What to Expect When First Immigrating to Canada.

Posted on August 11, 2016

In many respects, Canada is quite different than other countries (including the United States). Some of the differences are substantial, while others are less significant, but still worth knowing. For any immigrant, regardless of age, learning about the country before immigrating would be a good first step. And there’s much to learn – everything from weather and climate; to health and education; to transportation and finances. For most immigrants, this will be a new way of life.

Canada is considered to be a bilingual country

Officially, Canada has 2 languages (English and French). Not every province is considered to be language-balanced, but about 15% of Canadians can communicate in both languages. Quebec, of course, is mostly French speaking – and the province has some very specific language laws.

Canada is the second biggest country worldwide

Based on landmass, Canada is the second biggest country in the world (Russia is the biggest). But Canada is not dense in population, and the population density is concentrated in the geographic areas close to the USA. Without continuing immigration, the population would likely shrink.

Canadians are known for being polite and proper

Unlike many other societies where people are upfront and straightforward, Canadians are known for their politeness and etiquette - whether it’s a “please”, a “thank you”, or a “sorry”. Good or bad this is a cultural norm that may take getting used to, both in public and private encounters.

Canadians are well educated from coast to coast

According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), Canada is in the top five of most educated countries. For new immigrants, the opportunities are countless, and the options for higher learning are limitless. For those wishing only to study, Canada is ideal.

No smoking in most public places across the nation

Although there are some exceptions, it’s generally illegal to smoke in most public places, and in most cities across the nation. This would include commercial offices; retail stores; hospitals and health clinics; restaurants and even outdoor patios. Smoke is permitted in the privacy of a home.

Canada has a broad universal health-care system

Canadian citizens (and permanent residents) can apply for provincial health insurance coverage. Depending on the province, most of the health-care services are without charge. Short of some specific restrictions, hospital care, health clinic visits, and emergency services are all covered.

Temporary and permanent housing alternatives

In many circumstances, a new immigrant will require temporary housing when first arriving in Canada. The options are many – all depending on the number of people, the budget available, and the services required. Many immigrant organizations and government agencies can assist here.

For a full service approach to immigration, many newcomers have relied on Canada For Me – the specialists in Canadian immigration. The team at Canada For Me handles the administration and paperwork, and manages all of the required applications. Canada For Me also administers more difficult immigration cases, striving for the best possible outcomes for each client.

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