Are you wondering if moving to Ontario is a good idea? Let’s put it this way: if you are looking for a place with stunning nature, great job opportunities, and free healthcare, then, yes, living here is excellent. The second-largest Canadian province has so much to offer, and you will fall in love with it in no time. Before you start packing your suitcases, there are a few things you should know before relocating here.
With a population of 14.57 million people, Ontario is the most populous province in the country. The official language is English, while another official language in the country is French. Its major cities are Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, Brampton, and Hamilton. As in the rest of the country, the official currency is Canadian Dollar.
#1 Before You Relocate to Ontario, Consider Contacting a Settlement Agency in Canada
Those who are thinking about relocating to Ontario should consider finding a reliable settlement agency. These agencies help newcomers to find all information needed to start a life in the second-largest Canadian province.
An Agency is There for All That You Need
Services offered by settlement agencies will make relocation easier and less stressful. They can help you in settling in your new community, finding a job, and housing. Those who have kids could get assistance regarding childcare, schooling options, and information about social services and healthcare. The most significant thing is that settlement agencies’ services are free and available in multiple languages and in most communities in the province.
#2 Get Your Residence Visa on Time
Along with Australia, Canada receives the most immigrants per capita every year. More than 200,000 people enter to become permanent residents. Each person that gets permission to enter the country as a permanent resident receives a Permanent Resident Card and has almost all rights as citizens of Canada.
Find Out Under Which Category You Should Submit Your Application
Before you start preparing for the application process, make sure to confirm under which category you can apply. Among others, there are Provincial Nomination, Skilled Worker Class Immigration, Family Class Immigration, and Business Class Immigration category.
How to Apply For the Permanent Residency
To obtain a permanent resident visa, one must contact the consulate or an embassy of Canada. When it comes to requirements, each individual interested in getting a permit needs to provide a medical certificate, and criminal record checks, to fill and submit an application, pay the application fee, and schedule interviews with immigration representatives.
Keep in mind that depending on the immigration category, you may need to provide additional documentation, including diplomas, certificates, education degrees, and personal identification documents. Additional fees may be required too.
According to Statement.or, once you’ve submitted all necessary documents to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, it will take around a month and a half to get your Permanent Residence Card.
Remember that the mentioned period relates to ideal conditions, while the experience has shown that you’ll need a few months to become a permanent resident. Therefore, you should contact the Canadian embassy. Based on the immigration category under which you want to apply, find out how long it will take to get your permanent residency.
#3 Other Important Documents
After relocating to Ontario, you will need to go through some administrative procedures. It means that you will have to apply for the Health Insurance Plan and driver’s license.
The Benefits of Having Ontario Health Insurance
In order to get a health card, each individual who receives permanent residency and has all documents needed to get a Health Card should apply for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Keep in mind that getting a Card does not happen right away. Every new resident needs to wait for it for three months.
When having a health card, all your visits to clinics and emergency rooms, appointments with doctors, surgeries, and medical tests will be covered. Meanwhile, you can buy private insurance or consider low-cost or even free services at some Community Health Centre.
Applying for Driver’s License
Those who are thinking about driving in the province and looking for the best overseas vehicle shipping services should also think about getting Ontario’s drivers licence. Before you receive a province’s driver’s license, you can use your current, valid license for 60 days. After that period, you have to start using a province’s driver’s license.
To apply for a full license, you need to make an appointment with the Ministry of Transport. You will also need to pay a fee and go to the DriveTest Centre or Travel Point and pass a specific knowledge test and road test. The process will depend on where you were licensed before and how long you have been driving.
On the other hand, those who are going to use public transportation should know that the transit system is divided into Conventional and Specialized services. Conventional services function during fixed hours while specialized offer door-to-door services that are especially suitable for people with disabilities.
Changing Address Is a Must When Moving to Ontario, Canada
Relocating to any of the province’s cities means that you have to change the address in all your documents and official services. The good news is that there is the MovingWaldo, an app for address changes. It’s free, and it is quite helpful because it informs all relevant institutions that you have changed your address.
#4 Housing Options and Cost of Living in the US vs. Canada
There are three housing options in the province – you can either find temporary housing, rent, or buy a property. Those who are interested in temporary housing should visit Settlement.org or the Housing Help Association of Ontario.
On the other hand, to rent a place, you must fill a rental application, sign a lease agreement, and give a deposit. Paying the rent will most likely be in the form of a cheque.
Those interested in buying a property should know that home buying is under the jurisdiction of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. To purchase a house, you will have to get a loan from the bank or have enough means to pay the full cost of the home, including all fees and taxes.
When it comes to the cost of living, the US is more affordable; however, Canada offers other benefits. Free healthcare, better subvention of post-secondary schools, and maternity leave are just some of the things that make it worthwhile to relocate to Canada.
The main difference between the cost of living is that Canadians spend less on long-term life events; Americans spend less on everyday costs, including housing and groceries.
Housing Prices in Toronto
Toronto is the capital city of the second-largest Canadian province, and one of the best places to live in Ontario. Therefore, many people are interested in knowing if living in Toronto is pricey, especially when it comes to renting or buying a place. According to specialized website Numbeo.com, renting a one-bedroom apartment will cost you around $1,500. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a home you’ll need, on average, $675 per square foot.
#5 Moving With Kids? These Are Schooling Options
Those who are moving with kids should know that the second-largest Canadian province offers three schooling options. Your children can go to a public or a private school, or to be homeschooled.
Public schools are divided into elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools. Children who go to primary and secondary schools can choose between English, French, and Catholic education programs.
#6 How to Get a Job in the Second Largest Canadian Province
Finding a job in the second-largest Canadian province should not be hard, because many tax-funded programs can help you find employment, teach you how to improve your interviewing skills, and upgrade your resume. There are also a few websites that can be quite helpful in finding the right job, including Ontario.ca and ca.indeed.com.
Welcome to the Province With 250,000 Lakes
Though it might seem that it takes a lot of time and paperwork to become a resident here, trust us, it is worth it. Whatever part of this beautiful province you choose, you’ll not be wrong. Adjusting to a new country can be hard, but Canadians are welcoming to newcomers, and it will be easy to settle in. To make the relocation even easier, you should consider finding a moving company that offers international moving and packing services, and you are ready for a new chapter in a land of 250,000 lakes.