Moving to a new country can be daunting especially if it’s on a different continent. There’s a lot of underlying anxiety as to what to expect in this new place. Lots of what-if questions keep buzzing through your mind about the weather, activities, settlements, and the people.
If this new location happens to be the Saskatchewan province of Canada, then you’re on the right page, read on! This article will tell you all you need to know before your big move, and it will also reveal tips and information to make your immigration seamless.
A short Saskatchewan description
A glance at history reveals the mystery behind the name, ‘Saskatchewan’. It was derived from the Cree name for the Saskatchewan River which is ‘kisiskatchwanispi’. I know, sounds a lot like Mississippi right. It is interpreted as a swift-flowing river in English and that correctly depicts the river.
Asides from the river, the city is home to other water bodies. According to Wikipedia, freshwater takes up about 10 percent of the total landmass. There are more rivers, lots of reservoirs, and a whopping 100,000 lakes. That’s great though if you love fishing adventure!
The lakes also contribute to the cold winters that plague the province around November. These winters grow even harsher around January with temperatures dropping below -45°C.
But despite the harsh winters, Saskatchewan is the sunniest province in Canada. This means that you get to have vitamin D for an average of 2000 to 2500 hours yearly. This has also caused it to be nicknamed ‘land of the living skies’ as the sunsets coupled with the greenery and water give the province picturesque scenery.
Another thing to note about the province is that it is landlocked. This means it is bordered on each side by land. It is bordered to the north by northwest territories, to the west by Alberta, to the east by Manitoba, and to the south by US states, Montana and North Dakota.
The Southern half of the province has often been called prairie or flat land. Although, it hasn’t always been so. It was once home to many hills and mountains which have eroded with time. Cypress hill still stands to give a reminder about that history. The northern half of the province is sparsely inhabited as it is covered in coniferous forests. Sounds interesting? Read more about Saskatchewan here
Okay, we’ve bothered you with the facts now, here are the 6 most important things you need to do before hopping on that flight to Saskatchewan.
- Access Pre-arrival Services
The Saskatchewan government offers free online services to help you prepare for life in the province. These services help by giving you more information on the province. They also help to get your work and education documents recognized in the province. The best part is they connect you with all the free services available in Saskatchewan. Click on the link to access these free online services.
- Source for all necessary document
This is about the most important thing you should have packed up before leaving your former location to move to your new province. Documents help to verify who you are and also get you access to basic utilities in the province. Documents you should have include;
- Your birth certificate or birth certificates of your children if you’re immigrating with your family
- Marriage, divorce, or separation documents if married
- Death certificate if the spouse is deceased
- International Passports
- All educational documents i.e diplomas, transcripts, degrees, school records, professional licenses and certificates
- Medical records
- Translated versions of all these documents if they are not in English.
- Photocopies of all these documents should also be available just in case anything happens to the main one.
- Learn English
Communication is a vital part of your stay anywhere in the world, especially in the lingua franca of the place you’re visiting or moving to. The Chinese speak Chinese, Koreans speak Korean, Brazilians speak Portuguese and Saskatchewanians speak English. If you communicate in another language, it would be hard to relate to anybody there properly.
Although a minority speak French, the majority of Saskatchewanians speak English, that is why you must learn to proficiency level. There are online self-assessment tests to help check your language level and before migration, most nonspeaking English countries are required to write and pass the IELTS test. Even when you settle in the province, there are programs to improve your English literacy.
- Find the Regional Newcomers Gateways in your area
These are the welcoming centers for immigrants. These settlement service agencies are organized to help you find out all the information, people, and resources to ease your stay in the province. These agencies are also scattered all around the province, so whether you’re in Saskatoon, Regina or Estevan there’s an agency near you. Here’s a list of newcomers gateways for you
- Find a job in Saskatchewan
Another thing you must do before arriving in the province is find a job. A job is necessary if you must survive in Saskatchewan except if you are a student or a dependent on someone. If not, all immigrants are encouraged to be employed by a company or person in the province before moving.
This can be made possible through the free pre-arrival services mentioned earlier. Another important to note is that jobs in the province are divided into regulated and nonregulated occupations.
The regulated occupations are accounting, nursing, hair styling, engineering, dentistry, midwifery and many more which you can find on this site.
The occupations require licensing from the regulatory bodies in Saskatchewan before they can be practiced. So be sure to reach out to these bodies before moving to the province.
- Find a place to stay
Housing should be sorted out before arrival to avoid any inconveniences. You might choose to stay at a hotel or Airbnb for the first few weeks while house hunting for your permanent residence. A list of comfortable hotels can be found here. Also, you could reach out to relatives or friends already in the province and stay with them till you’re all set up.
Other important things to note
Proper winter clothing like gloves, socks, sweaters, coats, and jackets should dominate your clothing if your move is during the harsh winters. Once you land at the first stop in Canada, you can purchase a better winter coat(the cloth you use in your home country is unlikely to be warm enough). but make sure you arrive in the basics to get you from the airport to your accommodation.
Do this before you leave…
- Check your passport expiry dates
- Make arrangements for your pet if you plan on bringing your pet. See advice on what animals can come with you and what you need to do.
- Make a photocopy of official documents (visa, passports, eTA, etc.)
- Pack personal effects
- Fully charge the batteries of your phone, tablet, etc
- Credit/debit card
- Cash (Personal Travel Allowance in Canadian dollars) so you don’t look wearily for an ATM at the airport
- Accommodation reservations (hotel, friend’s place etc)
- Plane tickets
- Phone numbers and addresses of friends/loved ones (for postcards)
- Health booklet/ prescriptions (or vaccination booklet)
- Person to contact in case of emergency (contact info)
- Travel guide / Book to read
Check your documents again…
- Visa or work permit and other immigration documents
- Bank Statement to serve as proof of funds
- evidence of travel insurance if applicable
- Updated resume in the Canadian format
- Copies of Student transcript if required
- References from previous employers (or at least a contact for someone who will agree to provide if required while you’re in Saskatchewan
- Tax forms relating to the termination of your employment. This will prove useful if you’ve overpaid tax in your home country and need to claim this back at the end of the tax year.
- Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
I hope you have found this article helpful. You can browse our website to get more information about Saskatchewan.