New Changes to Canadian Passport Applications

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CIC announced new changes to  Canadian Passport Applications. These changes will take effect on October 20, 2014.

ID Requirements for Adult Applicants

General Adult Applicants (Applicants age 16 and over) will need to provide the proof of identity document issued by a federal or provincial/territorial government authority, or local equivalent abroad, and must contain all of the following elements:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Photo
  • Signature

If an applicant couldn’t provide a single piece of identification that meets all the requirements, then they will be able to provide multiple pieces of ID documents that will fulfill the requirements together. However, all pieces of identification must be linked by at least one common element.

Assume A Relationship Surname on Your New Canadian  Passport

For applicants that are applying for a new passport using an assumed relationship surname that is different from the name by birth or on the citizenship certificate, the applicant will need to submit at least one of the following documents showing the relationship surname that are requesting, issued by a federal or provincial/territorial government authority, or local equivalent abroad, along with the birth or citizenship certificate:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Common-law Relationship Certificate
  • Court Order issued by a court of law in or outside Canada
  • Certificate to dissolve a registered common-law relationship
  • Resumption of Surname Certificate

Legal Name Changes

Applicant applying for a new passport with a legal name change, will need to first modify the proof of Canadian Citizenship to reflect the new legal name.


For more information, please contact us.

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How To Earn A Good Living in Canada

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How To Earn A Good Living in Canada – Think Trades!

If you would like to have a thriving career, great pay and steady employment, then the trades may be an option for you. Construction is booming in British Columbia and across Canada and there are a wide range of employment opportunities to chose from. There is such a high demand for trades (everything from construction and roofing to cooking and hairstyling) that the Canadian Government is providing an Apprenticeship grant where apprentices can receive up to $4,000 in grants to help pay for tuition, travel, tools, or other expenses.

When you have completed your trades training, some occupations can earn $100,000 a year or more. The previous Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who knows a thing or two about making good money, shared with his listeners on his weekly radio show that being employed as a plumber makes more financial sense for some, than attending a prestigious college: “Being a plumber, actually for the average person, probably would be a better deal, because you don’t spend four years spending 40, 50 thousand dollars tuition, and no income,” he says.

If you are new to Canada, you may have skills which you can transfer to a career in the trades.

 What are the trades? 

When most people think of skilled trades, they may think of a plumber or a roofer, but there are more than 200 designated trades in Canada to chose from. There are four main types of trades:

  • Manufacturing can include trades such as: precision metal fabricators, industrial mechanics (millwrights), tool & die makers and others
  • Construction can include jobs like: painters, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, welders, pipefitters, heavy equipment operators and others.
  • Transportation may includes trades such as: aviation technicians, fuel/electrical systems technicians, automotive painters and other occupations.
  • Service trades include florists, horticulturalists, hairstylists, chefs and many more other types of jobs.

How To Start?

Each province in Canada will have their own registration process for the trades. So depending on where you live, you will need to check the process first, before you start work in your region.

With more than 200 trades in Canada to chose from. How do you find the right trade for you? Here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect career.

A Wide Choice Of  Trades

Do you enjoy fixing your car or working in the garden? Do you like to style hair or do home maintenance? Think about what you enjoy doing most in your spare time and this will help guide you to the right trade.

Check out this searchable catalogue of trades:

Try To Pick 3 Trades

This will make it easier for you to find the right occupation. Research the three trades that interest you and find out what type of training is involved, how long the training will take and the expected salary once you start work. This will give you an idea if one of these three trades might be the right fit for you.

Talk To People Who Are Employed In The Trade

When you speak with a person who is currently working in a trade that you are interested in, you can find out the real life expectations of the job. How many hours do they work each day? How much do they earn on a monthly basis (after taxes and expenses)? Do they enjoy their work? Do they have to deal with difficult customers or employers? Is it a high pressure job? These are some of the questions you may want to ask to find out if this trade is the right fit for you.

Depending on where you live in Canada, there are several programs to help new immigrants to start working in the trades.

If you are in British Columbia there is a free program called “Immigrants in Trades Training (IITT)” to find out more information visit:

If you live in another part of Canada, there is a free program, “Careers in Trades” which can also help you find the right trade for you:

The future is bright for the trades and there are unlimited number of opportunities for newcomers in Canada.

Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Immigration Inc.


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What you can bring with you to Canada

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What you can bring with you to Canada?

Whether you are a Visitor, Temporary Resident (student/worker) or a new Permanent Resident, the Government of Canada has certain regulations on what you can and cannot bring (import) into the country.

These restrictions are based on Canada’s laws and are in place to protect the best interests of Canadians.


As a visitor, you can transport specific goods into Canada for your own individual use as “personal baggage”. Personal baggage includes cameras and personal computers, clothing, camping and sports equipment. This category also includes aircraft, vehicles and private boats.

When you arrive at a port of border entry, you must declare all goods you have with you. Border services officers do perform inspections of goods being imported and will want to confirm declarations. If you declare goods when you arrive to Canada and take them back with you when you leave the country, you will not have to pay any duty or taxes.

When you bring in your personal baggage, these goods cannot be:

  • disposed of or left in Canada;
  • used on behalf of a business based in Canada;
  • used by a resident of Canada;
  • be given as a gift to a Canadian resident.

A border services officer may request that you leave a security deposit for your goods. This deposit will be refunded to you when you export (or bring the items with you when you leave the country) the goods from Canada.

If you are asked to leave a security deposit, the border officer will issue a Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit. They will keep a copy of the form and give you a copy of the form for your records. When you leave Canada, you will present your goods and your copy of Form E29B to the border officer who will give you a receipt copy of the form and your security deposit will be refunded by post.


If you would like to bring a gift for a friend in Canada you can. The gift can be Canada duty- and tax-free as long as the gift is worth CAN$60 or less. If the gift’s value is more than CAN$60, you will have to pay duty and taxes on the extra amount. You cannot declare alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or business-related items as presents.

Work or Study in Canada

If you are entering Canada to study or work for less than 36 months, you may be able to temporarily import (or bring with you) personal and household goods (such as appliances, tableware, furniture, silverware and motor vehicles) duty-and tax-free. You can bring these items into Canada as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The goods cannot be used by a resident of Canada
  • You must take all non-consumable items with you when you leave the country at the end of your stay
  • You are not allowed to sell or otherwise leave the goods in Canada.

Temporary Residents Preparing to enter Canada

Prior to your arrival to Canada, you should bring two copies of a list (if possible typewritten) of all items brought into Canada. On your list you should note (if possible) the estimated value, make, model and serial number of each item.

If you are bringing jewelry into the country, it can be a challenge to describe the item accurately. If possible, have your jewelry appraised before you leave your country and bring the document with you to show the border service officer.

New Permanent Residents entering Canada

For information on what you can bring as a new permanent resident, or if you are returning to Canada see the Canadian Border Service Agency’s guide here. If you are entering Canada as a new Permanent Resident the same general restrictions will apply for your entry to the country.

Alcoholic beverages

You must be the minimum age to bring alcoholic beverages into Canada. The age is regulated by each of the provincial or territorial authorities. You must be18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec; and 19 years for the other provinces and territories in Canada.

You can bring with you only one of the following quantity of alcoholic beverages free of duty and taxes:

  • Up to 8.5 litres of beer or ale
  • 1.5 litres (53 imperial ounces) of wine

A total of 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of alcoholic beverages

Tobacco products

You are permitted to bring with you all of the quantities of tobacco into Canada free of duty and taxes:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 200 tobacco sticks
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
  • 50 cigars

Monetary instruments and Cash

If you are bringing into Canada or leaving Canada with currency equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency), you have to report the amount to a border officer when you either arrive or prior to leaving Canada. This policy applies to either cash or other monetary instruments.


They are certain goods which are restricted to bring into Canada. You will have to declare these items when you bring them into Canada and may be required to bring additional documentation with you.

Restricted items in Canada include (but not limited to):

  • Firearms and weapons
  • Explosives, fireworks and ammunition
  • Radio transmitting equipment
  • Items imported for commercial use
  • Goods subject to import controls
  • Prohibited consumer products

Food products, plants, animals and related products

Prohibited Goods

They are certain items which you cannot bring into Canada with you. These items include; obscene material, hate propaganda and child pornography.

Other items which you cannot bring into the country with you:

  • Used or second-hand mattresses
  • Health products (prescription drugs) – In Canada, health products may be regulated differently than they are in other countries. Make sure to check if you are allowed to bring your health products or prescription into the country.
  • Cultural property – Some cultural objects or antiquities which are considered to have historical significance to their country of origin, cannot be imported into Canada without the proper export permits.

For more information on what you can bring with you to Canada during your stay please visit:


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How To Have The Best Job Interview in Canada

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In Canada there are different methods a hiring manager may use to conduct a job interview. If you are outside of Canada, the job interview may take place by telephone or Skype. If you are residing in Canada then most likely the job interview will take place in the office of the company or organization that you are applying for employment.

Job interviews in Canada may be different from interviews in other countries. While it is important to always be

professional and prepared for the interview, in Canada job interviews can be a relaxed two way conversation. The hiring manager will ask you questions and at the end of the interview you will be expected to ask questions to the interviewer. During the interview the hiring manager will want to see your personality and how well you interact with others. Hiring managers place a lot of value on how well a potential job applicant will fit into the workplace and be a part of the team.

Here are top tips for job interviews in Canada:

  • Research the company that you will be meeting with. How long have they been in business? Who are their major customers? Have they received any awards recently?  You should learn more about the company from their website and also look at relevant industry news in Canada.Job interview
  • Make sure you have mapped out where your job interview will be.  You should prepare to arrive at least 15 minutes early.  Make sure you have planned transportation and parking to allow for extra time in case of a delay.
  • Professional dress.  Even if you are applying for a less formal position or the work environment is casual, you will want to dress to impress.  For men that means a shirt with a collar and a tie and for women that can be a long sleeved blouse with skirt or trousers. Keep shoes clean and have a tidy appearance. Before you go into the office, visit a bathroom and make sure you have a neat look. First impressions count.
  • Extra copies of your resume.  Bring with you a neat folder with two extra copies of your resume and one sheet of your references with contact details. You can also include a copy of a reference letter.  This is helpful for the person interviewing you as they may need to share your resume and references with their manager. Providing a list of references  shows the hiring manager you are prepared for the job.

Before you have your job interview, it is important to practice your job interview questions. You can ask a friend to pretend to be the hiring manager and ask you questions. Then when you have the actual  job interview you will feel more comfortable and at ease. But try not to sound too rehearsed.

Common questions that you may have in a job interview in Canada are:

professional dress

  • Tell us about yourself. For this question (and all interview questions keep the answers to 3 minutes long) they want to understand your previous work background. Always keep your answers positive and highlight the projects you did well on.
  • What major challenges and problems did you face at your previous job? You want to answer this question in a positive manner. Highlight how you turned a potentially negative situation and made it into a positive learning opportunity.  For example, “I found that accounting was a challenge for me in my previous job and so I decided to take a class at night to improve my accounting skills. Now I am confident and able to do all of my accounting tasks successfully.”
  • They may ask you “Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” You want to answer this question with a genuine reply and at the same time, respond with an answer which will show your ongoing interest in the company. This is not a question about your personal life, the hiring manager wants to see if you plan on staying with their company long term and what your professional goals are. A good response is that you would like to continue to improve your skills and contribute to the company. Be honest with your response.

Here are some tips of what you do not want to do for your job interview:

  • Don’t be late
  • Don’t answer your phone during the job interview
  • Don’t bring a drink or food with you
  • Don’t stare at the floor or the desk (always make eye contact with the hiring manager)
  • Don’t talk too much

At the end of the job interview make sure to thank the interviewer for their time. Look them in the eyes and tell them that you are very interested in the job.

After the interview, you can send a short thank you email to the hiring manager. In the email, you can thank the hiring manager for their time and share with them that you are ready to make a contribution to the position.

Usually the company or organization will provide you with a date that they expect to make their decision.  If you don’t hear back from them by this date, then you can contact the hiring manger to see if they have made a decision.

If you got the job, congratulations! If you didn’t get the job, you can ask the hiring manager for feedback on your job interview and application. With this feedback you will be able to improve your job interview skills and do an even better interview next time.

Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.


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How immigrants can build their credit history in Canada

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Have you heard other newcomers talking about how difficult it can be to get a credit score in Canada? A credit score is like a financial report card. Creditors (creditors provide short-term loans and mortgages to purchase a home) use this report when calculating your credit-worthiness. If you have a positive credit rating you will be able to obtain a loan, mortgage and other financial products.



How can you build and protect your credit score?

Get familiar with your credit score

Know your credit history and your credit score.

Credit Score

According to Fresh Loan, a credit score is a calculation of your reliability with credit. If you use credit responsibly and pay your bills on time then you should have a good credit score. The companies that send you monthly bills will record how promptly you pay your bills. This will affect your credit score. You can also increase your credit score by getting a small loan, line of credit or credit card, even if you don’t require one. Many immigrants do not borrow because they do not want to have debt, but it can be helpful to have one credit card and to use it for small purchases. Just remember to pay the full balance of the credit card bill on time each month.

There are some banks in Canada that provide a service which transfers your credit score from your home country to the bank in Canada. Check with banks in your area to see if they provide this convenient service.

Review your credit report regularly

Your credit report in Canada is available to look at when you want to.  It is also a good idea to read your bank statements carefully. This can help ensure that there isn’t any incorrect information and that no one else is (fraudulently) using your credit. You can check your credit report for free at Your credit history matters, someday you may need money to buy a car, a home or start a business, so starting to build a good credit score when you arrive to Canada is a helpful idea.

Top tips for healthy credit habits

  • Apply for a credit card. Credit cards can be helpful if you decide
  • credit-history excellent

    to stay at a hotel in Canada,  shop online (some purchases may be protected using your credit card) or rent a car.

  • Keep only one or two credit cards. It will be easier to keep track of spending and also remove some of the risk by fraudulent users. Be aware that different credit cards have different interest rates. If you pay your credit card bill late, you could incur interest which will be added to your monthly bill.
  • Be careful of cash advances or cheques the credit card companies may provide to you, these can be costly and the credit card company can start charging you interest from the moment you withdraw or advance the cash from your credit card.
  • Pay your credit card, household bills and loans by the due date stated on the monthly bill. This will help improve your credit score and help you with future banking in Canada.

Remember to be aware and cautious of who you give your credit card numbers to and who has access to your credit card. Credit card companies may provide some protection if your card is lost or stolen, but you are responsible for who has access to your credit.

Speak with a bank or credit union in Canada and they can provide you with more information about credit cards and your credit score in Canada.

Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.

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Steps & Tips for obtaining your Citizenship

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Steps & Tips for obtaining your Citizenship

Note: The Canadian Citizenship Act recently changed, check out the new rules for obtaining the Canadian Citizenship.

How to obtain Canadian Citizenship is one of the most frequently asked questions by our clients. Here is a summary of the main steps and some tips on how to achieve Canadian Citizenship.

  • Get your Permanent Residency – to be eligible for Canadian Citizenship, you must being born in Canada, have a parent that is Canadian or first be granted Permanent Residency. Canada has over 60 programs for Permanent Residency, most of which focus on Skilled workers with a job offer or experience in Canada or business investors and entrepreneurs. Once you are eligible and apply for permanent residency, processing times are between 1 to 3 years, depending on the program.
  • Meet the Residency Obligation – Once you are approved and land in Canada as a Permanent Resident, To Maintain permanent residency, you must:
    • Live in Canada for at lease 2 years (730 days) within a five-year period. Permanent residents must prove they’ve met this residency requirement when applying for Canadian citizenship.
    • There are some exceptions, where you can count time spent outside Canada towards permanent residency. These include:
      • Accompanying a Canadian spouse or parent outside Canada
      • Working outside Canada for a Canadian business or Canadian public service
      • Accompanying permanent resident spouse or parent outside Canada who is employed full-time by a Canadian business or Canadian public service
  • Apply for Canadian Citizenship – to apply for citizenship, you must:
    • Live physically in Canada 4 of the last 6 years prior to submitting an application for Citizenship. Part of the time spent as a permanent resident can count if it is within the 6 years.
    • To calculate your residence for citizenship application, you can check out CIC ‘s guide form for calculating your residence. Click here, or Contact us for help.
    • The Canadian Citizenship Act has been recently reformed by CIC, check out the new rules for obtaining the Canadian Citizenship.

Other conditions for applying Canadian Citizenship

To be eligible to become a Canadian Citizen, you must also meet other conditions besides the residence requirement:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years of age. For Children under 18, the children’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian would be able to apply for them.
  • Permanent Resident Status: You must be holding a valid Permanent Resident, which means you must not be currently under review for an immigration fraud reason, or a removal order.
  • Language Skills: You must show that you know at least one of Canada’s two official Languages – English and French. A proof of language skills may be required for a citizenship application.
  • Criminal History: You must not currently under any kind of criminal charge, such as a offence under the Citizenship Act, or a removal order. This is a prohibition for Canadian Citizenship application.
  • Understand Canada: By meaning Understand Canada, not only do you need to know the history, the values, the institution and symbols of Canada, but also, you must understand the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, such as voting in elections and obeying the law. You can have a quick review of these information by reading the study guide from CIC: Discover Canada.

You may already be a Canadian Citizen without applying to be one if :

  • You were born in Canada
  • Have a parent that was born in Canada or has Canadian citizenship

You can use the “Am I a Canadian Citizen”  tool designed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or, simply contact us to access your situation.

For more information about Canadian Citizenship, please contact us.

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The changes to Canada’s Immigration over the past decade

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For the past decade, there has been an ongoing consistent need for immigrants in Canada. This need is in large part due to the aging population and Canada’s inability to fill labour shortages. Without immigration, Canada’s economy could experience difficulties.

Since 2003, there have been several changes to Canada’s Immigration system. Ten years ago the focus was more on permanent immigration and today Canada’s Immigration policy is centered around a higher number of temporary foreign workers. Typically these workers will work in jobs that locals will not do. The number of migrant workers in Canada in the past ten years has tripled from 101,100 to 300,210.

In 2013, there are a number of programs which these temporary foreign workers can obtain permanent immigrant status in Canada. The Canada Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Programs (which each Province will have their own unique program). These two programs provide migrant workers in Canada who have accumulated local work experience with the option to stay in Canada on a permanent basis.

During the time of 2002 and 2011, all provinces and territories, not including Ontario, saw their immigration numbers increase — Manitoba’s immigration increased three times in numbers, Alberta saw their immigration numbers double, Saskatchewan’s numbers increased five times and the highest immigration increase occurred in Prince Edward Island with their immigration numbers increasing 17 times.

Ontario immigration numbers declined, this is in large part due to the manufacturing sector experiencing losses and the other provinces being very active to recruitment newcomers. Ontario, numbers dropped from 133,600 to 99,500.

The result of the increasing number of ‘economic’ class of immigrants has been reflected in the numbers of newcomers being admitted to Canada, The numbers have grown from 137,860 to 156,120 over the past ten years. The category that has experienced a decrease are immigrants arriving under the family reunification class. These numbers have decreased from 62,300 to 56,450.

Ten years ago immigration from China and India was strong. Now, there is a shift to the Philippines as the highest number of newcomers. To escape the high unemployment in their home countries recently the skilled Irish, French and British have been arriving to Canada.

Other changes which have occurred over the past decade, are a greater value being placed on employment and the ease of integration people can make to start their new life in Canada. This includes a greater importance on language skills and younger skilled workers being able to contribute to the job market quickly.

Evaluation of a person’s previous education has changed in the past ten years. Currently, a person applying for immigration to Canada must have their  education reviewed and obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their completed foreign educational credentials.

Over the past ten years, there has been an increased focus on filling the gaps in the labour market in Canada. Now, there are specific eligible occupations for Federal Skilled Worker applicants. Previously, the skilled worker immigration program placed more importance on work experience and education and now in 2013, the Canadian government has to be certain that the newcomers who arrive to Canada will be able to work in jobs where employers are unable to find workers.

Looking back over the past decade, the focus of Canada’s immigration policy has shifted from seeking highly educated professional to skilled workers who will be able to make a strong contribution to the work force in the shortest amount of time.


Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.

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Helpful Settlement Services available for all new immigrants in BC

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In British Columbia there are immigrant service centres located across the province. These lively centres provide newcomers with free access to helpful settlement services which provide a wide range of activities, classes and workshops.

A Canadian model of settlement and integration which aims to enable newcomers such as newly arrived immigrants, refugees, new Canadians and live-in caregivers to adapt, settle and integrate into Canadian society socially, economically as quickly and comfortably as possible.

Services include newcomer’s orientation and information, form filling assistance, assisted access to services and social support that focus on cross-cultural interpretation, family adjustment issues, settlement counseling, life skills workshops and community connections, community events, services and institutions.

These services are available for all newcomers, however there is a myth that settlement services are not used by the wealthy or professionally educated community. This is not true, people from a wide range of backgrounds use these helpful services to start their new life in Canada.

Suddhodan Raj Baidya, Settlement Program Officer at SUCCESS says, ” Rich new immigrants and highly skilled professional new immigrants still use new immigrant services in the field of learning English and job search/labour market activities. For example, the Success location on Granville, their ELSA students mostly came from investment categories. My own clients who needed job search assistance are mostly all highly skilled professionals.”

The settlement services are valuable to a wide range of newcomers, the services are a great way to help people who are new to Canada understand the cultural norms and be a part of the local community.

“We have had a client arrive in a very nice luxury car and he also owns a very well known cafe,” says Ziggy Hui, Employment Mentoring Program Coordinator at SUCCESS “we also have many PhD newcomers who come to use our mentoring services.”

The settlement services are available in different languages for people arriving from different countries around the world. There are immigrant services centres across British Columbia to help newcomers who live in different parts of the province.

Settlement Service Offerings include:

Newcomer Orientation and Information

They can help a newcomer learn about the basics of settling in Canada.  The services provides clients with help in:

  • Finding housing
  • Transportation
  • School information for children
  • Tax information and benefits
  • Learning how to find employment
  • Childcare resources and child tax benefits
  • Citizenship

Form Filling Assistance
Settling in Canada will require registration with various agencies.  This will involve filling a variety of forms which will be filed with the related institutions. You can speak to Settlements Services counselors to help you in filling forms for your:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • MSP/Premium Assistance
  • Canada Child Tax Benefits (CCTB)
  • BC Housing/Rental Assistance Program
  • Employment Insurance (EI)
  • Childcare subsidy
  • Immigration applications
  • GST/HST Credit application

Adjustment and Social Support
One of the problems faced by newcomers is to be able familiarize yourself with Canadian culture.  Homesickness, coping with a new environment, dealing with community members from diverse ethnicities are just some of the hurdles new immigrants face as they adjust to their new life in Canada.  Settlement centres can provides support services such as:

  • Cross-cultural orientation
  • Family adjustment issues
  • Significant life changes

Life Skills Workshops
It can help new immigrants to be equipped with the basic tools and help ease your adjustment into the community.  Workshops held at the centres can provide information that ease the integration of newcomers.  Workshop topics include:

  • Community resources
  • Employment Standards and Labour Code
  • Immigration process and options
  • Legal rights
  • Parenting
  • Values and self-esteem
  • English communication skills
  • Basic computer courses
  • Preparing for citizenship

Other Programs and Services

  • Employment service centre
  • Social mentoring or job mentoring
  • Tax Clinic
  • Legal advice
  • Youth Program
  • Seniors Program

To find out more about the settlement services available in different locations in British Columbia visit:


Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.

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Your first 30 days in Canada as a Permanent Resident and what to do

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When you first arrive to Canada as a permanent resident,  it can be hard to know where to start. Take your time getting settled and starting your new life in Canada.

You may have friends who have are already settled in Canada and can help you with some of the important tasks and provide useful information.

In your first few weeks in Canada, you will have several tasks to get done to start your life here in Canada. You will need to complete several government forms. With these forms you will receive important cards and services. These cards and services will provide you with access to things like medical care, a number which allows you to work in Canada and other important items for your daily life.

It is important to note, that you should not have to pay anyone to help you complete these forms. A government official can help you complete the forms and there may even be a person in the office that speaks your language.

The cards and services are in different departments of the government and you will need to apply for your Social Insurance Number (SIN), MSP for B.C. Residents, and the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). You do not have to pay for these forms and can download them from the internet.

Here is a checklist of things to do in your first few weeks in Canada:


Welcome to Canada Checklist


Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc. and author of Canada is Hiring.



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Common Concerns facing newly arrived immigrants to Canada and Helpful Tips

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Common Concerns facing newly arrived immigrants to Canada and Helpful Tips

Once you have arrived to Canada you may have many questions about how to find a new home or how to enroll your children in school. These are common tasks that all new immigrants must face to start their new life in Canada.

Begin your new life in Canada

Starting your new life in Canada can be both exciting and filled with challenges. The first few weeks you will need to know what documents to have with you, what to expect in the first few days and weeks, how to find a new home and other tasks to set up your new life in Canada.

Get to know Canada

After arriving to Canada, you may be surprised how different Canada is from your home country. Over time you will learn more about Canada, the laws here, the weather and other day to day information which may help make your settlement to Canada that much easier learn about and explore here.

Get a Job in Canada

Landing your first job in Canada can be equally challenging and rewarding. You are not alone with this. Many new immigrants will find the tasks of getting their first job in Canada the most difficult part of their settlement. But it can be done!

First, prepare a Canadian style resume. A resume in Canada, may be very different from the CV or resume you had in your home country. In Canada, we do not include birthdate, religion, photo or race in a resume.

Samples use can use to create your own Canadian style resume are included in this free download “Canada Is Hiring” PDF e-book.

Learn more job tips and how you can land a job.

Household expenses

Costs can vary greatly from your home country to Canada. Prepare a budget that will suit your needs. Learn more about information that can prepare you for common household expenses.

Health care

Every Canadian citizen and permanent resident is eligible for health insurance in Canada. The health coverage will include visits to the doctor and hospital care. However, visiting the dentist and other elective medical appointments may not be covered by the health insurance.

Find a new home

Whether you are looking for a place to rent or to buy, a house or apartment, the costs of housing will vary greatly depending on where you live in Canada. In the big cities, housing can be very expensive (Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in the world). You can learn more at finding a place to live.

Plan your Budget

The taxes and banking may be very different in Canada than in your home country. Plan your finances and learn more about sales tax in different provinces, income tax, banking, budgeting and much more.

Register your children in school

Every child in Canada is entitled to an education free of charge. Education is paid for through the taxes which are deducted from your pay cheque and sales tax when you make a purchase on a service or good.

You can learn Canada’s official languages

If you can speak either English or French this can help you in your new life in Canada and make it much easier for you to get a job and make new Canadian friends. Training is provided at immigrant service centres and other learning centres free of charge.



Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc. and author of Canada is Hiring.

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