Moving to Canada: We know Canada is a melting pot of cultures because it invites immigrants from all over the world.
At the same time, immigrants in Canada eventually integrate into the country’s distinct culture and way of life to become Canadians.
Whether you are coming to Canada temporarily or permanently, below are 7 things you should know before moving to Canada.
1. Health Care is not exactly ‘free’
You will have access to free doctor visits if you become a permanent resident of Canada, but you will need to pay for prescribed medicines.
Similarly, dental treatment, which is typically not covered by the government, can severely deplete your finances.
Third-party health insurance can help offset expensive costs Canadians incur for dental, eye care, and prescription medications.
In most cases, employers help cover this insurance.
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2. Tipping is appreciated
Tipping is valued and expected in Canada, especially in restaurants, hair salons, and taxis.
Although it may add extra cost to your bill, it is highly appreciated.
It is appreciated because, in some provinces, restaurant waiters are paid less than the minimum wage with the hope that tips from customers will make up the difference.
3. Build your credit score
Canada is a credit-based economy. In essence, this implies that individuals use their credit cards to make purchases and then pay off the entire balance either at once or over a billing cycle.
So, when you get your first credit card, start by paying for small purchases like groceries or phone bills, and make sure to pay off the entire debt by the end of the monthly cycle. It will assure that you establish your credit history gradually.
4. Phone and internet plans are expensive
The cost of cell phone plans is among the highest in the world for Canadians. There are prepaid and pay-as-you-go plans.
However, the majority of Canadians buy their phone subscriptions under contracts. The monthly cost of these individual phone plans can range from $50 to $100.
In most cases, you can add a wireless home internet plan with your phone.
The bill amount will depend on your internet speed; regardless, most plans range between $60-$100.
5. High cost of living
Research the average cost of living in your new city before you relocate; it can help you save on unexpected expenses.
For example, renting the downtown regions of Toronto and Vancouver is very pricey.
In comparison, Montreal has rent control, making renting affordable, but it also has lower incomes.
You can use this website to identify and compare the cost of living for various Canadian cities.
6. You can drive on your home country’s license for 60 to 90 days
If your driver’s license from your home country is valid, you can use it for your initial 60-90 days to drive in Canada.
However, the exact number of days permitted varies based on your province of destination.
Recommendation is get ‘international version’ of your driving license from your home country’s licensing authority.
Furthermore, it would be helpful to obtain a copy of your driving history or “driving extract” from your country’s licensing authority if you plan to drive in Canada.
Moreover, it will help you when applying for your Canadian driving license and insurance.
7. Be prepared for the weather
Depending on your location, you can experience the harshest winter to the warmest summer.
Unless you are in British Columbia, you’ll most likely experience snowy winters.
Although it is hard to predict how cold or warm the weather can get, you can manage regardless of the weather with correct clothing and preparation.
To understand how different the weather, culture or population can be between provinces, you can refer to the comparison of Toronto and Vancouver.
Moving to a new country comes with supersizes. You can make the most of your time in Canada by learning about its culture and way of life before moving.