You’ve made it. After all the dreaming, the planning, and the constant refreshing of your online IRCC account, you’ve finally arrived in Canada.
You’ve done some unpacking, and the roommates in your hostel seem nice. But what to do next?
Here are some of the essential things you’ll need to do during your first week in Canada.
1. Get your SIN
Your Social Insurance Number is a nine-digit number that you’ll need to work in Canada. It’s similar to the PPS number in Ireland, the National Insurance Number in the UK, or the Tax File Number in Australia. If you’re in Canada on a temporary work permit, your SIN will begin with a ‘9’.
You can apply for a SIN at any Service Canada office, and if the queues are short, you should have it all sorted in about 30 minutes. Be sure to bring your work or study permit with you.
Our SIN Canada guide has more information on what you’ll need.
2. Set up a bank account
Banking in Canada is convenient, but many account types will have charges that may be higher than you’re used to paying at home.
Nonetheless, it’s important to get one set up so you can manage bills and debit card payments, and avoid potentially costly withdrawals from your home account.
Bear in mind that each of these banks usually have monthly fees associated with their chequing accounts (known as ‘current accounts’ in other countries). The average Canadian will spend $220 in fees each year.
Read our guide to help you find the best bank in Canada for you.