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How to Start Your Life in Canada: Banks, Apartments, Phone, Jobs – Complete Guide for Newcomers

How to Start Your Life in Canada: Banks, Apartments, Phone, Jobs – Complete Guide for Newcomers


So you’ve finally, after weeks and weeks
maybe months of planning and hard work, you’ve stepped foot in Canada, visa in hand
and the whole country at your fingertips. You’ve made it. You’ve moved here. Now
what?.. That was me 15 months ago and now I’m here to help you make those crucial
first steps after you’ve touched down and gotten your visa. We’re gonna go
through… everything – From the important first things to do just when you arrive,
what phone carrier to go with, apartments, banks, driver’s license, learning
languages and how to get a job. Some of these things are a bit more complicated
than if you were just a Canadian citizen like the driver’s license, banks and
language parts, so this video will hit all the points an expat needs to know. If
you’re just beginning your journey and you haven’t gotten your working holiday
visa yet, I’ve explained every little detail to do with that in part one of
this series right… here (top right) so give that a watch first and come back. This is How to
Move to Canada part two, so if you found this video helpful hit subscribe for
more guides coming up, and if you have any questions feel free to ask them in
the comments section down below, or check out the Moving2Canada Facebook group
I’ve linked in the description. They’ll probably be able to answer your
questions faster than I can. Again just disclaiming that any recommendations in
this video are based on my own personal experience, and this video isn’t
sponsored in any way. And I wish it was. (Who wouldn’t) so let’s go. Social Insurance Number (SIN) The absolute number one priority after touching down in Canada is getting your social
insurance number you will need this for anything remotely important like
applying for a bank getting a phone number etc so you need to get this as
soon as possible so you’re able to go do everything else you’re able to get your
social insurance number at any Service Canada office arriving in Toronto it’s
right at the airport why I said just start the immigration and if you come in
a Montreal Montreal has them in the city I’ve linked a site in the description
that will help you find the nearest one Museum when you do go there make sure to
bring your passport and your wife Spanish as these will be your quiet no
photocopies allowed phone how are you gonna find an apartment without a number
to reach you now to cual your expectations right from the get-go
Canadian phone plans are garbage horrendous absolute bollocks whole
telecom industry in Canada is monopolized by the big three who don’t
compete amongst themselves so they can keep prices
hi they’re all ridiculously expensive they give you very little for your money
and the prices vary from province to province for example Ontario and BC are
quite pricey with Quebec being more affordable and Saskatchewan being very
very cheap this is because those provinces have actual competition with
Saskatchewan having a province brawn telecom called sasktel if you decided to
move to Saskatchewan then definitely go with them Sasuke for everywhere else
don’t even bother checking the p3 del Rodgers Telus
them and also avoid Fido at all Kong they are the worst I went with them when
I was on exchange here four years ago and they were awful I paid $50 plus tax
for one gigabyte won it was nothing and when I tried to cancel my month-to-month
plan at the end of April they ended up canceling my plan a day before they said
they were going to and then also proceeded to try and charge me for the
entire month of May when they won even dreamy service avoid like the place
okay so actual options definitely bring your own phone and stick to simile
montemagno plans it doesn’t lock you in and lets you keep costs down I recommend
going with Kudo I’ve been with them since I arrived the service is good and
I currently pay $49 plus tax so total 56 dollars for six gigabytes of data
unlimited calls and unlimited tax including international it’s been more
than enough for me and if you use my referral code right here you’ll get $50
off your next bill there are cheaper subsidiary of Telus so they have good
coverage and they’re available pretty much all over Canada for Ontario there’s
also freedom mobile which is another low-cost carry so check that out and
pair and see what works for you yeah it’s way too nice to be in here doing
this video let’s go outside let’s go outside this is Bella this is much better I can
do this alright let’s go let’s continue so apartments this is a topic so massive
I’m gonna do a whole video dedicated to the subject but the main site you needed
no rentals is qgg CA ki j IJ a dot CA this is basically the gum tree of Canada
for any Australians watching or the Craigslist of Canada for an Americans
Craigslist also exists and is worth checking out as well but most people put
all this stuff on Kijiji this should also be apartment and house made
Facebook groups for your city I’ve linked the Montreal ones down below now
those are places where you can find apartments but what about inspecting
them and deciding whether to move in let me give you just a couple bits of advice
based on my own personal experience ah DC or her shows a apartments our ground
floor apartments I personally avoid these as if you live in a built-up areas
such as Montreal where housing is densely packed in every building is at
least three stories basically no light enters the apartment apart from the
rooms with south-facing windows I’ve been known for two months and I can
confirm the common areas were almost completely dark it’s dark gloomy and
depressing avoid it the same goes the basement and half basement apartments
before moving here I didn’t even know these existed and still don’t know why
they exist why why would you do this to yourself the same goes for bedrooms with
no windows don’t do it don’t do it we actually do have a windowless bedroom in
our apartment we just use this for storage but imagine sleeping in here you
don’t know when to wake up it’s soul destroying I did it not in this room but
in like another apartment for two months don’t do it do not do it I thought I
could handle it for a few months but I couldn’t sure there are huge savings on
our DC apartments compared to higher-level apartments but the effect
it has on your well-being insanity is not worth it especially for windowless
bedroom stick two bedrooms with windows and upper level apartments ideally third
floor if you live in Montreal because as you
see we get roof access and it’s dope sunsets from here are pretty sweet and
just uh I know it’s a nice thing to have roof access this whole white thing is
something I’ve never had to deal with in Australia because even at ground level
there’s like everywhere but in Canada light becomes precious in the winter and
the price premium is what if you’re in Montreal it’s still dirt cheap anyway
you can save money in other ways other things worth mentioning electricity is
called hydro in Canada so ask if that’s included or not as bills can vary
dramatically between summer and winter which can be dollars and cents in the
summer and up to hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the winter this has been
nice there’s been pretty nice don’t you think
I needed this let’s continue this downstairs okay so moving on thanks this
was a very frustrating process when I did it so another crappy thing about
Canada it is the norm to charge a ten to twenty dollar monthly fee for a debit
account yes the banks charge you money to access your own money this is a great
country isn’t that great also as a new arrival you’re automatically ineligible
for pretty much every bank account in Canada don’t even think about going to
tangerine I tried and it was way too much of a hassle and to meet the
requirements it’ll cost you more than any fees you’ll save what you need to
get is something called a newcomers to Canada account these are accounts where
the general requirements such as a Canadian driver’s license
work history bank check are waived and you get a debit account for free for
the first year after that you need a minimum balance of like three to four
thousand dollars to waive the fee a bunch of different banks often newcomer
accounts but the only month worth looking at are the ones from the Bank of
Montreal BMO and CIBC they both offer their debit accounts for free for one
year and Bank of Montreal also offers a credit card where you can get four
percent cashback for the first four months up to $125 and then it’s one
percent cashback after that it’s not worth going with any of the airline
points airline miles credit cards in Canada as they don’t offer good value
compared to the cashback ones transferring your money from home to
Canada so I’m assuming you didn’t I hope you didn’t bring all your cash in
your luggage on your way to Canada and most your money is still in your home
country in your bank account and you a transfer that without losing too much in
fees so the best method of doing this will vary from country to country but
for Australians what I recommend is applying for a city bank plus debit card
before you leave Australia this is the ultimate debit card for travelling as
there are no fees and you get an exchange rate very close to the actual
exchange rates I have been using this card for all of my travels for the past
four years and haven’t had any issues with the bank and when you do have issue
say if you lose your card or anything the customer service is fantastic super
quick and very helpful one time an ATM ate my card and they send me one within
a day or two super quick and I’m not even paying any fees for this service
it’s great when you want to move your money into Canada or when you’re just
traveling in general you transfer the money from your Australian bank account
to the city bank account and then take that Citibank card go to an ATM in
Canada withdraw the cash from the ATM and then deposit the cash into your
Canadian bank account all you pay is the withdrawal fee from the ATM and that’s
it the best way to get the most money from you money other options I’ve had
recommended quite a lot for other countries include transferwise when you
do this process it also helps quite a lot to keep an eye on the fluctuating
exchange rates I generally found that the exchange rate would always spike on
a certain day of the week for me that was Tuesday I don’t know if that’s an
actual thing or if it changed but that was what I experienced driver’s license
so if you have a driver’s license from your home country and it’s recognised in
Canada link below you’ll be able to drive on it for the first six months
without doing anything at all after that you’ll have to apply for a Canadian
driver’s licence or exchange your arms the first thing to look for is if your
country has an exchange agreement in place with the province you’re moving to
yes that’s right not with Canada but the province it’s best to treat each
province as its own separate country just for your own sanity or Australians
we have an exchange agreement with Ontario but not with Quebec great right
makes so much sense so provided you have an Ontarian address you can exchange
your Australian license for Ontarians if
you’re someone who paid for a 10-year license back home don’t worry you’ll get
it back after you leave or you can request a new one without paying for it
again when you write back home if you’re in a province with an exchange agreement
with your country you’ll have to do a driving test links for those below
languages in mostly Canada you only need to speak English to get a
job in Quebec you’ll need to be at least at professional watch proficiency /
bilingual for pretty much any job especially graduate roles only
exceptions being in IT and the video / entertainment industry if you can find
work somewhere you’re eligible for heavily discounted French language
courses at these french language learning centers around Montreal one of
them being the Santos on TV which gives you a two month intensive French
language course for $70 very cheap for both languages the most important thing
is your speaking ability and for that I highly recommend going to language
meetups this is a great way to practice and also
to meet some new friends mundo lingo is one of the most well known language
meetups with meetups in Montreal and Toronto although it is basically a
networking event it’s great for practice if you’re just starting out and just
want to practice basic conversation it’s basically a language meetup at a bar
well it’s good for basic practice after a while you might find yourself
repeating the same stuff over and over and over again bonds your TV on dude
let’s get you paid for car light well Quattro atom energy I’m already at it
says the rides that there are and while that’s good for basic just networking it
becomes less practice and more rote memorization and repetition once you’re
at that stage I highly recommend going to language meetups in your area like
the ones on meetup calm I found them to be way better for actually testing your
skills once you get to a higher level as I’ve gone into really deep conversations
that have challenged me linguistically a lot more often at these events compared
to mundo lingo which has a lot of people who just do the rounds with kind of like
shallow surface level conversation it’s also a lot more quiet than a noisy bar
it helps comprehension ate a lot jobs so this is something I’m
struggling with at the moment check my previous video basically you can try to
find a graduate job in Canada it’s gonna be extremely extremely
difficult HR will routinely throw away your CV because your degree is in
Canadian and you have no Canadian work experience even though your degree might
be from a better University than the ones you’re competing with and your
overseas experience is valuable just to cut down on the amount of applications
to go through sounds great right that isn’t discrimination at all Canada
is so nice the main websites to go through are
indeed see a job you like oh is quite good monster and Linkedin angellist is
also good if you’re looking for startups but really if you want a job in your
field it’s easier just to know somebody this is the same in pretty much every
country on planet earth but in a foreign country you have everything going
against you so you’re gonna need to pull every single string to make this work
you need to work hard and try and meet as many people as you can as soon as you
touch down right off the bat make friends with your roommates friends if
you have any definitely have roommates if you move to a foreign country go to
meetups like mundo lingo others Omnicom and also go on to LinkedIn find the
companies you want to work at and personally reach out to employees not HR
but actual employees and awesome art for a coffee do whatever you can to grow
your network and say yes to every opportunity that comes your way why not
to get yourself killed of course but saying yes to every opportunity helps a
lot when you’re new to a country this goes for jobs but also life in general
one very important note with job applications if you’re here on a working
holiday visa do not mention it on your job application the red flag all they
need to know if they ask is that you’re legally allowed to work in Canada just
say you move to Canada and in any interview say you intend to stay here I
actually do intend to stay here so it’s not issue for me but if you’re on sudden
just keep your lips sealed and don’t mention it most employers won’t be
willing to hire and take the time to train you if you’re gonna leave up to
two years unless if you want just a service retail job or work in the ski
fields this is an extremely uphill battle and you’re gonna need to do
everything right to make it work last thing permanent residency this is
something that you’ll need to do if you intend to stay in kind of beyond the
length of your working holiday visa if you have enough points for Express entry
through thing like a full-time job and a university
degree process can be as quick as six months I will do a video on this in
detail after I’ve done it myself just like the honeymoon for Canada part one
oh now I’ve just got a link in the description for the official info well
that’s it hopefully you’re ready to get your life started in Canada it’s that
like button if you found this video helpful I’ll be doing more in depth
videos on things like finding an apartment in Montreal which is really
complicated and weird and confusing so I’ll break it down how to get a job and
the permanent residency process from A to Z so definitely subscribe so you
don’t miss out on those by the end of it I want this town 11 everything you need
to know about moving in Canada and I think I’m getting that I’m making
progress let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments down below and
I’ll see you in the next video there’s one last thing before you go I’d like to
announce that I finally started selling photo prints it’s something I’ve been
wanting to do for ages but I wanted to make sure I got it right I had found a
photo lab that I’m super happy with and I’m honestly so stoked about how well
these turned out it’s so sharp and the colors are so accurate there’s gonna be
over 20 different prints off the sale shipping internationally in both 8 by 12
inch this size and 12 by 18 inch so basically a 4 and a 3 in your choice of
either Mac or metallic archival photo paper I personally love the metallic
just because of how rich and how deep the colors and the blacks are as soon as
I pull this out of the case and saw it for the first time I was just like yes
yes a hundred times yes I put a ton of time into these videos I think the loss
how to move to Canada video took over fifty nine hours yeah a ton of time so
if there’s any photos on the Shonda Co slash store that take your fancy I would
really appreciate the support thank you

58 thoughts on “How to Start Your Life in Canada: Banks, Apartments, Phone, Jobs – Complete Guide for Newcomers”

  1. Hey, great video, love the production quality! I found your review of the major Canadian telecom carriers and banks to be very well researched. I can't believe the amount of depth you included in this video. Keep up the excellent work!

  2. Is it still difficult getting a graduate job/role with a masters degree? I'd hope that would help! 😛

  3. Hey man, hope Montreal is doing you well! Update: I’m here! Officially in Calgary AB! Your videos helped calm my nerves and prep me so much! I’m in a hostel for a week but I’ll be looking for a room to rent after this week! I’m inspired! Thanks man. God bless!

  4. This video has been so helpful thank you so much for the great tips please do a video on apartment hunting in montreal I will be waiting for that one

  5. A heartfelt thank you! Is people like you who document and share their experiences that allow people like me who have no knowledge or experience in travelling especially to countries were they might live for the rest of their life, a little bit easier, I'm nearly done with University and been wanting to travel and potentially move to a new country (for a long time) and been looking at videos all day until I stumbled open this gem that is your video so helpful and eye opening, I wish more people did their "how to/move to" the same way you do it. Really appreciate it. Hope to see more in the future. Also subbed and liked. Keep it UP!

  6. Love you soooooooooo much.
    Pls how much cash can i hold by law to enter canada for first time as working permit holder??????
    Pls response!!!

  7. This VIdeo was so far the best vid for anyone thinking to move to Canada (like me). Hopefully trying to move by next year fingerscrossed.

  8. Ayy glad I found your channel! I'm moving to Canada soon, still debating between Montreal/Toronto, but I would really like to try Montreal first since cost of living is much cheaper and I'd like to have a go learning French. I'm also Australian and I did civil engineering as well, have a few years experience (I'm 27) so I got PR with express entry 🙂 just going through the immigration application process now. Hope you do some more vids, would love to see the apartment video, would be good if you could break down the different areas of Montreal.

  9. Complete informative video. If everything goes right, I will be moving to Montreal in November. Is it the right time to move there as my college is going to begin in January?

  10. Please make a video on how to get citizenship in Montreal esp as it is different than other provinces. Willing to go to Concordia university Montreal for undergrad in bachelors of commerce in management information technology. Hope to get decent a job after undergrad

  11. bro m in 12th standard and looking for nxt September intake for Canada I'll be applying for journalism Bachelor's can u tell me the fees per semester and all details for an international student or can u make a video on it ! for bachelor's only! thank you!

  12. Immigration process is way longer in Quebec, l'v got my UCI from April 2017 and nothing further has happened as of yet. Frustrating. But your video is great my friend, keep good work up.. regards.

  13. Hey lashan! Really informative video and links. I am planning to immigrate with my husband and 10 months old son. We both are masters and plan to move either to Australia or Canada. What would you suggest in terms of job hunt, career progression, life style and safety. Would really appreciate your response. Thanks.

  14. I just moved into Canada yesterday.
    I’m an international student and I would love you to recommend me a Banking institution that is good for students

  15. I'm from New England, in process of applying for working holiday visa for Canada. This vid has been really helpful thanks a bunch!!

  16. I hope you help people realize that Montreal is just one city in the province of Quebec ( we have 10 provinces and 2 territories)in the country of Canada. Quebec is lovely but it is a bit estranged from the rest of Canada.Some taxes are different .

  17. Hello,
    I got the COPR and am planning to do a soft landing via the US-Canada land border to get the PR. We will use our friend's address for PR Card
    delivery purposes and have a plan to move to Canada in the next 1-2 years. We would like to return back to the US once the PR formalities
    are done but want to finish the task which will ease our permanent movement to Canada in the future. As per our understanding, we should
    get the

    1. PR (Apply for PR card)

    2. SIN,

    3. Medical Insurence (State Sponsor)

    4. Canada Driver License,

    5. Bank Account and

    6. Credit card.

    Could you please let us know what are the different tasks we should aim
    to finish before returning to the US and how long(number of working day)
    may it take?

    Also, do we need to carry our Passport to every office for the above-mentioned tasks or COPR(singed and stamped) is good enough? Can I
    leverage US driving license instead of my passport?

    Looking forward to the response, It will help us to plan our visit to
    Canada.

  18. Hello,
    I got the COPR and am planning to do a soft landing via the US-Canada land border to get the PR. We will use our friend's address for PR Card
    delivery purposes and have a plan to move to Canada in the next 1-2 years. We would like to return back to the US once the PR formalities
    are done but want to finish the task which will ease our permanent movement to Canada in the future. As per our understanding, we should
    get the

    1. PR (Apply for PR card)

    2. SIN,

    3. Medical Insurence (State Sponsor)

    4. Canada Driver License,

    5. Bank Account and

    6. Credit card.

    Could you please let us know what are the different tasks we should aim
    to finish before returning to the US and how long(number of working day)
    may it take?

    Also, do we need to carry our Passport to every office for the above-mentioned tasks or COPR(singed and stamped) is good enough? Can I
    leverage US driving license instead of my passport?

    Looking forward to the response, It will help us to plan our visit to
    Canada.

  19. Hello,
    I got the COPR and am planning to do a soft landing via the US-Canada land border to get the PR. We will use our friend's address for PR Card
    delivery purposes and have a plan to move to Canada in the next 1-2 years. We would like to return back to the US once the PR formalities
    are done but want to finish the task which will ease our permanent movement to Canada in the future. As per our understanding, we should
    get the

    1. PR (Apply for PR card)

    2. SIN,

    3. Medical Insurence (State Sponsor)

    4. Canada Driver License,

    5. Bank Account and

    6. Credit card.

    Could you please let us know what are the different tasks we should aim
    to finish before returning to the US and how long(number of working day)
    may it take?

    Also, do we need to carry our Passport to every office for the above-mentioned tasks or COPR(singed and stamped) is good enough? Can I
    leverage US driving license instead of my passport?

    Looking forward to the response, It will help us to plan our visit to
    Canada.

  20. Hey Lashan …. Thanks for the video really informative… I have got a full Queensland licence & I am moving to Canada but its expired… Can I still transfer it to Canadian licence

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