CANADIAN LIFE

Canada may be your new homeland

CANADIAN LIFE

Have you been thinking about immigrating to Canada? You’re not alone! More than 300,000 immigrants are expected to join the country just in 2019 – hundreds of thousands of immigrants have already made the move to Canada in previous years. It’s no surprise given the vast amount of opportunity for a new and different life in this beautiful, diverse country.

While a wide range of First Peoples were the original residents of Canada, the French and English fought to secure their claims to the country with immigrants from both countries colonizing central and eastern regions. Soon after colonization began, immigrants from around the world saw an opportunity in this new land and established the cultural diversity Canada is widely known for today. For the most part, Canadians tend to be inclusive and welcoming with a great amount of respect for cultural diversity.

About two-thirds of Canada’s newcomers choose to settle in one of six major cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto or Montreal. While Canadians are known for their quiet pride in their country and friendly nature, the lifestyle depends upon which of the 10 provinces or three territories you choose to live in. As the second biggest country in the world, there is a lot of difference from living on Vancouver Island (the western-most region) to living in Toronto (the largest Canadian city) to living in Newfoundland and Labrador in the east.

BANKING IN CANADA

Canadian banks are considered among the safest in the world and has been recognized for this soundness by the World Economic Forum. There are five major chartered banks in the country, a few smaller banks, many credit unions and a handful of trust companies and other options. Deposits of up to $100,000 are protected by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and all financial institutions are governed by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Anyone can open a bank account in Canada by showing identification in person. Some financial institutions allow people to open accounts electronically or over the phone. Canada is very progressive with electronic banking with the highest number of ATMs per capita and constant innovations in both secure electronic access and new products. This allows the ability to send money to loved ones in other parts of the world quickly and easily.

PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN CANADA

If you are planning to immigrate to Canada whether to work, study or live permanently, you’ll want to apply for permanent residency as soon as you arrive. The permanent residency card is your proof of being granted permanent resident status by the Government of Canada even though you are not a Canadian citizen.

To be considered a permanent resident, you must accumulate 2 years’ worth of residency days in every five-year time period. Without this residency time, you risk losing permanent resident status. The two years can be accumulated by physically being in the country, or in certain situations by being outside Canada. Those applying who have not been permanent residents for five years must prove they can meet the two-year requirement after becoming a permanent resident.

We can help you understand these distinctions as well as when and how to apply for your permanent residency card. Your card grants you access back into Canada whenever you travel outside the country. By paying taxes and obeying Canada’s laws, as a permanent resident, you have the right to receive the majority of social benefits available to Canadian citizens (including health care and the Canada Pension Plan), work, live or study anywhere in the country, receive protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and apply for Canadian citizenship.

CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP

Those who live in Canada have a choice whether they wish to remain permanent residents or become Canadian citizens (after three years of living in Canada), though it’s important to note Canada allows multiple citizenship – becoming a Canadian citizen doesn’t mean giving up citizenship from another country.