Before and After You Arrive Checklists

Before You Arrive Checklist

As you prepare to leave your home country, you may wish to use this checklist provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as a reminder of what you need to do before you arrive in Canada:

  • Gather all of your essential and important documents. Have them translated into English or French.
  • Look into taking English or French lessons through the LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) program. The French version of LINC is called CILC (Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada).
  • Prepare yourself to find work in Canada. Research Canada's labour market and learn about how to go about finding work here.
  • Research the immigrant-serving organizations available where you plan to settle in Canada so that you can contact them soon after you arrive.
  • Consider buying health insurance for the time you are travelling and for the short period before you become eligible for Canada's medicare system.
  • Make sure you know what you can and cannot bring into Canada.
  • Consider living in one of Canada's smaller or medium-sized cities, or in a rural community.
  • Consider the season and weather you will find when you arrive -- and the clothing that you will need.

Preparing as much as possible before you arrive in Canada will help you adjust to your new home and get involved in your new community.

For more information, visit:

After You Arrive Checklist

  • Contact an immigrant-serving organization in your community that will help you get settled.
  • Get a map of your community, and learn to navigate throughout the town.
  • Open a bank account.
  • Look for permanent accommodations.
  • Find someone who will act as a reference or co-signer for your apartment and/or mortgage.
  • Set up essential services such as utilities (water, heat, electricity), insurance and telephone.
  • Register your children in school.
  • Arrange child care for your children if you will be working.
  • Apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18.
  • Find a family doctor.
  • Have your children immunized once you have arrived.
  • Apply for an Ontario driver’s licence.
  • Get licence plates and registration for your car.
  • Visit your communities Public Library, to use the computers, Internet and inquire about library cards.
  • Start looking for a job.
  • Look into having your foreign credentials recognized (if you haven’t already done so).
  • Register for language training to improve your skills or to learn English/French as a second language.
  • Start volunteering to gain Canadian work experience.
  • Contact Welcome Wagon in your community to get your welcoming basket.

To get information on the after you arrive checklist please visit