As a potential immigrant, it is expected that adequate research is done before proceeding to leave your domain to another land. Particularly one that is thousands of miles away. For those moving out to reside with their close relatives before they find their feet, they tend to land softly. Others that happen to be the first from their generation to travel to Canada need to do their groundwork, have everything as required before making the move.
Let it be known that even with adequate research, it is still bound to be a bit difficult. This post will give you some info on those things you should know before proceeding on that journey to Canada.
The Weather in Canada
Every potential immigrant to Canada would have at one point or the other heard that Canada is cold. Others would say the weather is fair. Truth be told and generally, at that, the weather can indeed be cold. Very cold. According to Statistics Canada, more Canadians deaths have been attributed to the extreme cold each year rather than from other natural events. Anyone susceptible to cold should simply avoid Saskatoon and Regina as those places are deemed to be the coldest places in Canada recording an average temperature of between -9oC and 20oC. Some cold regions in Canada that are popular among immigrants are Edmonton in Alberta, Trois-Rivières in Quebec, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and others like that.
The warm areas are in Ontario and Maritime Provinces.
It is important to note that Canada has all four seasons; spring, summer, fall and winter.
Languages Spoken In Canada
Ordinarily, if you have not been to Canada before or did any study/research on the country, it is safe for you to assume that the English language is the only language there. Let it be known that the English language is the most commonly spoken language and it is also one of the official languages of Canada, the second most commonly spoken language is French. And yes, it is also an official language. So, officially, Canada has two official languages – English and French. That is why speaking both languages proficiently is a plus and might give one an edge in terms of language points for immigration purposes. Other languages spoken are Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi.
One should learn some bits of French as road signs and signposts are often written in French, even in English speaking regions.
While Mandarin is being spoken by a few in the major metropolitan areas, Punjabi is commonly spoken in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton by some minority.
Job Requirements (Getting Jobs in Canada)
This is a very important thing to know before making the move to Canada as it entails what a migrant will use for one’s sustenance and also the sustenance of one’s family whether they move with you or not. As an immigrant, if you have not been applying for jobs before now, start now. Apprise your CV and start sending it out.
Be careful when applying for jobs in Canada because some companies will likely talk to each other about your application. They will discover that you are sending the same cover letter each time. This does not speak well of your person.
Also, many companies use recruiters to find the perfect candidates and if your application keeps coming up for two months or more, recruiters may avoid your application as they would be curious as to why you have not landed a job yet. If you get to Canada and still could not get a job, volunteer work can just help you to get noticed. Not only can you get some valuable Canadian work experience but you also can get closer to some industry names to where you can market yourself till you upgrade to a full-time paid job.
Do your research well about jobs that do not require Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), also those skilled trades that need additional certification. Also, have in mind that some provinces require that you must be proficient in speaking both French and English languages to be able to gain or retain employment in public offices.
This is probably what you already know but in case you do not know before now, know now that it is compulsory you get a work permit before seeking any form of employment in Canada as an immigrant without a permanent residency [PR].
Temporary Accommodation in Canada
If you do not have a close relative, I repeat close relative already in Canada, do not expect a stranger or a friend to go all the way for you regarding temporary accommodation till you can sort out yourself. You should prepare ahead and make provisions for a place you can stay pending when you secure your campus accommodation [for students] or a more permanent solution. You could try searching on Airbnb, Kijiji, Trip Advisor for short term rentals before you get to Canada.
If you can not get the place because you are not in the country, consider a budget hotel for a few days. This will allow you to meet with the landlords in person and persuade them that you are real, or so you can let them know you are requesting while present in the country, not outside as they make not take your requests seriously if they know you are not in the country. You can try looking for rental listings on Kijiji, Rentboard.ca. You can also sign up there for rental listing alerts.
As you would know and as it is in almost all places everywhere in the world, rent depends on the area; the nicer and safer it is, the more costly it would be. Just ensure you have money to last you at least a week in a temporary apartment before securing a more permanent solution.
Healthcare Free but not “free” in Canada
After moving to Canada as a permanent resident with health care benefits, you will not have to pay for doctor consultation—but if there is a reason you leave the appointment with a prescription, you could have to pay for the drugs at the pharmacy. Also, dental care—which generally is not publicly funded—can seriously put a hole in your pocket. Not leaving out third-party health insurance (most times provided via your employer) can help offset the often exorbitant prices, residents pay for dental and eye care, as well as medical supplies.
By the way, if by any chance you think you need antibiotics for your ailment, you will need to see a doctor first. Unlike in some countries, antibiotics are not sold over-the-counter.