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What to Expect as a Newcomer Moving to Post-COVID Canada?

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People all around the globe are struggling to move due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. Canadian authorities imposed a number of limitations and recommendations in an effort to stop the spread of the disease. People who recently migrated to Canada and those who are hoping to move in the near future are having trouble doing so. The shutdown of companies and people staying at home almost makes moving to post-COVID Canada almost impossible. After nine months, the economy and companies in Canada are beginning to reopen, and life is returning to normal in many areas. In this article, we at Number 1 Van Lines hope to provide a consolidated overview of all the information, resources, and tips that will help you understand what to expect once you arrive in Canada and hence, be better prepared for your move.

a person getting vaccinated
We strongly encourage you to get your vaccine before moving to Canada.

Moving to Post-COVID Canada: Entry eligibility and admission criteria

All foreign flights are restricted to only four Canadian airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, or Montreal. If you’re flying, you must adhere to all airline standards (including wearing a non-medical mask) and pass a health screening done by the airline before boarding. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is not permitted to enter Canada. Please, consult with our commercial movers if you’re going to be moving your company as well.

Entry eligibility

According to the Canadian government’s regulations, you may be eligible to enter Canada if you are:

  • A permanent resident (PR) who filed their application prior to March 18, 2020.
  • The spouse, common-law partner, and/or child of a PR were included in the application for permanent residence that was issued prior to March 18, 2020.
  • A member of an immediate family (spouse, common-law partner, dependent child, grandchild, parent, step-parent, guardian, or tutor) of a permanent resident or Canadian citizen who resides in Canada.
  • A student from another country whose study permission was authorized prior to March 18, 2020.
  • A temporary foreign worker who possesses a valid work permit and an offer of employment.

Admission criteria

You must be coming to Canada permanently (you cannot come to Canada and leave to reside temporarily in another nation).
Beginning January 7, 2021, all travelers five years of age and older must test negative for COVID-19. A negative COVID-19 PCR test result must be given to the airline before boarding a trip to Canada. You must take the test 72 hours before flying to Canada. Please remember that even those with a negative test result must have a quarantine plan and must complete the mandated 14-day quarantine. Transport Canada has further information in a press release. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you must have a plan for quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada.  To fly to Canada, you also need IRCC’s formal permission.

a person opening a PCR test kit
Whwn you’re moving to post-COVID Canada you have to submit a negative PCR test.

Post-arrival protocols in Canada

You are expected to electronically report COVID-19-related information daily using the ArriveCAN app. According to new travel regulations published on January 29, 2021, all air travelers coming to Canada, with very few exceptions, must reserve three nights at their own expense in a Government of Canada-approved hotel and submit to a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival. Each traveler needs to pay upwards of $2,000 CAD for the hotel quarantine requirement. All hotels will be located near one of Canada’s four international airports. All related expenditures, such as hotel accommodation, meals, security, infection control, and transportation, will be borne by the traveler. The government will publish more information and a complete list of participating hotels in the coming days.

Screening Officers in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will visit passengers’ quarantine areas to make contact, check their identification, and ensure they are in the quarantine facility they specified upon admission into Canada. Officers will make 35 city visits across Canada, beginning in Montréal and Toronto. Failure to provide accurate information and/or to follow any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travelers by a Screening Officer or quarantine officer upon entry to Canada is also a violation of the Quarantine Act and may result in serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or a fine of $750,000 CAD.

Newcomer landing formalities

When you arrive in Canada and choose your lodging, the majority of immigrants are concerned about the different landing requirements that you must complete. Here is a summary of the existing mandates for various tasks (as of June 30, 2020). In case you need any specialized moving services, feel free to contact us.

1. Getting Your Social Security Number (SIN)

Depending on the airport at which you arrive in Canada, you may be able to obtain your SIN upon arrival. At the moment, this service is available to immigrants at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport during weekday business hours.

2. Opening a bank account

You want a reliable partner who knows your banking requirements as a newbie. For 150 years, RBC (Canada’s largest bank) has been a partner to newcomers. To create a newcomer bank account with RBC, you will need the following papers:

  • Your passport’s CoPR and/or Social Security Number (SIN), if applicable, or
  • Evidence of residency (optional, good-to-have)

3. Obtaining a telephone plan

Telecommunications companies in Canada provide a variety of packages and cell phone plans. You can customize them to meet your specific needs. You can pick a pay-as-you-go (prepaid) plan or a postpaid plan. Around 90% of Canadian mobile phone customers are subscribers to one of the country’s three main telecommunications carriers (Rogers, Bell, or Telus) or one of its subsidiary brands. Certain providers of postpaid phone plans will do a credit check to ensure that you have a solid credit history and pay your bills on time. Keep in mind that as a novice, you may lack credit history. This may result in the provider restricting your mobile phone usage or not issuing you a phone plan at all. To enroll in a postpaid plan, you’ll need a government-issued picture identity document (such as a passport) and proof of address.

a woman obtaining her phone plan after moving to post-COVID Canada
You should get your telephone plan as soon as you arrive.

4. Getting an internet service package

If you’re staying in a temporary residence such as a hotel or an Airbnb, you should have access to a ready-to-go Wi-Fi network. Once you purchase your own house after moving to post-COVID Canada, you will have to pay monthly costs for internet access. Rates typically vary between $50 and $80 CAD each month. Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Telus, Virgin, and Fido are just a few of the major internet service providers in Canada. However, other local businesses may provide more competitive prices, so be sure to check around before making a purchase. If you haven’t booked your movers yet, you can get a free quote moving quote from Number 1 Van Lines here.