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Certificates and professional documents

Checklist 1: Documents you can’t forget to bring to Canada — an overview

1. Birth certificates and passports of each family member

2. Adoption papers if applicable

3. Marriage certificate (and/or divorce, separation papers)

4. School records for all your children
(These will help place your children into the right grade at school.)

5. Children’s immunization records
(These will be required when you enrol your children in a Canadian public school.)

6. Copies of all post-secondary diplomas, degrees and even academic transcripts for all adults
(You may need to show proof of your educational credentials and even get them evaluated by a professional evaluation service, academic institution or professional association. Such evaluations can help you more easily find work or upgrade your training and may be necessary to work in regulated occupations or attend post-secondary schools in Canada. Many professional associations, universities, colleges and assessment agencies require your academic documents to come directly from the institution you attended in order to evaluate them and will not accept original or copied academic documents that you may come with. Find out how the professional association, academic institution or credential assessment agency requires documents to be received before coming to Canada as this will save you time and money.)

7. Reference letters with contact details from former employers

(You will need these when applying for work in Canada.)

8. Samples of your professional work or achievements
(These may be helpful when applying for work in Canada.)

9. International Driver’s Licence
(You should be able to drive immediately with an international driver’s licence for the short term, until you get a Canadian driver’s licence.)

10. Copies of international automobile insurance
(If you have a good driving record in your country of origin, this may help you get a better auto insurance rate in Canada.)

11. Medical records, including X-rays, dental files, optical prescriptions, other prescriptions

12. Documents related to travel health insurance to cover you in case of medical emergency in your first few weeks in Canada
(Some provinces, including Ontario, have a waiting period for health care coverage after landing. You are responsible for private health insurance in the interim, otherwise you could be faced with a big medical bill if you need any medical treatment or emergency surgery.)

13. Certificates of valuation and authenticity (including photos) for jewellery and other valuables and belongings you’re bringing with you

(You’ll need a list of effects when you land at the airport.)

14. Copies of financial records that show credit history/rating
(Traditionally, it has been difficult for newcomers to access loans and credit in Canada, because of a lack of credit history. A record of your international credit rating may help.)

15. Record of any current foreign income, properties or investments

(Worldwide income is taxable in Canada.)

3 more things you need just for landing

And don’t forget you need the following at the airport when you first land in Canada:

  • Your passport and/or travel documents
  • Your permanent resident visa and your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada

The immigration officer at the airport will make sure you are entering Canada before or on the expiry date shown on your permanent resident visa; it cannot be extended. If there are no problems, the officer will authorize you to enter Canada as a permanent resident. The officer will also confirm your Canadian mailing address, where your permanent resident card will be mailed to you.

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