Important things to do after you arrive

In your first week

Get internet access and a mobile phone

The internet makes it easy to find information, apply for services, and more. If you don't have internet access where you're living, most libraries will let you use a computer and access the internet for free.

To stay in touch with family and friends, consider getting a mobile phone with a local Canadian phone number. You can set up a mobile service plan with one of Canada's service providers Opens in a new window..

Apply for your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

You'll need a SIN to get a job or open a bank account. Apply in person at your nearest Service Canada Centre Opens in a new window. and make sure you bring the required documents Opens in a new window. with you.

If you have Permanent Resident Status, you'll get your Permanent Resident Card in the mail after you arrive to Canada. For more information about arriving for the first time into Canada, visit immigration and citizenship Opens in a new window..

Set up your finances

As soon as you arrive, you should open a bank account, like the CIBC Smart™ Account for Newcomers. With your account, you can pay bills, get your paycheque deposited automatically and access your money at any time. You'll also get a debit card so you can make everyday purchases in-store and online.

Apply online for a CIBC Smart Account for Newcomers  in a few easy steps.

Once you've set up an account, you may want to start tracking your spending. Building a budget is a great way to help you understand the costs of living in Canada and take charge of your finances. We can help.

Try our newcomer budget calculator.

Protect yourself with medical care

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents get public health insurance to cover their medical care. You must apply through your provincial or territorial government Opens in a new window.. If you can’t get public health insurance immediately, you can apply for temporary private health insurance Opens in a new window..

Get help finding a doctor by contacting free newcomer services near you Opens in a new window.. If you need urgent medical care and you don't have a family doctor, visit a walk-in clinic or hospital. Find a dentist by contacting a dental regulatory authority or association in your province or territory Opens in a new window.

In your first month

Find a permanent home

When you first arrive in Canada, you may be staying with relatives or friends or in a hotel. For information about renting Opens in a new window. or buying Opens in a new window. a home of your own, go to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Opens in a new window..

We can also help you buy a home in Canada. Learn more about our mortgage programs for newcomers.

Register your children for school

All children living in Canada are entitled to a free elementary and secondary school education. Contact your local school to begin the registration process. You'll need to provide your address, your child's birth certificate and proof of their immunizations. Some schools will test your child’s math and English language skills to see if extra support would be helpful.

Look for work

A good place to start your job search is your local Service Canada Centre Opens in a new window.. Agents can share lots of helpful information, offer interview training and help you with your résumé. You can also access the online job bank Opens in a new window..

In your first year

Get a driver's license

If you have a driver’s license from your home country, you may be able to legally drive in Canada for a short time. To get your provincial or territorial driver's license, you'll need to take a written test and road test. Each province and territory has its own application process Opens in a new window..

Improve your language skills in English and French

Your ability to talk to other people is important. Good communication will make it easier for you to find work, do your banking and shopping, get medical attention, make new friends and more. If you don't speak English or French fluently, you may qualify for free classes through the Government of Canada Opens in a new window..

Get to know your community

Public libraries, community centres and cultural associations offer helpful information and have activities you can join. Taking part in community events is a great way to build new friendships and quickly adjust to your new home.

Your questions answered

Let's get in touch

Call us anytime

Book a meeting

Visit a branch or ATM