Get access to the internet
The internet makes it easy to find information, apply for services, and more. If you do not have internet access where you are living, look for a nearby library. Most libraries will let you use a computer and access the internet for free.
Apply for important documents
- Permanent Resident Card: As soon as you arrive, you will meet with an immigration officer at the airport and apply for this card.
- Social Insurance Number (SIN): If you want to work in Canada, open a bank account, or access government programs and benefits, you will need a SIN. Apply in person at your nearest Service Canada Centre.
- Health Card: Your health card will give you access to insured health care services. You must apply through your provincial or territorial government.
- Driver’s license: To legally drive in Canada, you will need a valid driver’s licence. This licence can also be used as official photo ID. Each province and territory has its own application process.
Secure your money and valuables
- To keep your money safe, you will want to open a bank account. CIBC offers newcomers to Canada free everyday banking for one year. Find out about our Welcome to Canada Banking Package.
- To keep other small valuables and documents safe, you may want to rent a safety deposit box. If you have a CIBC bank account, you can get $55 back when you rent a safety deposit box.
Take care of your family
- The federal and provincial governments of Canada offer many free services to immigrants. Find out what’s available in your province or territory at the Canada Benefits website and the Government of Canada Immigrant Services site.
- Find out how Canada’s health system works and find a family doctor.
Invest in your success
- If you do not speak English or French fluently, plan to improve your language skills by registering for free lessons offered by the federal government.
- Begin your job search at your local Service Canada Centre. They offer helpful information, plus interview training and résumé help. Plus, they have an online job bank you can use.
- Find out if academic and professional qualifications from your home country are valid in Canada by visiting Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
- If you want to continue studying in Canada, find out what financial assistance is available and talk to us. At CIBC, we can help you manage your money while you are a student. Learn more.
- If you want to start your own business, visit the Canada Business Network. CIBC also has products and services for business owners. Learn more.