I. Important Immigration Documents

1. Record of Landing

Your Record a Landing is your original record of immigration. Please keep in mind the following points about your Record of Landing:

  • Immigration officer has signed and dated it.
  • Information is correct and complete.
  • Keep it in a safe place for life long.

(1) If you find incorrect information or if any information is missing on the document after landing, you may request to fix the mistakes. Please contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) call center at 1-888-242-2100 or visit IRCC: Record of Landing.

(2) If you lost your Record of Landing, please fill out the Verification of Status form to replace your document. To download the form and instructions, please visit IRCC: Verification of Status.

2. Permanent Resident Card (PR Card)

permanent-resident-card
After landing, the first Permanent Resident card (PR card) will be mailed to you. There are a few things you need to know:

  • Prepare a Canadian address at the time of landing for PR card delivery.
  • PR card is official proof that you are a permanent resident of Canada.
  • It is a travel document. You need to show a valid PR card when returning to Canada from another country.

The processing time for the first PR Card is available on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

(1) When you find a mistake on the PR card, please contact Citizenship & Immigration Canada as soon as possible. You may request to reissue a PR Card within 180 days of your landing. For more information, please visit IRCC: Request to Reissue.

(2) The PR card is valid for 5 years. If your PR card is damaged, stolen or about to expire or has expired, you may apply for a new card. For more information, please visit IRCC: PR Application.

II. Finding a Place to Live

1. Types of residence
  • Apartment
  • apartment

  • Townhouse
  • townhouse

  • Single House
  • house

2. Look for motel, hotel or shelter

(1) Hostelling International-Calgary City Centre offers affordable short term housing. For locations, rates and packages and reservations, please visit HI - Calgary City Centre.

(2) To look for a hotel or motel in Calgary, please call 1-800-252-3782 (toll free) or visit Travel Alberta.

(3) ‘Inn from the Cold’ provides emergency shelter for homeless children and their families. For more information, please visit Inn from the Cold.

3. Rent an apartment or house

(1) If you want to research the rental rate and vacancy rate of the housing market, please visit

(2)Here are several websites where you can find information on available rental properties.

(3) When renting a property, you may be asked to pay for the cost of utilities, such as water, heat and electricity. Sometimes, the cost of utilities is included in the rent. To open an account for the utilities, please call 3-1-1 or 4-1-1 to ask for the contacts of service providers.

(4) If you have a problem with the landlord, look at the rules in the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS). For more information, please visit Landlords and Tenants.

III. Social Insurance Number (SIN)

A Social Insurance Number allows you to work in Canada.

1. Apply for a SIN

For most newcomers, the SIN is the first document to apply for. Go to a Service Canada office to apply. To look for office locations and application details, please visit Service Canada - Apply for a SIN
social-insurance

2. Protect your SIN

Your SIN is important personal information. To learn about how to protect your SIN, please visit Service Canada-Protect My SIN

 

IV. Health Care

You can apply for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) after arriving in Alberta. Basic medical needs are covered under the insurance, but there are medical services that are not covered.

1. Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)

New immigrants can apply for the AHCIP at a registry office. Please bring your Record of Landing, passport and a valid address.

AHCIP-health-card

(1) To learn about the ACHIP and the application process, please visit the AHCIP

(2) To learn about which medical services are covered and which are not covered under the AHCIP, please visit

(3) To look for a registry office location, please visit Registry Office

2. Health Services

(1) Family Doctors assist in all areas of your family’s health. To learn how a family doctor can help, please visit Choosing a Family Doctor

To search for a family doctor in your area, please visitSearch Family Doctor

To search for a family doctor in Calgary and Area, please visitSearch Family Doctor in Calgary and Area

(2) If you don’t have a family doctor, you can use a walk-in clinic. These clinics don’t require an appointment and are staffed with family doctors. Some are open extended hours during evenings and weekends. To search for a walk-in clinic location, please visit Search Walk-in Clinic

(3) Urgent Care Centers have extended opening hours during evenings and weekends for unexpected and non-life-threatening health concerns which require immediate treatment. To look for more information about Urgent Care Centers, please visit Search Urgent Care Centers

(4) Call 9-1-1 to access emergency medical services, or go directly to the nearest emergency department. For emergency department locations and updated wait times, please visit Emergency Medical Services

(5) Community Health Centers provide health services, such as pre-natal and post-natal programs and vaccinations for babies and young children. For more information, please visit Community Health Centre

(6) Primary Care Network provides one-stop health services by professionals, including family doctors and other support staff. To find more information, please visit Primary Care Network

(7) Prescription drugs are available at pharmacies. You need to pay for prescription drugs unless you have benefits that cover the expense. Pharmacists give instructions on dosage and how to store the drugs properly. Pharmacists can also give advice on over-the-counter medication and natural health products. For more information about how a pharmacist can help, please visit AHS-Pharmacist and AB College of Pharmacists

(8) Health Link Alberta is a 24/7 toll free hotline. You may ask a registered nurse for medical advice over the phone. Interpretation services in up to 120 languages are available. The number for Health Link Alberta is 811. For more information, please visit Health Link Alberta

3. Health Benefits

The Government of Alberta provides extended health care benefits for low-income families to cover their medical needs.

(1) Alberta Adult Health Benefit (AAHB) helps Albertans with low-income to pay for prescription drugs, dental services, optical services, emergency ambulance and diabetic supplies. Pregnant women or families with high-cost, ongoing prescription drug needs can register for the benefit. For more information, please visit AAHB

(2)  Alberta Child Health Benefit (ACHB) is an extended health benefit provided to help children (under the age of 18 or still attending grade 12) from low-income homes. For more information, please visit ACHB

V. Language Improvement

Improving your English language skills can help you to fit in with your community, find a job, or attend occupational training. Most English language training programs follow Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB). The first step is to take an English test to know your CLB.

1. Language Assessment

The Immigrant Language Assessment and Vocational Referral Centre (ILVARC) is funded by the government and gives free language tests to immigrants and refugees. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are all assessed. Please contact 403-262-2656 to book an appointment. For more information, please visit ILVARC-English Test

2. Language Improvement Programs

After you have your English test results, you can identify the program that best serves your needs. Here are two options for improving your English:

(1) Language Instruction for Newcomers of Canada Program (LINC Program) is funded by the Government of Canada and is free of charge for permanent residents. You can choose full time or part time programs. For the LINC Program directory in Calgary, please visit Calgary LINC Directory

(2) English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs provide training from basic to advanced language skills. The program is not funded by the federal government, but some programs provide funding assistance. For an ESL program directory in Calgary, please visit Calgary ESL Directory

VI. School Registration & Finding a Daycare

1. School Registration

If you have a school aged child, you need to have him/her registered with a school board after landing. There are two school boards in Calgary: the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD). Both school boards provide education to students from kindergarten to grade 12. For school registration, please book an appointment and bring proof of the child’s immigration status, the child’s passport and a valid residential address in Calgary.

(1) To contact the CBE Kingsland Reception Centre, and to find more information about registration, please visit CBE-School Registration

(2) For more information about CBE programs, please visit CBE-Program Options

(3) To contact the CCSD St. John Reception Centre, and to find more information about registration, please visit CCSD-Registration

2. Daycare services

Daycare services are provided to children under school age. Out-of-school care programs are available for children attending Grades K-6. Each program charges a certain amount of fees. Parents are responsible for paying for these childcare services.

(1) To search for a quality childcare service, please visit AHS-Child Care Lookup

(2) The Government of Alberta provides financial assistance to parents who have low income and need childcare services for valid reasons, such as looking for jobs, studying or working. For more information, please visit AHS-Child Care Subsidy

VII. Public Transportation / Transit

1. Calgary Transit Public Transportation

You can ride a bus or the C-train to travel around the city. A ticket or a pass is required to use the public transit system. A ticket is valid for 90 minutes for transferring between buses and C-trains in any direction. A pass will allow you to use the transit system as much as you need to for the month printed on the pass. Seventh Avenue in downtown is a free fare zone. You don’t need a ticket or a pass to use the C-train in that zone.

yyc ticket

monthly ticket

ctrain

bus

(1)To plan a trip, please visit the Calgary Transit website or Google Maps

(2)For more details of transit fares and fee reduction programs for seniors and lower income families, please visit:

2. Getting a Driver’s License
driver's license

You can go to a registry office to get a driver’s license. The Government of Alberta has a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) policy. A new driver needs to pass a written test for Stage One. In Stage Two, you must pass the basic road test to receive a probationary license. There is an advanced road test and other requirements that drivers must pass to receive a full license.

(1) For more information about GDL, please visit Alberta Transportation-Driver Licensing

(2)  For more information about driving safety, driving knowledge and to prepare to write the test, please visit Alberta Transportation-Driver Guides

(3)  The Government of Alberta has established policies for exchanging driver’s license and for GDL program exemption for new immigrants and Alberta residents. For more information, please visit Service Alberta-New Canadian and Alberta Residents Applying for Driver's License

3. Buying a Used Car

If you plan to buy a used car, careful shopping, research and some common sense on vehicles is required. It is a good idea to shop with someone who is knowledgeable about vehicles. Alberta Transportation has provided some information about tools to check used car prices and advice on car inspections, mechanical fitness assessment and making final decisions. For more information, please visit Alberta Transportation-Buying a Used Car

VIII. Money & Banking

It is a good idea to learn about Canadian currency, exchanging foreign money to Canadian currency, sending money to Canada, and opening a bank account. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has prepared related information for new immigrants. For detailed information, please visit

IRCC-Money 

IRCC-Banking

IX. Job Searching

There are non-profit-organizations that provide employment preparation programs to help internationally educated professionals with job searching. For detailed information, please visit the employment resources on our platform

X. Government Benefits & Community Resources

After arriving in Canada, you may be able to apply for some benefits from the three levels of government: Federal, Provincial/Territorial and Municipal. Each level of government provides programs to benefit eligible citizens and residents. There are also charitable agencies in the communities to help individuals in need.

1. Government Benefits

(1) GST/HST Credit is a tax-free quarterly payment made to eligible individuals or families. If you are a resident of Canada for income tax purposes and 19 years of age or older, you may be eligible for the GST/HST credit. Please fill out an application form to apply for the benefit. For more information, please visit CRA-GST/HST Credit

(2) Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. If you are a resident of Canada for income tax purposes and primarily responsible for the care of your children under the age of 18, you may be eligible for the benefit. New immigrants to Canada need to fill out an application form and statement of status and income. The form and statement is then submitted with proof of your immigration status and your children’s ages. For more information, please visit CRA- CCB

(3) Employment Insurance (EI) is a temporary financial assistance to unemployed Canadians and permanent residents who have lost their job through no fault of their own while they look for work or upgrade their skills. The individual needs to have worked enough insurable hours to be eligible for EI. Canadians who are sick, pregnant, caring for a newborn or adopted child caring for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death, or caring for their critically ill or injured child may be assisted by Employment Insurance. For more information, please visit: Service Canada-Employment Insurance

(4) Alberta Child Benefit (ACB) is a non-taxable amount paid to lower-income families in Alberta with children under 18 years of age. The quarterly amounts are issued in August 2016, November 2016, February 2017 and May 2017. Families need to file income tax return to receive the benefit, but there is no working income requirement. For more information, please visit ACB

(5) Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC) is a tax-free amount paid to families that have working income and children under 18 years of age. You need to file income tax return and there is a minimum working income requirement to be eligible for the benefit. Payments are made in July 2016 and January 2017. For more information, please visit AFETC

(6) Alberta Child Health Benefit (ACHB) ensures that children under the age of 18, or is over 18 but is still attending Grade 12, from lower income families have equal access to extended medical services. For more information, please visit: Alberta Human Services-ACHB

(7) Alberta Adult Health Benefit (AAHB) provides support to Albertans who are pregnant or have high ongoing needs of prescription drugs. The benefit is for low-income families. For more information, please visit: Alberta Human Services-AAHB

(8) The Calgary Board of Education helps low income families to waive fees from school, such as instructional supplies, transportation (school bus), lunch supervision and musical instrument registration. For Fee Waiver application forms and more information, please visit: CBE- Fee Waiver

(9)  Calgary Transit provides low income families with a reduced fee monthly pass for $44 per month. Applicants are required to submit an application and provide proof of their needs. For more information, please visit: Calgary Transit- Low Income Monthly Pass

(10) City of Calgary Recreation Fee Assistance Program offers low income Calgarians subsidized access to facilities that are registered with the City of Calgary and some other fitness and recreation facilities. f For more information, please visit: City of Calgary- Recreation Fee Assistance Program

2. Community Resources

There are resources in communities where individuals and families can get information and support.

(1) Community Resource Centers can provide you with resources, referrals, information and support. They assist individuals and families in accessing resources such as food, clothing, housing, employment and transportation.   To look for locations of community resource centers, please visit: Community Resources Center Locations


For more information about programs and supports, please visit: Community Resources Center Programs

(2) Calgary Public Library has 18 branches around the city. The library provides extensive programs for all ages, such as ESL conversation classes, reading clubs, computer literacy programs, and career seminars. For more information, please visit: CPL

(3)  Calgary Food Bank provides emergency food hampers to individuals or families who are not able to afford food. Eligible people may receive up to seven emergency food hampers in a 12-month period. For more information, please visit: Calgary Food Bank

(4) Good Food Box (GFB) is a program from where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables at a very low cost. There are several locations in different communities where orders can be placed and the food boxes can be picked up. For more information, please visit: Community Kitchen Program-Good Food Box

(5) Making Changes Employment Association of Alberta empowers women who want to enter the workplace. The Walk-in Closet program provides guidance on first impressions, interview skills and a selection of business attire for women. My Best Friend’s Closet program provides teenaged girls (age 12-18) from lower income families with clothes for school and recreation. For more information, please visit: Making Changes

(6) Women in Need Society (WINS) is a charitable organization which runs thrift stores at several locations in the city. It offers free goods, such as clothes, household items, and furniture and also has referral programs to help women in transition. For more information, please visit: WINS

XI. Taxes in Canada

You can learn about the Canadian tax system, child and family benefits, filing a basic income tax return, the community volunteer income tax program, and other tax and benefits related from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).For more information, please visit: CRA- Individuals and Families

XII. Important Phone Numbers

211 – Information referral service for non-emergency human services in Calgary, including more than 4,000 community, social and government services
311 – Customer service line for City of Calgary municipal services such as road repairs, garbage removal and building permits
411 – Telephone directory listings
811 - Health Link Alberta
911 – Emergency number for medical, fire and police assistance

XIII.Immigrant Serving Agencies & Ethno-Cultural Groups (First language services)

You can receive free services from immigrant serving agencies to meet new immigrants’ needs, such as finding a job, language assessments and classes, finding a place to live, and filling out forms and applications. First language services are available in most cases. There are also ethno-cultural groups in Calgary that provide support and services to the communities.

1. To search for an immigrant serving agency in Calgary, please visithttp://www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/map/services.asp

2. Ethno-Cultural Groups

XIV. Videos for Newcomers

Several departments of the Canadian Government have prepared videos to help gain a better understanding of settling in Canada.

1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Videos

Immigrating to Canada

Before You Arrive in Canada

Your first two weeks in Canada

Language Training for Canada

Permanent Resident Card

Advancing Foreign Credential Recognition

2. CRA Videos

Newcomers to Canada Segment 1: Introduction

Newcomers to Canada Segment 2: The Canadian Tax System

Newcomers to Canada Segment 3: Residency Status

Newcomers to Canada Segment 4: Identification for Taxes and Benefits

Newcomers to Canada Segment 5: Rights and Responsibilities

Newcomers to Canada Segment 6: Your First Income Tax and Benefit Return

Newcomers to Canada Segment 7: Reporting Income and Deductions

Newcomers to Canada Segment 8: Conclusion

3. Service Canada

Welcome to Service Canada

Applying for Employment Insurance