6 Things you need to know before arriving to Canada

1. Bring or have a credit card. They are are the major means of payment in Canada.

Having a credit history is important if you want to get a credit card, a mortgage, oreven to rent an apartment, rent a car. Consumers who have not had an opportunity to establish acredit history, such as recent immigrants and students, may find themselves at adisadvantage when applying for credit products.

Canadian financial services are credit-oriented. However, financial institutions in Canada generally do notrecognize international credit history, making it hard for recent immigrants, even those with years of stablebanking practices in their own country, to access personal and/or business financing. Lack of a Canadian  credit history is a genuine problem for immigrants trying to settle in Canada, especially entrepreneurs  looking to start a business, as it is a barrier to accessing financing, often preventing newcomers fromintegrating and settling into Canadian society.

2. Credit history is the first thing you need to build in Canada

Credit history or credit report is, in many countries, a record of an individual’s or company’s past borrowing and repaying, including information about late payments and bankruptcy. The term “credit reputation” can either be used synonymous to credit history or to credit score.

In Canadea when a customer fills out an application for credit from a bank, store or credit card company, their information is forwarded to a credit bureau. The credit bureau matches the name, address and other identifying information on the credit applicant with information retained by the bureau in its files.That’s why it’s very important for creditors, lenders and others to provide accurate data to credit bureaus.

This information is used by lenders such as credit card companies to determine an individual’s credit worthiness; that is, determining an individual’s willingness to repay a debt. The willingness to repay a debt is indicated by how timely past payments have been made to other lenders. Lenders like to see consumer debt obligations paid on a monthly basis.

Credit history usually applies to only one country. Even within the same credit card network, information is not shared between different countries. For example, if a person has been living in the USA  for many years and then moves to Canada, when they apply for credit cards or a mortgage in Canada, they would usually not be approved because of a lack of credit history, even if they had an excellent credit rating in their home country and even if they had a very high salary in their home country. An immigrant must establish a credit history from scratch in the new country.  Because if not  is usually very difficult for immigrants to obtain credit cards and mortgages until after they have worked in the new country with a stable income for several years.

Some credit card companies (f.e. American Express) can transfer credit cards from one county to another and this way help starting a credit history, check if your credit company can do before you move to Canada.

3. A car is a necessity:

Enviromentally speaking, I support public transportation with all my heart and had supported with my wallet ( I own an adult trike and use TTC), but life in Canada is more suit to the 4 wheels. Driving less and eliminating “unnecessary” car trips has been one of the leading ways people say they save money.  Driving ourselves to work instead of commuting can be the measurement of promotion or getting fired from work, particularly if the everyday route one takes is prone to traffic jams. Driving is also a lot comfortable than sitting in a bus or standing up in a subway train elbow to elbow with other people.

A car’s comfort, however, varies from place to place. If you live in a region where there is minor or no traffic at all, then you have a painless travel life. You also have an easier alternative to take either your car or public transpo without having to worry which is the fastest. You also don’t have to worry consuming more gas because of traffic and pay for the next time you you fill ‘er up

4.  The cost of insurance is significant:

In Canada, unlike other countries insurance in many cases is highly recommended if not mandatory.  If you own a car, a house or just rent an apartment, it is important to have insurance. It is also important to have health and life insurance. If you own or want to buy and drive car, you are required by law to have at the very minimum, liability insurance.  If you want to take out a loan to buy a car or house, the bank or Mortgage Company will require that you purchase insurance to cover the amount you are borrowing for your car to pay for physical damage to your car, or for the value of the house you are purchasing.  Some landlords require you to have renter’s insurance when you sign a lease.  Life and Health insurance is invaluable, especially when you are in an accident or have a major health issue, and you should have at the very least a life insurance policy to cover the cost of a funeral.  Insurance companies occupy    the best buildings in downtown district.

5.  The Canadian job market is hidden . Canada is experiencing a skills shortage in several industries, and employers may view British nationals with the appropriate skills and experience as a valuable resource. However, the graduate labour market is very competitive, and the current recession is contributing to a challenging climate for both Canadian and foreign jobseekers. Try to build a Canadian employment history , to monitor the Canadian job market  and don’t get stuck in dead end jobs or survival jobs.

Where can you find  work?

•Major industries: trade, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, professional, scientific and technical services, education, health and social care, accommodation and food services.
•Recent growth areas: service industries and information technology.
•Industries in decline: primary sector, manufacturing and utilities.
•Shortage occupations: health sector (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, medical technologists and technicians, nurse aides), management occupations, trade (especially home builders and renovators), occupations related to the oil and gas sector, IT, occupations in social science and government service (including university teachers).
•Major companies: Royal Bank of Canada, Manulife Financial, Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto-Dominion Bank, EnCana, Sun Life Financial Services, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank, BCE, Imperial Oil.
•Search for more companies: Kompas, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Yellow Pages Canada.
•Major cities: Ottawa (capital), Toronto (largest), Montreal, Vancouver.

6.  Network, network and network

Join idustries and association , volunteer, ask for information interview, or take bridging programs through your local community college or settlement agency and of course use social media like linkedin and facebook. the canadian welcomes hight skilled  and skilled worker but canadian companies required canadian employment history. before arriving, try to monitor the canadian job market.

While I wouldn’t recommend starting an online business for everyone, for many people it’s one of the best ways to generate income without a job. It has certainly worked disgustingly well for me. If you’re interested in learning more about this option, please check out Start Your Own Successful Online Business   for details.

Marisol Diaz  is  an experienced workshop presenter, bilingual information designer, info-Preneuer;  career and  a business facilitator . She  has been writing on legal research and Canada immigration law since 2006. contact her @ hinenisyndicator@gmail.com

NOTE: No attorney/client relationship is formed through the submission or viewing of this article. This article is not intended as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. The facts of every case are different and individualized advice should be sought from an attorney before proceeding with any case.

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