Your First Two Weeks in Canada

This video will help you get ready for your new life in Canada. It will explain some of the things you should do during your first two weeks in Canada to help make the transition easier.

Your First Two Weeks in Canada

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Transcript for “Your First Two Weeks in Canada”

Video length: 9:33 minutes

Cheerful music is playing in the background.

The video opens with an image of a rotating globe with the title “Your First Two Weeks in Canada” near the bottom of the screen.

Video collage of scenes featuring people of various ages and backgrounds: people walking through a busy park filled with tulips; a small classroom with adult students sitting around a table and an instructor standing in the front holding a map of Canada; a Service Canada employee helping a man using a computer at a resource centre, a mother bringing her young son into the office of a school, a woman showing an apartment to potential renters.

Announcer: “Welcome to your new home in Canada. This video will explain some of the key things you should do in the first two weeks to make your transition to life in Canada easier.”

Background music fades out.

Video footage of people moving through an airport.

Announcer: “When you arrive, the first hours at the airport may be confusing, but the most important thing is to be prepared, even before you get on the plane. If you’re not sure what to bring, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.”

Footage of people riding an escalator in the airport.

Announcer: “The officials here are from the Canada Border Services Agency, also known as CBSA.”

Video of a man and woman approaching a Canada Border Services Agency check-in counter. Various shots of the couple interacting with a border services officer who asks them questions and reviews their documents.

Announcer: “Canada’s border services officers have met thousands of newcomers like you and your families. They help to ensure your smooth arrival, and protect the integrity of Canada’s customs, immigration and agricultural laws.”

Close-up of the border services officer’s hands as she flips through a passport. Then a shot of her face as she speaks to the owner of the passport.

Announcer: “The most important item to have with you is your passport, along with the Customs Declaration Card that you will have filled out on the plane.”

Video footage of more passengers approaching the Canada Border Services Agency counter, handing their travel documents to border services officers and answering questions while the officers review their documents.

Announcer: “When you meet the border services officers, they will ask you questions about your intentions to stay in Canada, and the items you are bringing into the country. The completed Declaration Card helps to tell them this information. If you have any questions about what you should declare, simply ask the officer and they will help you. The CBSA will also need a list, in English or French, of whatever goods may be shipped to you at a later date.”

Image of a large blue airport sign that reads “Immigration” with a yellow arrow pointing to the left and an icon of an immigration official reviewing a passport.

Announcer: “The next group of people you will meet are officers specializing in Immigration.”

A woman hands several passports and other documents to an employee while her husband and son stand behind her.

Announcer: “Their main concern is ‘you’ and checking your documents on behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, also known as CIC.”

Video footage from an over the shoulder perspective as the immigration employee reviews the documents and passports. This footage continues but becomes blurred in the background as the image of a permanent resident card appears over top of it and very slowly increases in size.

Announcer: “Put this paper copy of the “confirmation of permanent residence” in your passport because your permanent resident card may take up to 6 weeks to be delivered to your new address, here in Canada.”

Footage of a man walking up to an immigration counter with his luggage in one hand and a paper document in the other, which he hands to the official when he reaches the counter.

Announcer: “In order to access government services, you may need to show this document while awaiting your permanent resident card.”

Background music returns.

Wide shot of an airport lobby area, with people waiting, talking, walking around and moving luggage. A woman approaches a man who has luggage with him. Video switches to a close-up view of the man and woman talking.

The text “Settling in Your Community” appears near the bottom of the screen.

Announcer: “Now that you have officially arrived in Canada, it’s time to settle into your new home.”

Background music fades out.

Footage of people walking into an office building. The sign is not completely visible, but the text “Centre Bruyere” is visible.

Announcer: “Across Canada, there are immigrant-serving organizations whose goal is to help you settle into your new community.”

Video collage of scenes inside an organization’s office: a woman hands papers to another woman across a counter while beside her a colleague sits at a computer, a man is filling out a form at the counter with several people lined up behind him; in a small office, a man at a desk is explaining a document to another man sitting beside him; the camera rotates to show the office next door with a woman working on a document with another man; in another office, a woman sits at a desk, speaking to a man and moving papers on her desk.

Announcer: “One of your first steps should be to call or visit one of these organizations in your new city. Just be sure to have your permanent residency documents on hand.”

Video collage continues: in a boardroom, a group of people have a meeting around a large table, making notes on documents; in a small room set up like a living room, a man and woman sit in comfortable chairs across from each other, talking.

Announcer: “Some organizations serve a very wide range of immigrants … while others focus their efforts on people who are from a particular religion or language group, or who come from a specific region of the world.”

Video switches to various shots of a small classroom with an instructor standing in front of a square table with several people sitting around it, the instructor points to text on a white board as he speaks.

Announcer: “Many of the staff members and counsellors in these organizations are immigrants themselves, who are happy to share their own experiences with newcomers. They are especially helpful with refugees and immigrants who are having a hard time adjusting to this new environment.”

Video footage of a man sitting in a woman’s office. The woman sits behind a large desk with a computer and occasionally looks at the screen while talking to the man.

Announcer: “They can provide advice on improving your qualifications and skills, finding work or housing, obtaining official documents and government services, and much more.”

View of the exterior of a large brick building. The camera zooms in on a sign that reads “OCISO–Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization.”

Video switches to various shots inside an office where four colleagues are having a casual meeting–two women and one man are sitting in office chairs while another woman leans against a desk.

Announcer: “Since most settlement agencies are supported by the government, most of the basic services and advice they provide are available for little or no cost at all to you.”

A black band appears near the bottom of the screen and the following website address is displayed on top of it:

Announcer: “You can find a list of immigrant-serving organizations in your area on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.”

Background music returns.

Footage of a Service Canada employee sitting across a desk from a man and woman. She is showing them a pamphlet and explaining its contents.

The text “Important Government Documents to Obtain” appears near the bottom of the screen.

Announcer: “There are a number of important government documents you need to obtain soon after arriving in Canada … “

Background music fades out.

Close-up shot of a booklet with the title “Your Social Insurance Number: A Shared Responsibility.”

Screen changes to a dark blue background with the title “Important Documents” at the top of the screen. A list forms one item at a time as the announcer lists each important document.

Announcer: “… your Social Insurance Number, your government health insurance card and your permanent resident card.”

Video collage with people of various ages and backgrounds: two male doctors discussing a file in a medical facility; a female nurse taking the temperature of a male patient who is lying in a hospital bed; two men walking into a bank; interior shot of a car with a woman driving and man in the passenger seat; a mother bringing her young son into a school office.

Close-up shot of a sign that reads “Service Canada.” Camera tilts down to show a man and woman walking into a Service Canada Centre.

Announcer: “To be able to work in Canada, benefit from the health care system, open a bank account, drive a car or get your kids into school ... it’s important that you visit a Service Canada Centre in your area and get a Social Insurance Number, or more commonly called a SIN.”

Return to previous scene of man and woman sitting across a desk from a Service Canada employee. The employee reviews documents handed to her by the man.

Announcer: “The visit won’t be very complicated, but to apply for your SIN you’ll need to bring your confirmation of permanent residence OR other proof of status in Canada, like a work or study permit, and your passport.”

Video switches to a different Service Centre. A female employee sitting behind a desk motions to a woman to sit in a chair on the other side of the desk. The two women begin to talk and the employee fills out a form with the woman’s input.

Announcer: “Next, as a permanent resident, you should apply to your provincial or territorial government as soon as possible for a government health insurance card. If you’re not sure if you are eligible to apply, check with them.”

Video footage of a young female doctor examining a young man’s ear in a medical examination room.

Announcer: “Once you are eligible, which is usually three months after you arrive, this card will allow you to receive health care services paid through taxes.”

A person walks through a hospital entrance labeled “EMERGENCY.”

A woman sits at a computer behind a counter at an immigrant-serving organization, there is a man standing at the counter and several people in line behind him.

Announcer: “You can get an application at a doctor’s office, a hospital or an immigrant-serving organization.”

Screen changes to an image of the Alberta provincial website. The title of the Web page being shown reads “Forms and brochures–Health Care Insurance Plan.”

Announcer: “You can also download the application form from the website of the government department responsible for health in your province or territory.”

Video collage of a hospital: a car drives into a hospital parking lot, approaching the hospital building; shot of the emergency entrance to the hospital; a nurse puts a blanket over an elderly female patient and speaks to her while adjusting her hospital bed.

Announcer: “In most regions of Canada, each family member receives his or her own card with a personal health identification number. Be sure to carry these cards at all times. They will need to be presented at a hospital or clinic when you or someone in your family needs health services.”

Video changes to a screen shot of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, the title of the page being show reads “My Application.”

Screen then changes to show a different Web page, with the title “Change my address.” A cursor moves across the screen and selects a link that reads “In Canada” which then expands to reveal a section of the Web page with instructions for changing an address.

Announcer: “Once you have found a place to stay, don’t forget to tell CIC your Canadian address. We will use this to mail you your permanent resident card. You can update your address through the CIC website.”

Screen changes to show an image of a permanent resident card rotating slightly over a dark blue background. The card then flips around to show its reverse side before the card disappears completely. The following text appears on screen as a list: “Applying for other government documents. Accessing government services. Opening a bank account.”

Announcer: “The permanent resident card is the official proof of your status in Canada. If you’re travelling and want to re-enter Canada, you must show this card. You can also use it as a piece of identification in certain situations, such as applying for other government documents, accessing government services or opening a bank account.”

Background music returns.

Video of the outside of a large bank building. A young man walks up to the building and enters.

The text “How to Open a Canadian Bank Account” appears near the bottom of the screen.

Announcer: “Now that you have applied for your government documents, there are a few other things you should think about.”

Background music fades out.

Inside the bank, the same man walks past a desk and lines up to speak with a bank employee.

Announcer: “To safeguard your money and manage your finances, you should consider opening a Canadian bank account. A bank can also help you get a credit card or a debit card.”

The man approaches the counter and hands his information to the teller.

Video changes to footage of the same bank teller walking a woman over to a bank machine and demonstrating how to use it.

Announcer: “To open a bank account, you must go to a bank in person and present identification. The documents you present must be originals, not photocopies, and be in good condition. Do some research to choose which bank you would like to use. And once you have picked one, visit the local branch for more information on opening an account.”

Background music returns.

Video changes to footage of a busy city street with people walking along the sidewalk and waiting for a bus.

The text “Learning about Public Transportation and your Community” appears near the bottom of the screen.

Announcer: “Public transportation is an effective and affordable way to get from place to place.”

Background music fades out.

Video collage of public transportation: at a busy downtown intersection, people are getting off a bus and crossing the street while cars pass by; a man and woman walk through an underground subway station, the woman appears to be explaining something to the man while a train passes by; footage of a streetcar and other traffic approaching the camera on a city street, an elderly couple crosses in front of the streetcar.

Announcer: “Buses are the most common form of urban transportation in Canada. But, some cities also have streetcars or trams, light-rail trains or subways. You can usually transfer from one mode of transportation to another easily. Learn how to use your community’s public transportation, as it will help you get used to your surroundings.”

Wide shot of light-rail trains with a city skyline in the background. Video changes to shots of light-rail and subway trains passing through stations, and then to the previously seen man and woman sitting beside each other while riding inside a subway car.

Announcer: “If you plan to use it to get around on a daily basis, you should research transportation options before deciding where to live. You can get more information about public transportation in your city or town by visiting an information kiosk at a main transit station or visiting the website of your local municipal government.”

Video collage of people of various ages and backgrounds on the street: people walking in the same direction down a city street; a father and mother walk down a city street and look around while each of them holds a hand of their young son, who is between them.

Announcer: “Be sure to also get a map of your new city and walk around to get to know your neighbourhood and the local services available.”

Background music returns.

Video changes to footage from inside a library. An older man is looking at books. The camera turns to show a young man working on a computer.

The text “Saying Connected” appears near the bottom of the screen.

Background music fades out.

Various shots of the man working on the computer, typing and browsing the Internet. A close-up shot of the computer screen showing a French language job search website.

Announcer: “For most Canadians, the Internet is an important tool of everyday life. When you first arrive in Canada, there are a couple of ways that you can access the Internet. Most public libraries in Canada offer free Internet access. Or, if it’s more convenient, you can pay to use the Internet at an Internet café. Normally, you will be charged based on how long you stay online.”

Background music returns.

Video changes to show a close-up of a man’s hand holding a small flip-style cell phone. He opens the phone and dials 9-1-1.

The text “How to Prepare for an Emergency” appears near the bottom of the screen.

Announcer: “Lastly, you should make sure you are prepared in case of an emergency.”

Screen changes to a dark blue background. The text “911” appears on screen.

Announcer: “The emergency telephone number used across Canada is 9-1-1. Be sure that you and all your family members memorize this number.”

Video collage of emergency vehicles: a police car driving down a residential street; two fire trucks with lights flashing; two male firefighters in uniform put on face masks.

Announcer: “If you ever require help from paramedics, the police or the fire department, call this number.”

Video footage of a police officer speaking to a small group of people in a classroom.

Announcer: “Know that relations with the police in Canada may be different than in your home country. The main job of the police in Canada is to protect and serve their communities. Don’t ever be afraid to ask the police for help when you need it.”

Video collage of people of various ages and backgrounds: a woman in a small office, wearing a name tag on her vest, turns around in her chair to face away from her computer toward two women sitting in her office, one of whom is taking notes; a woman approaches a counter in an office and hands a form to a woman sitting behind the desk; a woman speaks to a man who is sitting beside her at a computer in a resource centre; a father sits beside his young daughter and fills out a form in a waiting room; a teacher holding a map of Canada stands before students who are sitting around a square table in a small classroom.

Announcer: “You can expect your first couple of weeks in Canada to be a busy time, with a number of things to accomplish. But, with the information you’ve learned, we hope you’re well on your way to start settling into your new home.”

Screen shot of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. The title of the Web page on display is “Start your life in Canada.”

Announcer: “For more details on the topics covered in this video, and much more, visit the CIC website. It’s a one-stop shop for information about living in Canada and has a wealth of resources that are tailored to your needs – including our Welcome to Canada guide.”

The website becomes blurred in the background as an image of the “Welcome to Canada” guide appears on top of the website, rotating slightly. The guide disappears after a few seconds and the website text becomes clear again. A black band appears at the bottom of the screen and the following website address appears on top of it:

Announcer: Visit

Background music fades out and video fades to black.

The following text appears in white at the bottom of the screen: “© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2013.”

The video again fades to black.

The Canada wordmark appears in the centre of the screen.

Video fades to black for a final time as the video ends.

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