Moving to a new country is a significant step, but it can also be challenging and, at times, overwhelming. Countries have different political systems and social customs, and there’s a lot to learn when you’re settling in a new nation.
Perhaps you’re moving to Canada, a country with the world’s largest landmass – second only to Russia. Canada has two official languages, just over 38 million people, and enjoys a positive relationship with the United States. Although Canada and the U.S. share a similar history, there are some critical differences. Let’s explore things you should know to ensure you’re set up for your new life in Canada.
Learn about Canada’s financial institutions.
The Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), and Royal Bank are the largest banks in Canada. While these banks have many physical branches throughout the country, online banking has become increasingly popular, and there are multiple financial institutions people can consider. The Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) is Canada’s version of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Client’s can enjoy peace of mind when they take out accounts with CDIC-insured banks because if the bank fails, the CDIC insures account holders for up to $100,000.
Multiple traditional and online banks offer credit cards with varying interest rates and fees. Researching the best credit cards in Canada ensures you’ll choose the right credit card for your needs. The Tangerine World Mastercard has no annual fee and offers multiple travel benefits, such as insurance for car rentals and cash back rewards. Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite has an annual fee of $120 but offers four percent cash back rewards on bills and groceries. TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite offers travel rewards points accepted by major airlines such as Air Canada. Your credit history can determine which type of credit card account you qualify for, and the more popular credit cards will also require your annual income to be $60,000 or more.
Canada has universal health care.
Canada’s universal health care system covers all citizens. Permanent residents may also qualify for some coverage. New residents must learn about the health care system and qualify for coverage.
Canada also offers access to affordable prescription medications. Thanks to different online pharmacy options, you can access affordable medications from your home. You can choose from brand-name medications or generic meds. After identifying and purchasing your medication, you’ll need to upload a copy of your prescription. Your medications will then be delivered to your doorstep. The refill process is straightforward and allows you to refill your medication when required.
The UK political system is the model for Canada’s government.
Like the UK, Canada has a constitutional monarchy where citizens elect a prime minister every five years or less. Canada’s government must call an election within five years of an election, but may ask to dissolve parliament at any time after.
The Liberal Party, Conservative Party, New Democratic Party, and Bloc Québécois are the most prominent political parties in the nation. No party needs to win a majority of seats to form the government. When a minority government’s elected, typically, the party with the most seats forms the government. They must then secure support from other parties to pass legislation.
Making social connections will help you feel at home.
Large and small communities have annual celebrations, such as the Muskoka Winter Carnival, Winterlude, and the Calgary Stampede. Engaging in local activities can help you feel like part of your new community and give you a chance to learn about local customs while meeting people in your new home.
Canada’s a large nation with a modest population. It’s a good idea to learn about Canada’s financial institutions, health care system, and government when you move to Canada. Participating in popular community events is also a great way to form connections in your new community.