it's that time of the year again -- spring is here and summer is near. And a lot of Kabayans are coming here to live and drink beer!
We have been getting a lot questions from newly arrived and arriving immigrants --- from what to do first to how to ice skate. We thought to consolidate all of them and give you the top questions most new immigrants ask.
Getting a SIN.
Your SIN card will be used to apply for jobs and loans. Basically its your equivalent to TAX ID and SSS combined. Because it contains your vital information, always keep it safe and never share it to anyone unnecessarily. It will be explained to you in detail by a Service Canada representative.
Usually, you will be applying for SIN at the airport after you pass through all your immigration requirements. However, Service Canada operates only during office hours which means it closes after 5pm. No worries. If you can't apply at the airport, you can always apply in their offices at your final destination.
How to apply for Health Card.
The reason why we rush to apply is the 3 months waiting period following your registration. Apart from certain exceptions, the RAMQ does not reimburse the cost of the healthcare received during the waiting period; which is why it is advisable to get temporary health insurance (ie: BlueCross) to be used during the exclusion period.
You may need to present proof of residency like a billing statement or contract of lease that would show your name and the address you are residing to prove you are living in Quebec. Most newbies would ask help from friends to vouch that they are living with them. For detailed requirements visit their website at Proof of Residence: health insurance.
What you need: CSW or QSW (if applicable), COPAR, passport, proof of residency
Official Website: RAMQ: Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec
Address: 425 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O #301, Montréal, QC H3A 3G5
How to Apply for Driver's License?
"They may apply for a Québec licence as soon as they arrive in Québec.", according to SAAQ's offcial website.
"Holders of a foreign licence are allowed to drive on Québec roads for 6 consecutive months. After that time, they must hold an international driver's permit, or, if they take up residence in Québec, they must obtain a Québec licence. They may apply for a Québec licence as soon as they arrive in Québec."
Documents Required (according to their website):
Three point five.
Procedure to Exchange your Philippine LTO license
Step 1 – Meet the following conditions:
Step 2 – Schedule an appointment by telephone with a clerk, who will analyze your request
Montréal area: 514 954-7771
Elsewhere in Québec: 1 888 356-6616
Step 3 – Go to the designated service outlet with the original documents requested when you scheduled your appointment.
Step 4 – Pass the proficiency examinations
To help you prepare for the tests, SAAQ recommends you study the following publications:
Step 5 – Pay the applicable fees to obtain your licence.
At our service outlets, we accept payment:
How to Open a Bank Account
To help you narrow down your choices here's a list of the "BIG FIVE" banks of Canada . (note: this is not an endorsement nor have I been paid by these banks to advertise them in this site):
How to get a Canadian mobile number?
I would suggest getting the plans rather than pay-as-you-go types like what we have in the Philippines. It's cheaper in the long run. The plans usually starts around $45 to $55 per month. This plan includes 2-4 Gbs of data, unlimited talk and text, unlimited international text, discounted international talk rates. Again, prices and plan vary among carriers. It is best to find out from your prospective carriers.
Don't know which carrier to select? Here's the top carriers are Bell, Telus, Rogers. Then there's the subsidiaries like Fido, Koodo, etc. I suggest upon arriving to visit the nearest mall near you to explore the options.
(Disclaimer: please note I am not claiming to be an expert to the issues here however, I can only answer basing from my own experience and from that what I have heard from others. This article is intended to be used as general information only, not as legal advice.)
You might be interested to read our previous posted articles.
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