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Shortly after you arrive in Canada, there are essential things you need to do.


1. Reach out to a settlement organization. They can help you with many steps in your settlement plan, including language training and finding work. Get started with an immigrant serving organization by doing a Gateway Assessment (English), Portail (Français) or by calling 403-265-1120. Consider doing a language assessment by doing a CLARC Registration.  


2. Apply for Canadian photo identification, such as a driver's license, which you should always carry with you.


3. Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), a nine-digit number needed to get a job in Canada or access government programs and benefits.


4. Apply for a public health insurance card to get taxpayer-funded health care. In Alberta, this is called an AHCIP card. Your work, study or visitor permit must be valid for at least six months, or you must be a permanent resident to be eligible for an AHCIP card.


5. If you do not receive one in the mail within six months of arrival, apply for a permanent resident card. This is an essential travel document and your proof of permanent resident status.


6. Rent or buy a home or explore other housing options.


7. Open a Canadian bank account and apply for a credit card to start your credit history in Canada. This will make it easier for you to get a loan or mortgage in Canada.


8. Exchange your money for Canadian currency at any Canadian bank. Most businesses in Canada accept Canadian cash or credit card.


8. Get a map of your area and find out about public transportation. In Calgary, most newcomers are eligible for

the Fair Entry program.


10. Contact a school or school board to register your children in school.

12. Get an Alberta ID or Drivers License at any Alberta Registry shop.

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