What should I consider before deciding to immigrate to Ontario?

Before you immigrate, it is important to research your career prospects, financial considerations and the health services available to you in the new country.

Financial Considerations

When making your decision, remember that moving to a different country is also a financial commitment. There are many expenses associated with the transition and it may take you sometime to find appropriate employment. Be sure to research the cost of living in Ontario before arriving here.

When assessing the money you will need to save, consider the following expenses:

  • Travel expenses and transportation
  • Housing costs for at least 3-6 months
  • Groceries and other daily expenses
  • Phones and other communication tools
  • Money for other goods, including furniture and clothing

Given that you will be new to Ontario, it might take some time for you to build a credit history. You can start by opening a chequing or savings account at a bank in Canada and getting a credit card. Building credit will be important when you want to make a large purchase like a car or a home.

Employment

Before moving to Ontario, make sure to research your field and other labour market trends that may impact your job prospects. Although there may be good opportunities, certain factors may affect your ability to find work in your chosen field.

For example, some professions like accounting or law are regulated and require professionals to become licensed in Ontario after receiving a post-secondary education. In these cases, you may be required to go back to school or complete equivalency exams to get a license. Therefore, before deciding to immigrate you should consider:

  • If your field or profession is regulated or unregulated in Ontario.
  • If labour market trends show a good outlook for your field in the city where you plan to live.
  • If your level of education will be recognized in Ontario.
  • If you would be comfortable getting more education once you arrive.
  • If you would be comfortable changing fields or choosing an alternative job.

Health

Your health is important, and health issues can come up unexpectedly. It is critical that before you decide to move to Ontario you consider your health.

Although permanent residents, refugees and Canadian citizens are generally eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), there is a 3-month wait period for newcomers. You can make sure you still have health coverage by looking for private health insurance for those 3 months. If you have a health issue within those three months and are not covered, you can also search for community health centres that may provide certain services for a small fee.

It is particularly important to consider health insurance coverage if you are pregnant. Although there are some options for pre-natal care if you don’t have OHIP, giving birth without health insurance is generally very expensive.

Remember that, even when you get OHIP, there are services that will not be covered, including:

  • Dental care
  • Optometry
  • Chiropractor services
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Psychotherapy
  • Most prescription medicine

Personal and Mental Wellbeing

When you move to a new country, your personal and mental wellbeing may be affected. You may be far from loved ones and the activities you enjoyed in your home country. This can affect your mood and impact the way you feel and integrate in your new community. To make sure you stay well, you can:

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Last updated: February 24, 2017 4006227