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Here are some of the most common steps newcomers take after arriving in Canada. Settlement services in your community can help with these and many other steps you may need to take:

After you arrive in a new community, the settlement process can be overwhelming. There are many things to do; from finding a house and applying for Canadian identification, to getting a job and registering your children for school.

This section of the Northwestern Ontario Immigration Portal provides useful tips and resources to help newcomers settle and integrate into their new life in Northwestern Ontario. You can also find information about essential support services that can help you feel at home during your first few weeks

1) Upon arrival in Canada you should:

  • Contact a settlement services agency in your community. They can provide a number or programs and services for newcomers. They can also provide information about where to meet people whose ethnic, cultural or religious background is similar to yours
  • Open an account at a financial institution such as a bank or credit union
  • Apply for private health insurance
  • Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Employers will ask for this number before you can work. You also may need a Social Insurance Number to apply for certain government programs
  • Apply for an Ontario health card (OHIP). If you do not have health insurance or an OHIP card you will be required to pay for your health care expenses
  • Get information about working in Ontario. You may need to have your qualifications assessed or documents translated
  • If you do not already have a job, contact an employment centre to help you in your search


2) In your first few weeks you will likely need to:

  • Exchange your money for Canadian currency
  • Explore your housing options
  • Get a map of Sarnia Lambton and learn about public transportation
  • Learn where to shop for you and your family
  • Get a telephone book from the local telephone company
  • Learn more about travelling in Canada (Transportation)
  • If your children are younger than 18 years of age register them for school.


3) In your first few months you will likely need to:


4) In your first year you may wish to:

  • Apply for an Ontario drivers licence
  • Register for adult continuing education classes.
  • Find a public library and other community services

This Web site is generously supported by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and by the Government of Canada through Citizenship and Immigration Canada.