After You Arrive

Here are some important steps that you should take in your first few weeks to start your life in Canada.

1. Seek Settlement Services

Settlement services in New Brunswick are offered by immigrant settlement agencies that want to welcome you and help you become settled in your new home. They are your first stop for help and information about New Brunswick and your community. Most of their services come at no cost to newcomers.

2. Locate Other Essential Services

Find your nearest Service New Brunswick and Service Canada offices, banks, grocery stores, clinics, or hospital. These will be listed in your local telephone book; numbers are also available online.

3. Begin Language Classes

Several agencies in New Brunswick offer language classes (French or English). Some are free for newcomers who qualify; some are available for a fee.

4. Collect Maps and Telephone Directories

Get a copy of the telephone directory which will have local residential and business listings, a map of the city, and information about public transit and transportation.

5. Start Looking for a Home

You will need to do some research on housing to choose a neighbourhood, decide whether to rent or buy, and determine what you can afford.

6. Enrol Your Children in School

Parents in New Brunswick are legally obligated to provide an education for their children until graduation or until the age of 18 by enrolling them in public or private school, or by home schooling them.

7. Open a Bank Account

Exchange your money for Canadian currency and open a bank account. You will need photo identification and a home address to open an account. Learn more about banking in Canada.

8. Continue Your Job Search

Plan your job search, prepare to apply for jobs, and identify places where you can turn for help and support in your search for employment. Learn more about working in New Brunswick.

9. Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is assigned to you by the Government of Canada. You need it to work and receive government benefits. You will receive a wallet-sized card with your SIN on it. This number acts as identification to government services, your employer (after you are hired), and your financial institution for some financial transactions. Otherwise, you are advised to keep your SIN confidential.

10. Apply for a Driver’s Licence or Government Photo ID

Visit any Service New Brunswick location to find out if you can exchange your driver’s license for a New Brunswick licence or if you will need to pass a test first. Your New Brunswick licence also acts as your official New Brunswick government-issued photo identification. If you do not have or need a driver’s licence, you may arrange to have a government-issued photo ID card.

11. Apply for Your New Brunswick Health Care (Medicare) Card

You and your family must apply to the provincial health department for a health card which permits you to receive medical services (Medicare) in New Brunswick at no direct cost to you. You may apply for your Medicare card as soon as you arrive in the province. Not all medical services are free, even with your Medicare card. You may choose to buy health insurance to cover other medical expenses such as dental, physical therapy, prescriptions, eye glass expenses, etc.

12. Apply for Government Benefits

Apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the Goods and Services Tax Credit, and other government income supports for which you may be eligible. You will need a Social Insurance Number.

13. Become Involved in Your Community

The best way to become part of your new community is to become involved. There are community groups and events throughout the province in which you can become involved. Refer to your local immigrant settlement agency for suggestions.

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