On arrival: first things first
The first days, weeks and even months after you arrive in a new country can be very stressful. Our role as Newcomers Centre is to assist you in the settlement process, making it as smooth and stress-free as possible. Visiting a settlement organisation like our Centre should be one of the first items on your list of things to do on arrival.
There are very good post-arrival checklists in both the Welcome to Canada guide by CIC and the Orientation Guide for Newcomers by the Government of New Brunswick. An online list - What to Do After you Arrive - is also available on the Immigration and Settlement web page of the Government of New Brunswick. We recommend that you study these lists carefully and follow them.
On your arrival in Saint John, you may need to contact the following organisations:
- Service Canada Centre in Saint John - to obtain your Social Insurance Number (SIN), and for other federal services.
- Service New Brunswick - to apply for your government health insurance (Medicare), New Brunswick driving license, and for other provincial services.
- Anglophone South School District (ASD-S) - to enrol your kid(s) in the anglophone school system.
- District scolaire francophone Sud - to enrol your kid(s) in the francophone school system.
If you will be using public transport, please check Saint John Transit website for information on bus routes, schedules and fares.
If you're new to the Canadian bus system, see our Introduction to Saint John bus system for newcomers.
If you plan to be driving a car, make sure you familiarise yourself with New Brunswick Driver's Handbook. A print copy of the Handbook is available from Service Brunswick, the price is around $5 per copy.
Depending on your status and plans, you may need to start looking for a job soon after you arrive in Saint John.
A good database of open vacancies in New Brunswick is NBjobs.ca. The website also has some useful resources helping you develop your career.
There are employment counselling agencies in Saint John that provide orientation services and assistance to job-ready newcomers, for example, the Atlantic Human Services.
Regular workshops on writing a resume, job interview skills and career planning are offered by The Work Room programme.
And please don't forget that in Canada the most effective method for finding a job is via networking. According to some estimates, up to 80% of all vacancies are not publicised, and the candidates for them are found via professional networks. Do use all the opportunities to build your network: by participating in the programmes like ONB Connects, attending social events, and volunteering in the community.
If you plan to move your business to New Brunswick, or set up a business venture here, get in touch with Opportunities NB and Enterprise Saint John. Their experts can offer some valuable guidance and support.
Another useful programme is The Hive / La Rouche. Funded by the Government of New Brunswick, it aims to help newcomer entrepreneurs launch their business in the province.
And last but not least: the weather in Canada can be full of risks, for locals and newcomers alike. We recommend that you study this Hazards and Emergencies guide by the Government of Canada, to keep yourself and your family safe from day one.
Have a smooth and easy settlement in our wonderful city!