Moving to Canada Checklist - ISS Relocations

Your Ultimate Moving to Canada Checklist

Moving to a new country is both an exciting and daunting experience, especially when that country is as vast and diverse as Canada. Whether you’re relocating for work, study, or a fresh start, thorough preparation is key to ensuring a smooth transition. This moving to Canada checklist is designed to guide you through every step of your journey, from pre-move planning to settling into your new home. With the expert assistance of ISS Relocations, you can navigate the complexities of your move with ease, making your Canadian dream a reality.

Moving to Canada Checklist – Pre-Move Preparations

Research Immigration Pathways

Understanding the various immigration pathways to Canada is crucial. There are several options, including Permanent Residency, Work Permits, and Study Permits. Each pathway has its own requirements and processes. For instance, the Express Entry system is a popular route for skilled workers, while students might opt for a Study Permit. It’s important to choose the immigration program that best fits your qualifications and future plans.

Financial Planning

Financial preparation is an essential part of your moving to Canada checklist. Begin by budgeting for your move, taking into account travel expenses, initial accommodation, and daily living costs. You will also need to provide proof of funds to support your stay in Canada, which varies depending on the immigration pathway you choose. Setting up a Canadian bank account before you move can help streamline your financial transactions once you arrive. ISS Relocations can assist you with practical tips on currency exchange and managing your finances during the transition.


Gathering and organizing your documentation is another critical step. Ensure that your passport is up-to-date and apply for the necessary visas. You will also need to collect your educational and professional credentials, which might need to be assessed for Canadian equivalency. Language proficiency tests, such as IELTS for English or TEF for French, are often required, so plan to take these well in advance. Additionally, obtain health and police clearance certificates as part of your application process.

Packing and Shipping

Essentials to Pack

When compiling your moving to Canada checklist, prioritize packing essential items first. Important documents such as passports, visas, and academic credentials should be easily accessible. Pack seasonal clothing suitable for Canada’s diverse weather conditions, including warm layers for winter. Don’t forget to bring necessary electronics and the appropriate adapters for Canadian outlets. Having a well-organized packing list ensures you have everything you need upon arrival.

Shipping Options

Choosing the right shipping method for your belongings is a critical part of your moving to Canada checklist. Evaluate the pros and cons of air freight versus sea freight, considering factors like cost, speed, and volume of items. Air freight is faster but more expensive, while sea freight is cost-effective for larger shipments. With ISS Relocations, you can benefit from professional advice and reliable shipping services tailored to your needs, ensuring your belongings reach Canada safely and efficiently.

Arrival in Canada

Initial Accommodation

Securing temporary housing should be a top priority on your moving to Canada checklist. Options include booking hotels, Airbnbs, or short-term rentals to give you time to find permanent housing. Research neighborhoods to find one that suits your lifestyle and budget. This temporary setup provides a comfortable base as you settle into your new environment.


Navigating transportation in a new country can be challenging. Familiarize yourself with Canada’s public transportation systems, such as buses, trains, and subways. If you plan to drive, obtaining a Canadian driver’s license is essential. Check if you can exchange your current license or if you need to take a driving test. Including these transportation considerations in your moving to Canada checklist ensures you can move around with ease once you arrive.

Settling In

Finding Permanent Housing

Finding a long-term place to live is a crucial part of your moving to Canada checklist. The rental market can be competitive, especially in major cities. Start by researching neighborhoods that fit your lifestyle and budget. Be prepared to provide references and proof of income since you might not have a Canadian credit history. Utilizing ISS Relocations’ expertise can help you navigate the housing market more efficiently and secure a suitable home.


Securing a job is often a top priority for newcomers. Your moving to Canada checklist should include updating your resume to match Canadian standards and utilizing job search websites. Networking is vital—consider joining local professional groups and using LinkedIn to connect with industry contacts. ISS Relocations offers resources and advice to help you in your job search, making the transition smoother.


Registering for provincial health insurance is an essential step once you arrive. Each province has its own healthcare system, so you’ll need to apply for a health card in your province of residence. Find a family doctor to manage your primary healthcare needs. Including these steps in your moving to Canada checklist ensures you’re covered in case of medical needs.

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Daily Life Adjustments

Understanding Canadian Culture

Adapting to a new culture is an exciting part of moving. Your moving to Canada checklist should include learning about Canadian social norms and etiquette. Canadians are known for their politeness and respect for diversity. Engage in local activities and community events to better understand the culture. Seasonal activities like ice skating in winter and hiking in summer can help you acclimate and meet new people.

Essential Services

Setting up essential services is a crucial step in settling into your new home. Arrange for utilities such as electricity, water, and internet as soon as you move in. Opening a bank account in Canada is also important; it simplifies transactions and helps in building your credit history. Include these tasks in your moving to Canada checklist to ensure a smooth transition into daily life.


What should I keep in mind when moving to Canada?
Consider immigration options, financial planning, essential documentation, and adjusting to cultural differences.

How do I choose the right immigration program for Canada?
Research various pathways such as Permanent Residency, Work Permits, and Study Permits to find the one that suits your needs.

What are the essentials to pack when moving to Canada?
Important documents, seasonal clothing, and necessary electronics with adapters should be prioritized.

How can ISS Relocations help with my move to Canada?
ISS Relocations offers comprehensive services including packing, shipping, and settling-in assistance to ensure a smooth transition.

Wrapping Up

Moving to Canada involves numerous steps, but with proper planning and a comprehensive moving to Canada checklist, you can make the transition smoothly. Recap the key steps: from researching immigration pathways and financial planning to finding housing and adjusting to daily life. For personalized assistance, reach out to ISS Relocations, who can provide expert guidance and support throughout your move, ensuring every detail is covered for a successful relocation.

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