By Sandeep Mishra

By now, you have received your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR), and are getting ready to book your tickets to Canada. Obviously, this is an exciting time for you and your family, who can’t wait to jump onto Expedia, Kayak, Skyscanner, and every other booking website to pick out the cheapest or most convenient flight options. This is where things can get hasty, and you may find yourself landing in Canada within a few weeks of your CoPR, unprepared to meet the challenges that arise. 

Here are some things you should keep in mind, before you land in Canada.

1.       Deciding to move based on your family configuration

Most immigrants land and immediately move into an AirBnB for the first couple of weeks, with the thought that they will find a suitable accommodation in the first few weeks. But this isn’t the case. Newcomers without Canadian jobs are unlikely to qualify for any long-term lease, and end up renting basements on a month-to-month basis. While this may work for bachelors, it can be difficult for families with children. A tried and tested method is for the primary applicant to land first, find a job, move into an apartment, and then bring their family over. This not only saves you a lot of money, but also ensures that your dependents are spared the initial hardship. For families with kids, research the schooling options for your kids, and plan to move before or early in the schooling year. Note: Keep in mind the visa expiry dates and make sure you have sufficient time for your job search (at least 2 months), before your dependants can make their first landing. 

2.       Setting yourself up for a job

The second most crucial item on your list of to-dos is finding a job. The preparation for this ought to begin long before your landing. Take a few weeks to build your LinkedIn profile. By scouting the profiles of people in your target role, you’ll get a sense of how to structure your profile, the credentials to add, keywords to include, and the testimonials to support your story. Network with industry professionals, connect with friends and acquaintances already in Canada, and supercharge your profile with relevant articles and posts. With just a couple of weeks to land, with your revamped LinkedIn profile, you can start applying for job openings. 

3.       Manage your finances

In the first few months of landing when you don’t yet have a job, you will find your savings quickly draining away to meet everyday expenses. Make sure to have all your funds at your disposable within the Canadian banking system to give you the peace of mind to persevere in your job search. Often, newcomers with short savings can be compelled to take up entry-level jobs to fuel their long-term job search. This is effective in the short-term, but remember that it also robs you off the time and effort needed to find and convert job opportunities. So take the time to liquidate some of your finances, before you reach the airport. 

4.       Adding up credentials

For many of the job openings in Canada, employers look for specialized skills. Remember that you’ll be competing against peers who have stacked up a long list of certifications, credentials and recognitions. To compete with them, you’ll have to add a few credentials to your resume as well. In fact, doing this back home will probably be cheaper than doing it here in Canada. For example, if you are applying for project management roles, PMP is usually a requirement that will ensure that your profiles get shortlisted. Even adding courses from online platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, edX has helped many candidates score interview calls. Take a few weeks to rake up credentials before you land. 

5.       Seek the help of settlement agencies

The Govt. of Canada is actively funding many settlement agencies to help newcomers make the most out of their immigration. This means helping newcomers with skills, job search, housing, education, benefits, and more. And all of this for FREE! Yup, you read that right. For example, agencies like PlanningForCanada conduct workshops across Indian cities to help newcomers learn all the essential things they need to know about life in Canada, as well as provide career assessment services to fast track their job search. If you have the time, I strongly encourage you to use their services to arm yourself with resources and knowledge that will prepare you for a successful immigration journey ahead. 

The success of your immigration journey will depend on your preparedness and motivation to see through some testing times. These five things will help you start on the right foot.

Cheers!