Things you need Immediately you land in Canada

Canada is one of the most visited countries in the world at the moment due to its stunning landscapes, diverse culture, and high quality of life.

If you’re planning to make the move to the Great White North, it’s crucial to be well-prepared for your arrival.

This comprehensive article will provide you with detailed information on the essential things you need immediately when you land in Canada to help you navigate your new life in this beautiful country.

4 Important Things you need Immediately you land in Canada

1. Get your Social Insurance Number (SIN) at the airport or any Service Center.

When you arrive in Canada as a newcomer, obtaining your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a vital step to accessing various services, including employment and government benefits.

You have two primary options for getting your SIN:

  • Acquiring it at the airport upon your arrival or
  • Visiting a Service Canada office such as Rogers, Fido, or Freedom.

This is your main identity in Canada. Canada offers a variety of mobile service providers, each with its own advantages and pricing.

When it comes to choosing a SIN for your phone, it’s essential to consider factors like coverage, pricing, and data plans. Three notable providers in Canada are Rogers, Fido, and Freedom Mobile.

Rogers (Expensive Alternative)

Rogers is one of Canada’s leading mobile service providers, known for its extensive network coverage and premium services. Rogers boasts widespread coverage across Canada, making it a reliable choice for those who frequently travel or live in rural areas.

While Rogers provides top-notch services, it’s also among the more expensive options in the Canadian market.

Rogers offers a range of data plans to cater to various needs, including unlimited data options for heavy data users.

If you prioritize reliable network coverage and are willing to invest in a premium service, Rogers is an excellent choice. However, it may not be the most budget-friendly option.

Visit Website to learn more

Fido and Freedom Mobile (More Affordable Alternatives)

Fido and Freedom Mobile are two alternatives to Rogers that offer competitive pricing and attractive features. Fido is a subsidiary of Rogers, offering reliable coverage at a more affordable price point.

It’s known for its customer-friendly approach and various plan options.

Freedom Mobile is another budget-friendly option with a focus on affordable plans and unique features like data rollover.

If you are looking to save on your mobile phone bills, Fido and Freedom Mobile are viable alternatives to Rogers.

They provide good coverage and a range of cost-effective plans.

Visit website to learn more

2. Open a student bank account and get a credit card to start building your credit score.

Canada is a popular destination for international students due to its world-class education system and diverse culture.

If you’re planning to study in Canada, it’s essential to set up your finances properly. One of the first steps you should take is to open a student bank account and get a credit card to start building your credit score.

The reason why it is necessary to open a student bank account and get a credit card to start building your credit score is because:

  • It will make it easier to manage your finances while studying in Canada. You can receive payments, pay bills, and make purchases without the need for international transactions, which can be costly.
  • Keeping your money in a Canadian bank account is safer than carrying cash or relying solely on a foreign account. Canadian banks are known for their security measures.
  • Having a Canadian bank account and using it responsibly by making payments and managing your finances can help you build a credit history in Canada, which is essential for various financial transactions in the future, such as renting an apartment or applying for loans.

So, how can you open a student bank account and get your credit card to start building your credit score?

  • Step 1: Choose a Bank

Canada has several major banks, and you’ll need to choose one that suits your needs. Some of the most prominent ones include:

  • Scotiabank
  • TD Canada Trust
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • CIBC

Each bank has its advantages and offerings, so it’s a good idea to research them and see which one aligns best with your requirements.

  • Step 2: Gather the Required Documents

To open a student bank account in Canada, you will need the following documents:

  • Valid Passport: This is essential for identification purposes.
  • Study Permit: Proof that you are a registered student in Canada
  • Proof of Address: This could be a lease agreement, a letter from your school confirming your address, or a utility bill.
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN): While not always mandatory, having a SIN can be beneficial for various financial activities.

Ensure that you have these documents in hand before visiting the bank.

  • Step 3: Visit the Bank

Once you’ve chosen a bank and gathered the necessary documents, it’s time to visit the bank branch in person.

You can usually schedule an appointment online or by calling the bank’s customer service.

During your visit, a bank representative will guide you through the account opening process. Be prepared to provide your identification documents, and they will help you choose the right type of account for your needs.

  • Step 4: Choose the Right Account Type

Banks offer different types of accounts, and as a student, you may be eligible for specific student accounts with benefits tailored to your needs.

These accounts often come with lower fees and may offer perks such as a limited number of free transactions per month.

Discuss your requirements with the bank representative, and they will help you select the most suitable account type.

  • Step 5: Apply for a Credit Card

In addition to your bank account, it’s a good idea to apply for a credit card as a student. Having a credit card can help you build a credit history in Canada, which is essential for future financial endeavors.

To apply for a credit card, you will need to provide your financial information and may be required to provide proof of income or a co-signer, depending on your circumstances.

Student credit cards typically have lower credit limits, which can be helpful for managing your expenses.

3. Get your bus pass.

When you arrive in Canada, the third requirement you need is your bus pass. Here are some common types of bus passes you might encounter:

  • Monthly Passes: Monthly passes are ideal for regular commuters. They offer unlimited travel within a calendar month and often come with discounts compared to paying for individual fares.
  • Day Passes: Day passes provide unlimited travel for a single day. They are perfect for tourists or occasional travelers.
  • Senior and Student Passes: Many cities offer discounted bus passes for seniors and students, making public transportation more accessible for these demographics.
  • Low-Income Passes: Some cities have programs that provide reduced fare options for individuals with lower incomes. Eligibility criteria may apply.
  • Regional Passes: In larger metropolitan areas, you might find regional passes that allow you to use multiple forms of public transportation, including buses, trams, and subways, under a single pass.

Now, how do you obtain a bus pass in Canada?

Research Your City’s Transit System

Start by researching the specific transit system in the city you are in or are planning to visit. Each city has its own website and resources where you can find information about bus pass options, pricing, and how to obtain them. For example, in Toronto, you can visit the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) website.

Determine Your Eligibility

Before purchasing a bus pass, determine if you qualify for any discounts, such as senior, student, or low-income passes. Eligibility criteria may include age, student status, or income level.

Visit a Transit Office or Authorized Retailer

In most cases, you can obtain a bus pass by visiting a transit office or an authorized retailer like Presto Card from Shoppers Drug Mart.

If you’re in Toronto and looking to obtain a Presto card, you’re in luck! Presto cards are a convenient way to pay for transit fares in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including buses, subways, streetcars, and commuter trains.

Shoppers Drug Mart, a well-known pharmacy chain in Canada, offers an accessible option for acquiring these cards.

Visit website to learn more.

Purchase Your Bus Pass

Once you’ve selected the type of bus pass that suits your needs and have provided the necessary documentation, you can purchase your pass.

Payment methods may vary, but credit cards, debit cards, and cash are commonly accepted.

Activate and Use Your Bus Pass

After obtaining your bus pass, it’s essential to activate it as per the instructions provided by the transit authority.

Activation methods may include tapping your pass on a card reader or simply displaying it to the bus driver when boarding. Once activated, you can enjoy unlimited rides within the validity period of your pass.

4. Get your study permit immediately at the airport

If you’re an international student planning to study in a foreign country, obtaining a study permit is a crucial step.

While it’s not common to get your study permit immediately at the airport, there are certain circumstances where this might be possible.

Getting your study permit at the airport is not a standard practice in most countries. Study permits are typically processed through immigration authorities or visa offices before you arrive at your destination.

However, there are exceptions to this rule, and some countries may have specific arrangements in place that allow for on-the-spot issuance of study permits at the airport. Here are some of the rules guiding study permits at the airport

  1. Countries with Airport Issuance

Certain countries have streamlined immigration processes that can expedite the issuance of study permits upon arrival at the airport.

It’s essential to research and confirm whether your destination country offers this service.

Notable examples of countries that sometimes allow airport issuance include Canada and the United States.

Even in countries that offer airport issuance, there are eligibility criteria and conditions that you must meet. Typically, you must have already applied for a study permit online and received an approval-in-principle before traveling.

Upon arrival at the airport, you may need to provide additional documentation and undergo an interview with immigration officials to finalize the issuance of your study permit.

  1. The Standard Study Permit Application Process

While airport issuance is an exception, it’s essential to understand the standard study permit application process that most international students go through.

This process involves several steps, and it’s crucial to start well in advance of your planned arrival date.

  • Application Submission

The first step in obtaining a study permit is to submit your application to the immigration or visa authorities of your destination country. This usually involves filling out an online application form, providing the necessary documents, and paying the required fees.

  • Biometrics and Interviews

Depending on the country’s regulations, you may need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photographs) and attend an interview at a visa application center, embassy, or consulate. These steps are essential for verifying your identity and assessing your eligibility.

  • Processing Time

The processing time for study permit applications can vary significantly from one country to another. It’s advisable to apply well in advance to ensure you receive your permit before your intended start date. Processing times can range from a few weeks to several months.

  • Conditional Acceptance

In some cases, you may receive a conditional acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI) before obtaining your study permit. This letter is essential for your application and may be required to prove your eligibility for a study permit.

  • Final Approval and Visa Issuance

Once your application is approved, you will receive a final approval letter or a study permit visa sticker in your passport. This allows you to enter the country and study at your chosen institution.


Arriving in Canada requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth transition. From essential documents and transportation options to adapting to the climate, these immediate needs are crucial for newcomers.

By addressing these priorities, individuals can lay a strong foundation for their new life in this diverse and welcoming country.

Good luck.


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