When you stop blooming where you've been planted, it's time to put down new roots." - Mandy Hale
Immigration Information For Alberta
ADVICE FOR IMMIGRANTS
There are many questions immigrants will have as they settle here in Alberta. They will be faced with many challenges. There are agencies in Alberta that can provide some of the information and provide guidance for newcomers. However, our office generally provides our immigrants with the immigration information for Alberta they need, or introduces them to the agencies/businesses that can help them.
Social insurance numbers
Location of schools
Buying a vehicle
New driver’s license?
An excellent website for those looking at immigration to Alberta to find information on any area is the Alberta Learning Information Service at www.alis.gov.ab.ca/welcometoalberta. Agencies in Alberta that provide support to immigrants are also listed on this website.
It is important to make sure individuals looking at immigration to Alberta applies for a Social Insurance Number.
We will again fill in the application form with the client and personally take them into Red Deer where they can submit the form in person. If they want to apply on their own to get an S.I.N., they should go to a Canada – Alberta Service Center or Human Resource Center of Canada and fill in an application. The location of these offices can be found on the Human Resources and Skills Development website at www.hrsdc.gc.ca.
Although they could apply for an S.I.N through the mail, it is always best to apply in person because the process is faster. Generally, 2 pieces of identification are required. The immigrant should have their passport, as well as their confirmation of Permanent Residence (issued by Citizen and Immigration Canada) with them. The Social Insurance Number card should be received in the mail within 3 weeks from the time the application was submitted.
We like to introduce the new immigrant to other recent immigrants from the same country or of the same ethnic background. They appreciate the connection and the support they receive from those who have already experienced the settling process.
Another thing the immigrants find very helpful is a list of community services near the farm properties for sale in Alberta that they are considering. We provide names, addresses and phone numbers of local services and businesses including:
If individuals looking at immigration to Alberta have school-aged children, they will probably have many questions about the education system here in Alberta.
Parents can choose which school their children attend. If they choose a school outside their local area, options will depend on the availability of space in the program, services, and transportation. Parents should check with the local school board to find out which schools in their area offer the services and types of programs they are looking for (for example, English as a Second Language class).
Once again, the website is an excellent resource for learning about Alberta’s education system.
Another excellent website is the Alberta Education website www.education.gov.ab.ca.
VEHICLES AND INSURANCE
Buying or leasing a vehicle is also a challenge for those looking at immigration to Alberta. In most cases, they are not familiar with vehicle prices or if they are allowed to do any bargaining.
We can introduce them to salespeople at car dealerships we are familiar with, or they can find a lot of information on the Everything Automotive section of the Alberta Motor Association’s website www.ama.ab.ca.
The immigrant will also need to get insurance and registration for the vehicle. They should take along a driver’s record or abstract from the last country of residence where they had a driver’s license. This may help them get a better insurance rate because otherwise they will be insured as a new driver. We usually introduce them to insurance brokers also, and let them decide which company they are comfortable with (probably whichever company would provide them the best rates).
If the immigrant comes here with an international driver’s license he/she can drive on that license for 1 year. However, this is a general rule and all newcomers to Alberta should contact an Alberta Registry Agent to find out when and how to obtain an Alberta’s Driver’s License.
There are certain countries that can just “transfer” their license over, but generally, drivers from most countries will need to write the learner’s test and redo the road test.
We find that the more support that we provide to our client and his/her family, the easier they will settle in their new community and be able to concentrate on their new farming enterprise.
For more immigration information for Alberta, contact us and we’ll find it for you, or point you in the right direction!