I don´t even know how but on the 10th of May, 2018 I finally ended up in Canada. Without any big plans or expectations. I was coming there after my 4 month journey across Central America, I had only one way ticket to Vancouver and one friend who was able to host me for few days. I didn´t know whether I wanted to stay in Vancouver, what I would do there and actually whether Canada is what I wanted. But who wouldn´t take advantage of coming to new country to earn some nice money with working visa??
So here I came and I came unprepared, without any proper information about life in Canada, or in Vancouver. Therefore, I decided to sum up some basic information which could be useful for those coming to Vancouver with Working Holiday visa to stay and live here for a while.
IMMIGRATION CONTROL IN CANADA
I was lucky and the only thing I was asked to show at immigration at the airport of Vancouver was my passport and so called Letter of Approval on basis of which I got my work permit. In addition to that, I was asked about my current address in Vancouver – the address of my friend. 😉 However, many other travellers coming here with Working Holiday visa were asked to show their bank account statement with sufficient amount of money and their travel insurance for the whole year.
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SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER
In order to work legally in Canada, besides your work permit you need to have your Social Insurance Number. You can get it at any office of Canada Service Centre in Vancouver. I got mine at the building of SicClair directly at the downtown my very first day. The only thing you need to have with you is a passport, your work permit and the address of your current location.
BANKS in CANADA
As in every new country where you move in, you need to set up your new bank account. Where otherwise would your future employer send your salary?! 😉
So in Vancouver you can find many banks such as ScotiaBank, TD Bank, RBC Bank or Cibc Bank. I found the best deal in TD Bank where the first six months all services are without any fee and if your account balance will be over 4,000 dollars after six months, free service will continue. And trust me – I plan to have at least those 4,000 dollars on my account – why else would I come to Canada with work permit, right? 😉
Which document will you need to set up bank account? Passport, work permit, address, local phone number and your social insurance number.
PHONE OPERATORS in CANADA
Besides your bank account you will probably need a new local phone number. There are various phone operators in Canada (more specifically in Vancouver) such as Freedom Mobile, Chatr, Fido, Virgin, Rogers, Bell, Telus or Koodo. Which one is the best? Difficult to say. The cheapest are Freedom Mobile and Chatr, however, their reception is pretty bad and mostly ONLY in Vancouver. Rogers and Bell tend to be the most expensive one.
I got a deal with Fido. My monthly lump sum is 45 dollars + 12% tax and it includes 500 minutes all over Canada, unlimited texts worldwide and 1 GB of data (after few months I got a free bonus of extra 2 GB of data). I had to pay extra 30 dollars for setting up the number with the package as one time extra fee.
ACCOMMODATION & JOBS
Some people are coming to Canada super prepared. With accommodation and job secured. Some people (like ME) come without any plans. Not prepared at all. Yeaaah, let´s start an adventure… But you know what?! Thanks to the 21st century and all the social media platforms, it was super easy to find accommodation. And even a job. Maybe I was lucky, too, but let´s say, if you want to find place to stay and job as well, you will find it. Especially, in Vancouver. It is super easy.
Thanks to FACEBOOK I found an amazing apartment in downtown of Vancouver for 750 dollars a month. I share it with my new Czech friend but at the same time I have my own private room. And the location is great, only 2 minutes walking from the beach and 15 minutes walking from me new job. Simply awesome. 🙂
How was is with a job? Easy as well. I knew I wanted to work as a waitress at the beginning. To save some nice money thanks to generous Canadian tips. Therefore, I printed few CVs and on Monday I went from one fancy restaurant to another one spreading my CV. On Tuesday a manager from Wild Tale restaurant called me and asked me for an interview. On Wednesday I went to a “trial” shift and of Thursday I signed a contract. Easy, smooth and without complications. Maybe with a little bit of luck as well.
If you prefer ONLINE search, then definitely have a look at Vancouver´s CRAIGLIST – where you can find everything – job offers, accommodation, etc …
So my dear MiliMundo readers, I hope some information from my article you will find useful. In case you have more questions about life in Canada, feel free to contact me or comment this blog post.
PS: If you are fan of HOP ON HOP OFF BUSES, click HERE and find out more about deals in Vancouver.
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