
  • Copies of a list of the personal items that will be coming into the country.

Ensure that all the required documents are easily accessible to allow you to display them to relevant officers when necessary. 

Other documents that are important but you may not be asked to produce include:

  • Personal certificates such as birth, marriage, baptism, divorce, and adoption papers.
  • Education diplomas and degrees and other relevant school-based records.
  • An updated resume complete with references and work experience.
  • Letters of reference from past employers.
  • Trade licenses.
  • Health records.
  • Driver’s license and car registration forms if the vehicle will be imported into Canada. An international Driver’s permit will also come in handy.

Photocopies of each of these documents should be prepared just in case the originals get lost or if the officer requires a copy.

Have all your documents translated into English and notarized before landing in Canada and, if you have a drivers license from your native country, make sure to convert it into an International Driving License.



RBC by Henrickson at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

by Henrickson / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

It is necessary to have sufficient money to enable you to settle in the new country. If you are not being sponsored by a Canadian resident, you should have a plan and enough savings that will cater to your daily expenses, such as food and rent before you find work. Take note that you may be required to show proof of your savings at the port of entry. A border official must be notified if one is in possession of more than C$10,000 in cash, so the money should be in your bank account, not on your person.

It is important to research the best banks in Canada and choose the one that offers the services you need at the right price. Open an account and transfer your funds with them as soon as you can after you arrive in Canada.

Get acquainted with an investment specialist from a bank who will offer you guidance on the investment opportunities in Canada; staff at the bank can also advise you on how to go about electronically paying some of the basic bills such as education and rent. 



A Social insurance Number (SIN) is required for one to legally work in Canada. One needs to apply for this card immediately upon landing in Canada as a permanent resident. To be qualified for open job vacancies, your credentials often have to be assessed by an assessment agency. However, if you are immigrating through Express Entry, you will have already done this step.

Diploma by Millermz at English Wikipedia [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Millermz / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0


Learn more about credential recognition

It is very important to sharpen your English skills, if necessary, prior to looking for work so that you can have higher chances of getting through the interview and selection process. Remember that most companies in Canada use English as their main communication language and need their employees to speak, read and write English fluently. There are opportunities for French speakers, especially in Quebec and New Brunswick, but English is pretty much mandatory.



U of T Taxiarchos228 at the German language Wikipedia [FAL, GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Wladyslaw / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The schooling system in Canada comprises of elementary, high school/secondary, and college or university (post-secondary school). The Canadian education system admits children from 4 to 5 years to start elementary school. It is a regulation that children up to 16 years must be enrolled in a school.

Provincial governments control the  education system within their province. After selecting a school for yourself or for your children, contact the management of the school to gather more information on their program and on the registration process.



House in Westmount via

[Public Domain]

To avoid making costly and regrettable decisions, it is wise to rent a house to live in for a few months as you conduct thorough research on the different places you are interested in settling in Canada and on the properties available for you to buy. However, if you know Canada well, you can purchase a home before or immediately after you land in the country. Factors that you should keep in mind before you buy property are: 

  • proximity to social amenities,
  • and to basic institutions such as schools, offices, hospitals,
  • the level of security in the area,
  • and the cost of living in the region. 

From large apartments to studio apartments, from mansions to mobile homes, Canada offers a variety of housing options. If you become a tenant you need to adhere to the set of rules that have been set by the management of the building or by the landlord to ensure your stay at the rented space is peaceful. Tenants can face some limitations such as no pets, no smoking, etc while in the rented house, and so it is recommended you have knowledge of the regulations prior to signing the lease.

It can be challenging to find the perfect accommodations to stay in; you may wish to hire the services of a real estate representative to assist you in finding a property that fits your preferences. The other alternative, which is cheaper, would be to look through classifieds in newspapers and on the internet to find properties that are up for sale. 


Weather Conditions

Vancouver Mirage By Craig Clements (The Superior Mirage - A Rare Optical Phenomemon) [GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Craig Clements / Wikimedia Commons / GNU 1.2

It’s not fun to be caught off guard by the extreme of Canadian weather. Most of the populated part of Canada basks in the warmth of hot summers, s which can record temperatures of well over 30 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, winter in Canada can be extremely cold with the temperature ranging from -20 to -30 degree Celsius, even in some major cities. It is crucial to be armed for winter with sufficient warm clothing for you and your family.

Snow in Toronto By Monael (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

[Public Domain]

As a driver, you will find that in order to remain on the road and not encounter any legal issue, your vehicle has to be fitted with winter tires for optimum safety while on the road.


What you should carry with you

You need to adhere to the strict and straightforward rules that dictate what you can and what you cannot bring into Canada. There are specific guidelines on importing various types of products such as plants, animals, vehicles, food, and alcohol. To ensure that you remain on the good side of the law, it is wise to get the right information on what you can carry as well as outline the procedure for you. For more information on Restricted and Prohibited Goods click here.


It is always an exciting journey to move into a new place, and with a positive mindset you can be sure that your new home will be the right one for you. After all is said and done, Canada promises all its visitors equal opportunity to progress as they live in the country.

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