Situated in North America, Canada is the second largest country in the world. It’s known for its glistening lakes, vast forests and stunning coastlines, all which contribute to the sheer beauty of its landscape. If you’re thinking of starting afresh uplifting your life to Canada, we’re discussing a few things you should know about it before you take the leap, to ensure the process is as smooth as possible and to minimise any potential hiccups along the way.
To be able to live and work permanently in Canada, you will need to apply and be approved for a permanent residence visa. There are many options to choose from, and each and every one is available for different criteria. It’s vital that you choose the one that is best suited to you and your specific circumstances. One of the most common ways in which Canadian visas are granted is via family sponsorship – so if you have Canadian family, you’re in luck.
- You’ll need a Canadian bank account.
A bank account is another key thing you’ll need to be able to live and work permanently in Canada. Although it may seem like a no-brainer, it’s easy to forget to set one up until you need it most, like when applying for rental property or applying for a new job. So, set up your Canadian bank account as early as you can so that you have the peace of mind of knowing that it’s there, somewhere for your wages to go in and your dreaded bills to come out.
- Transporting your belongings to Canada.
When it comes to uplifting your life to a new country, you’ll need to consider how to get all of your personal belongings there in one piece. Thankfully, there are a number of options that allow you to do so. Traditional international removals companies are ideal for transporting large items to Canada, such as sofas, beds or even your car. For small pieces of luggage, you could always just carry these with you on your flight. However, the fees for doing so can quickly mount up, especially if your bag exceeds the airline’s weight allowance. You may have to cough up extortionate excess baggage fees at check-in, leaving you out of pocket.
Thankfully, luggage shipping companies offer another alternative. You can book to ship all of your unaccompanied baggage to Germany, helping you to save both time and money. Many luggage shipping companies offer door to door collection and delivery, meaning your bags can meet you at your destination in Canada. All in all, it makes your relocation much easier!
- Canadian wildlife is fascinating – but can be dangerous.
Whilst exploring your new Canadian surroundings, you might be lucky enough to stumble across some fascinating wildlife such as polar bears, grizzly bears, elk, moose, cougars and much, much more. As beautiful and incredible as these creatures are to behold, they can be extremely dangerous, so be careful. Before embarking out into the Canadian wilderness on your own, do some research on wildlife safety, or perhaps even take a class. The likelihood is that the wildlife in Canada will be unlike anything you’ve seen before, so be sure to prepare yourself and understand what you should and should not do if you see them.
- Canadians are friendly.
Generally speaking, Canadians have a reputation throughout the world for being polite and friendly. They tend to be more than eager to step up and help out a stranger in need, and love to make newcomers feel welcome and at home. Not only that, but the Canadian government itself prides itself on being welcoming to immigrants. As such, as an expat moving to Canada for the very first time, you likely won’t have trouble fitting in with locals.
- No smoking in public.
As well as being a friendly, approachable bunch, Canadians are said to be extremely private people, meaning that there is a surprising number of things that are considered to be inappropriate in public in Canada. One of the biggest is smoking cigarettes – in fact, it’s illegal to smoke in public places, including offices, restaurants and hospitals. The only places where you are permitted to smoke is in your own home, your vehicle or in the great outdoors.
- Canadians don’t like being mistaken for Americans.
If there’s one thing that’s for certain about Canada, it’s that Canadians are not Americans. So, if you hope to make new friends when you finally touch down in Canada, don’t make the mistake of trying to say that Canadian is the same as American. Many will be offended by the comparison. To many Canadians, they couldn’t be further from alike, as they consider the typical American stereotype to be far removed from their own character traits and reputation.
Written by Rebecca Martin, blog writer at UniBaggage.com.