16-Point Canada Immigration Checklist Before Moving to Canada

canada immigration checklist

There is no single Canada immigration checklist that could incorporate all the requirements of foreign workers or international students moving to Canada. However, before planning your immigration to Canada, it is necessary to tick the right boxes so that you qualify at the earliest.


Planning for Canada Immigration may start more than a year in advance. Depending on the immigration pathway you chose, your requirements to oblige may vary. We have made an honest attempt to focus on the most desired requirements and here is our 16-Point Canada Immigration Checklist to use before moving to Canada. 

Over 3 Months Before Immigration to Canada: Checklist 

It is better to sweat more in practice than in the battle. Likewise, planning your immigration well-in advance and following this Canada immigration checklist can help you. 

  • Check for suitable Visa/Work Permit/Immigration Pathway:   Canada is currently pursuing its ambitious immigration target of welcoming over 1.7 million new permanent residents in the next three years. Over 60 per cent of the target will be invited under economic-class programs like Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Program, Quebec immigration, etc. Some 20 per cent of the target will be invited under the family class immigration programs. 
  • Explore your new Canadian city online: Visit its official website to learn about the area, job and housing markets, schools, recreation, and more. Popular online forums like Quora offer great first-person perspectives & insights.  
  • Get your employment credentials evaluated: The way provinces in Canada recognize career and employment credentials can vary. You may need to arrange for accreditation courses/tests before you leave. Find more information by contacting our consultants.
  • Keep your school documents ready: Include degrees, diplomas and certificates, transcripts, program descriptions, detailed course information, language skills test results, and accreditation. Official translations of your documents may be required in some cases. 
  • Calculate your estimated living expenses: Consider the type of housing you want, and necessities, such as transportation, schooling, food, clothing, utilities, and entertainment in estimating your monthly expenses in Canada. 
International student? Get in touch with our overseas education counsellors to learn more. 
  • Goods that you can take with you to Canada: You’re allowed to bring your personal and household goods with you when moving to Canada from another country. However, Canada may charge certain duty fees on some goods. Review the list of items you are allowed to bring into Canada.
  • Open a Canadian bank account: Having a Canadian bank account ready can make things easier. For instance, you may be asked to show proof of funds if you rent an apartment. Transferring funds to your Canadian bank account is a cost-effective and secure way to bring money into the country.

Less Than 3 Months Before Moving to Canada: Checklist 

As you move closer to your date of arrival to Canada, keep an eye on the following checklist. 

  • Get your passport ready for travel: Make sure that your passport (and those belonging to family members coming with you) is valid and up-to-date.
  • Arrange travel tickets: Typically the earlier you book your travel arrangements, the better the price deal you get. 
  • Collect official health documents: These include vaccination and dental records. Children need vaccination records to enroll in school in Canada. You may need to get official translations of these documents.
  • Collect work-related documents: Gather reference letters and evaluations from employers, and training and job descriptions. 
  • Prepare a resumé for job applications: Canada allows you to immigrate without a job offer. You can plan your job search now. Start with a job resume: the Canadian style is two pages or less plus a cover letter.

Few Weeks Before Arriving in Canada: Checklist

Just before the actual date of arrival, you may need to keep the following ready. 

  • Arrange for medical insurance: Your provincial government-sponsored health insurance plan will not be active for the first 90 days you’re in Canada. To cover yourself until then, consider purchasing Visitors to Canada Insurance.
  • Fill out any prescriptions: Medicine brands may be different in Canada and prices could be more expensive if you’re paying out-of-pocket. You may want to bring a six-month supply of medications. 

Once again, please review the list of items you are allowed to bring into Canada.

  • Check the amount of money you will be bringing: If you are bringing in $10,000 CDN or more, you must report it to Canada Border Services Agency – whether it’s in Canadian dollars (cash, cheques, etc.) or the equivalent in your country’s currency.
  • Gather essential documents: To enter Canada, these are some of the documents you’ll need to present. Keep the copies in a safe place, separate from the originals.
  • A Canadian immigrant visa (if applicable) and Confirmation of Permanent Residence for you and each family member travelling with you
  • Two (2) copies of a detailed list of all the personal or household items you are bringing with you, along with Two (2) copies of a list of items that are arriving later and their monetary value

Consult with us about the full list of documents you will need. 

How Can Certified Canada Immigration Consultants Help? 

Well, there is also an alternative available, in case the above Canada immigration checklist is overwhelming to follow. You can visit a certified Canada immigration consultant and skip all the above steps. 

The Government of Canada treats all applications for Canada Visa equally, whether they apply through a consultant or not.

Several aspirants apply for Canada Visa on their own and are subsequently approved each year. However, most may be limited to study visa or permanent residency applications through Express Entry. Application for Canada PR through other economic-class immigration pathways like PNPs are less explored when applying on their own.

An application for Canadian Visa processed through a Canadian immigration consultant like CanApprove will analyze 100+ Canadian immigration programs and suggest suitable immigration programs based on the applicants’ work or academic profile.

Not just that. CanApprove offers assistance for IELTS preparation, Canada PR services (including help for your Medical Verification documents, Police Clearance Certificate, Proof of Funds documents, and Job Experience supporting document). We also have tie-ups with 500+ institutions for your study abroad programs in Canada. Our job search assistance and customization of profiles can match your work skills with a suitable employer in Canada.

Get a free assessment of your immigration profile and find the best pathway to migrate to Canada.

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