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 don’t worry, these will be questions you already answered in your application. 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. If you wrote an address in Manitoba on the visa application, your PR card will be mailed to you. No need to apply. 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 programs to help you improve your English or even look for a job.

Register

You will need all the help that you can get when you arrive. Immigrant serving organizations support newcomers and provide services for free. Check the list here: immigrant-serving organizations or if you are in Winnipeg, go to Manitoba Start. These organizations 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 or read the latest Leisure Guide. 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

Read articles on Live & Learn to know more about your new home. Explore our 12 themes on settlement and join our online classes for questions and additional information!

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