Planning to land and Settle in Quebec, Canada? Here are the most Important things you need to know about living in Quebec
No one is an island of knowledge; moving into a new country can be very overwhelming and exciting at the same time. However, having ease of settlement during your first few months is the dream of every immigrant.
Yes, you can get some of the required information online, but not the experience. What I’m about to tell you in this guide is a combination of knowledge and first-hand experience living in the country for several years.
After working on the previous blog regarding settlement in Ontario, I received a lot of inquiries, and this has prompted me to provide another brief, apt, and enlightening information regarding your first few months in Quebec.
Quebec, Quebec, Quebec; What Makes This Province So Special?
Quebec means “it narrows,” and the origin of the word came from the narrowing of the St. Lawrence River located close to Quebec City.
The capital city of Quebec is Quebec City, and it is also the most famous in the territory. Aside from that, Montreal is also another prominent city in the province.
Quebec is not only the biggest territory in Canada in terms of land mass but also a French dominated province (happens to be the official language).
According to the World Population Review, Quebec has a population of about 8.4 million people in the first quarter of 2019. Out of this, about 87% are whites. The province share borders with other popular provinces such as Ontario (West), New Foundland, New Brunswick & Labrador (East), Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Accommodation in Quebec
There are lots of housing options to select from while in Canada. However, since it is your first time in Quebec, you can opt for a temporary apartment at the initial stage.
More preferably, you can hire the services of settlement agencies in Canada that will guide you on the right choice of properties to rent. The decision will depend on some factors such as your family size, closeness to workplace, finances, and choice of neighborhood.
There are various types of housing units in Quebec – apartment buildings, studio or bachelor apartments, and condominiums.
In the province, the apartments are graded according to the room size, rather than square footage which is prevalent in other territories of Canada.
Remember; apartments located close to the city are more expensive than those in the suburbs. Therefore, most people might choose to rent houses in the suburbs if the capacity of their budget and family size cannot accommodate rent in the city.
Suburbs are good choices though because you can get all the essential amenities you need there. The only demerit of living in the suburbs is in its closeness to these amenities. Most times, you would require vehicular transport to access some of these places, e.g., schools, markets, offices, and hospital centers.
Note: Make sure you do not bring-in a pet to a rented apartment or condominium without making proper consultations regarding the use of pets in the neighborhood.
Health Care Services in Quebec
In Quebec, the government provides free medical services to all its residents. Nonetheless, new migrants must reside in the province for a minimum of 90 days before they can have access to free health care facilities.
Notwithstanding, you can get private health insurance services during the probable 90 days with any of the companies that provide post-landing services in Canada. You need to have this insurance in the event of any emergency within the first ninety days.
After you must have stayed in the province for the required period, then you can proceed to www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca to apply for your Quebec Healthcare services. Upon request, you must ensure that you provide your Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).
Please do not delay in making this application.
Job and Employment Opportunities in Quebec
Most new comers always get inundated at the sound of the word ‘’job in Canada.’’ Perhaps, the issue is not in the competitiveness of the job market, but on your ability to prepare and raise your standards to meet the requirements.
The first advice I’ll give to anyone coming to Quebec for the first time is to make sure that you have enough funds. Such money should be able to sustain you for the first six months of arrival in the province.
Yes, it’s imperative because securing a job can take time, so, adequate preparations and cash will save you from undue stress and frustration.
Once you land in Quebec, Canada, and you intend to seek a job, the first step you need to take is to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
The next thing you may want to do is to carry out an educational credential assessment. Although permanent residents do not need this as they must have done this before coming to Canada. However, it is imperative to have your qualifications assessed, so that Canadian employers can relate your level of knowledge and experience to the Canadian benchmark.
Similarly, if you are an intending artisan, or you want to establish your trade work in Quebec, you are required to get a Canadian Trade Certification (CTC). You can get assistance with this via www.red-seal.ca
Now, another important factor in preparing yourself for the job market is your language proficiency. Of course, I believe you should have a basic knowledge of either English or French before traveling to Quebec. Perhaps, a nice move would be to register for tutorial courses upon your arrival.
Although the primary language is French, English is also becoming more popular in Quebec. If you check the directories below, there are independent organizations that are willing to offer FREE training courses in French for new immigrants.
Another thing you require to land a job in Canada is social engagements. It will not only help you to network with friends but will help you to get accustomed to the language and culture quickly.
Work out your Resume: this is very pertinent; an up-to-date resume, quality cover letters, and formats that align with the Canadian standards are the key to scaling the job market.
Get the dream job. Aside from creating social networks that can connect you to prospect, employers, numerous online websites regularly update residents with available job positions.
The government has a job portal that you can access through www.jobbank.gc.ca, Craigslist, Monster, and other relevant online job sites where you will get regular job updates.
Another vital tip-off that I will provide here is that you can get a better job opportunity in Canada if you decide to get some Canadian work experience by doing some voluntary jobs. Of course, it is a free work, but it offers an immense experience, recommendations, and exposure to lots of opportunities afterward. To get these voluntary jobs, kindly refer to local news outlets or newspaper publications.
Getting a Driving License in Quebec
In Quebec, either you are a car owner, or you intend to rent one, you must possess a Quebec-issued driver’s license. To get the license, simply apply to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Quebec (www.saaq.qc.ca).
You can apply in person, or if you have an existing contract with companies that offer these services in Canada, then, they should make the application on your behalf.
Note: while you file this application, you should have an insurance number for yourself and the vehicle. It is a relevant document, and you can contact local insurance companies to get one.
Schools and Educational Activities in Quebec
When you get to Quebec, register your kids who are up to the age of 4 in schools. Generally, most children finish high school education between 15 – 18 years of age.
There are four categories of education in Quebec, and I will arrange it in order of ascension:
If you want to get the directions and details of the Quebec Immigration Office that overseas your territory, kindly check the website of the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés Culturelles
Here are organizations and training centers that offer online services for the French language.
Agencies and organizations that can help you to get temporary accommodation
Learn the rights and duties of tenants and landlords
Please Note: The information contained in this guide can be subject to periodic changes depending on the recent immigration policies of the province. Therefore, SettleCanada shall not be liable for details that may have been changed or updated. In making this guide, all the information included was neither gotten from the federal nor regional government. They are purely based on experience as post-landing agents and the data made available on the relevant governmental agencies