Your first few days in Manitoba: A newcomer checklist

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Welcome to Manitoba! After months or even years, of anticipation, you are finally here in your new home. As you start the next step of your Canadian journey, here are five things you need to do after arriving at the airport.

Your First Two Weeks in Canada by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Present yourself at the customs & immigration desk

Upon arriving, make sure that you have all your papers on hand (not packed in your suitcase). You will need to present your goods and landing certificates, as well as passport and visa papers to customs and immigration officers immediately after landing. The officer may conduct a short interview, but not to worry, these will be questions you already answered in your application. Just always be honest and everything will be fine. Next, sign and fill out the necessary application papers that will be provided to you at the immigration desk.

Before you leave the airport, make sure that you have all your luggage with you. Also, make sure that you are dressed for the weather.

Get your cards

After you get settled, apply for your Permanent Resident (PR), Social Insurance Number (SIN) and health cards. You will need these to avail of basic services and for your employment. Read this article to know which essential documents you need to apply for and how. While you’re at it, apply for a library card too (if you’re not in Winnipeg, click here). The card can be used at any branch in Manitoba and may come in handy when you are looking for information, or if you need resources for job-hunting.

Register

You will need all the help that you can get when you arrive. You will need to be familiar about how best to settle in a new place, get language supports and find employment. In Manitoba, settlement serving organizations support newcomers and provide services for free. Visit immigrant-serving organizations nearest you. If you are in Winnipeg, go to Manitoba Start to register and get connected to other agencies. They can brief you about life in Canada, tell you where to get other settlement resources that you need, and provide seminars and workshops to help you with skills training, career planning and employment.

Learn about government supports and benefits you and your family may be eligible to receive. For instance, if you have children below 18 years old, apply for the Canada Child Benefit program (CCB). There may be other assistance you can avail as a newcomer. To find out, go to the Benefits Finder.

Know your new home

Learn some Manitoba facts as you become familiar with its sights and sounds. Walking tours in downtown Winnipeg are offered from May to August. You can also visit the Manitoba Museum or the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (entrance is usually free first Wednesdays of the month. Check their website for details). Have a picnic, participate in summer sports, watch free movies, or skate at the duck pond in winter at the Assiniboine Park. Read the article 20-plus free (and almost free) things to do in Manitoba to have more options.

Also, locate the schools nearest you, as well as places of worship. For an efficient way to know important locations and contact numbers, use the yellowpages. Use Navigo Trip Planner if you need to take the bus.

Know your neighbours

Check out the activities offered at your local community centre at the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres website. These centres provide recreation programs and services to area residents, free of charge or for a minimal fee. You and your family can enjoy sports and recreational activities ranging from ice skating to yoga. This is the perfect opportunity to meet and get to know the families that live in your community.

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Community Resources

Feeling overwhelmed?  Here’s a Newcomer checklist 2018 in pdf that you can print to help keep you on track.

Go to the Travel Manitoba site to know about cultural events and places to see.

For other important information about your first few days, weeks, or months visit the immigrate Manitoba site.

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Your first few days in Manitoba: A newcomer checklist

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