After you arrive: 6 crucial steps to getting ahead

Nigerian Newcomers in Canada

1. Get your social insurance number (SIN)

Social insurance number (SIN) is to Canadians what ATM card is to Nigerians. It is confidential and should be guarded just like you would your ATM card.  You should locate your nearest Service Canada office to apply for one as soon as possible. It is needed to work, open a bank account and to have access to government programs and benefits. 

2. Get a Canadian mobile number

Shop around and choose from the numerous Canadian Mobile networks. It is important to be accessible and hit the ground running on those job interview call backs. 

3. Apply for your health card

Health care in Canada is paid for by taxpayers. All essential basic care is covered excluding prescription drugs. Presentation of your health card is required on every doctors visit. 

4. Open a Canadian bank account

Canada is an almost cashless society. A bank account is needed for your employer to make payments and also for you to receive government benefits.

5. Get your Canadian drivers license

Moving around in Canada can be challenging without a car as public transportation routes are limited. Obtaining a drivers license gets you one step closer to car ownership and helps you put your best foot forward by widening your job search prospects. 

6. Contact your local immigrant-serving organization

These are government funded organizations and their services are free. They help newcomers settle in Canada by providing services such as job search and school registration for children.