It’s the land of snow, hockey and free healthcare, and it draws thousands of immigrants each year. But what do you need to know about Canada before you actually pack up and move? What steps do you need to take to ensure that you’re not turned away at the border? Here are just a few tips if you’re hoping to live or work in Canada.
1. Determine Your Eligibility
Not everyone is allowed in Canada. It might be disappointing, but if you have serious health, financial or legal issues, the immigration office has a right to deny you entry as anything other than a temporary tourist. This means that you won’t be able to work or study in Canada if you have, say, a felony on your record. Talk to an immigration officer if you have any questions about your eligibility.
2. Know Your Visas
There are many types of visas for people who want to reside in Canada. For example, students have different visas than company workers, and short-term tourists have different visas than long-term residents. Depending on your status as a foreigner coming into Canada, you might need to meet different requirements to get your visa.
3. Make Copies of Your Documents
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in an international move, and it’s in your best interests to make copies of everything. You never know when the immigration office will want you to re-submit a form or clarify an old charge via a receipt. You don’t want your trip to be delayed because of a lost application, either!
4. Start Early
You can’t just throw some t-shirts in a bag and expect to move to Canada overnight. Your visa and passport applications will take weeks to process, and that’s assuming that you don’t run into any problems with your paperwork, background, dependents or work status. You should give yourself at least 6-8 months to prepare for your great Canadian adventure.
5. Don’t Get Lost In Translation
English and French are the official languages of Canada. While you won’t have any trouble as an English speaker in a big, multilingual province like Newfoundland, you might run into language barriers in smaller, more remote towns where the signs are all in French. You should also steer clear of French-speaking provinces like Quebec where English speakers are the minority. Of course, you can always take language classes to improve your fluency!
These are just a few things to keep in mind if you’re preparing to work, study or live in Canada. You’ll want to contact a professional immigration service like Siminca before you actually set out, but these steps should help you get started. Good luck!