Welcome to Niagara!

Choosing a new home, moving there and finding a job can be difficult. In Niagara Canada there is plenty of support to help you make this experience as easy as possible. Support is available throughout the process including immigrating, finding a home, finding employment, accessing government and community services and more.

First Days

Checklist for your first days in Niagara

Your first days in Niagara Canada will be very busy. It is important to take the time to register for all of the programs and documents that you’ll need. In your first days, you should:

☐ Visit a settlement provider for help navigating what you need to do, finding available services and connecting with the community

☐ Find a place to live

☐ Apply for a social insurance number

☐ Meet an employment counsellor to start your job search

☐ Apply for a health card

Get maps of city streets and bicycle paths

☐ Open a bank account

☐ Find a family doctor

☐ Consider taking an English language course

Register your child for school

☐ Children’s Services: find childcare

☐ Find a public library close to your home

☐ Apply for an Ontario Driver’s License

☐ Join ethno-cultural and faith groups

☐ Get information on your rights

☐ Familiarize yourself with Canadian laws and income tax requirements

Language Programs

Services to help you improve your English

If you want to fully enjoy your new community in Niagara Canada, you’ll need to know English. Anyone interested in improving their English can access the following services.

Ontario Immigration provides a guide to language services (English and French) before you move and after you’re settled in.

English as a second language courses are available within Niagara along with English level assessment services to determine which level of English course you should take.

Unsure where to start? You can asses your language skills and find information about how to register for English As a Second Language (ESL) programs in Ontario.


Finding a place to live

One of the first things you will need to do when you come to Niagara Canada is find a home. Finding housing can sometimes be challenging, but Niagara has many housing options with competitive prices that are close to facilities and services and places to go for housing assistance. Whether you want to live in the city or just outside the city, in a house or an apartment, there are many options for you.

Deciding whether or not to rent or buy a home

Both renting and buying have advantages and disadvantages. Renting can be less expensive, it makes it easier to move to a new location and you are not responsible for maintenance and repairs.

Home ownership is more expensive, but gives you more control over the home and can increase in value, giving you a return on your investment. If you are new to the country, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Newcomer’s Guide to Canadian Housing has an entire chapter on buying a home.

It is easier to find housing after arriving in Niagara Canada, and best to see a place in person before you make a decision – especially when buying a home. Waiting until you arrive will also give you the opportunity to learn more about Niagara and its different neighbourhoods. If you decide to look for housing before you arrive, consider sending a family member ahead of time and looking at short-term rental options (for example, month-to-month leases instead of year-long leases).

Housing services for international students

Safe and affordable housing plays a major role in having a positive student experience. Students can select from a number of housing options when they come to Niagara Canada for academic pursuits.

On campus residences are available at Brock University and Niagara College. The Niagara College Student Administrative Council also provides off campus housing options.

Other off campus housing listings include:

There is a lot to consider when you are deciding on a new place to live. To help make it easier, here are some helpful resources that can provide information on various housing options.

Renting a Home

Buying a Home

Subsidized Housing

Emergency and Short Term Housing

Housing for Seniors

Home Safety


Finding employment

If you are looking for a job in Niagara Canada there are many places where companies post the descriptions and requirements of jobs that are available across multiple industries and job types.

Express entry to Canada for qualified workers

Employers who cannot find the right talent within Canada are allowed to seek the properly skilled workers they need from outside of Canada. Employers who cannot find Canadians or permanent residents to fill jobs can hire Express Entry candidates using their normal recruiting and hiring practices.

Learn on the job

Apprenticeships help you learn a skilled trade on the job. You work under the direction of experienced workers – and get paid while you do it. In Canada, many trades are regulated. You must have a certificate of qualification or be a registered apprentice to be employed in these jobs. For detailed information, please see the guide to working in the trades from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

As one of its community connections initiatives, Niagara Workforce Planning Board maintains its Mentorship Program for newcomers to Canada. The program pairs internationally trained professionals (ITPs) with established local professionals in the newcomer’s field of expertise for a mentoring program designed to introduce them to their industry in Niagara, and Canadian workplace culture.

The Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre also offers a Mentorship Program matching newcomers to Canada (mentees) with Career-Based Professionals with Canadian Experience (mentors).

Newcomers learn about working in their field in Canada while making professional connections in their new community.

Mentors act as guides to life in the working community. In the process, they learn about other cultures and gain a better understanding of what newcomers contribute to Canada.


Is your current profession regulated in Ontario?

There are two types of jobs in Ontario: regulated and non-regulated. Your settlement worker or employment counsellor can provide you with information to help you understand your employment options and you can check the Government of Canada’s Job Bank to find out if your occupation is regulated or not. The Job Bank can also provide detailed labour market information for different jobs and locations.

You can also check with Global Experience Ontario to find out if your profession is regulated. They help internationally trained people qualify for professional practice in Ontario. You can email, call them at 416-327-9694 or register for one of their free live webinars for more information.

A regulated profession is controlled by provincial or federal law. It is also governed by a regulatory body. Regulation is intended to protect the safety of Canadians by ensuring professionals meet certain standards.

The two main types of jobs regulated in Ontario include:

  • Regulated occupations, such as physicians and lawyers
  • Skilled trades, such as plumbers and electricians

If you want to work in a regulated job, you must be certified by the regulatory body. Regulatory bodies have authority to:

  • Set entry requirements and standards to assess your credentials
  • Certify, register or license qualified applicants
  • Regulate people operating in that occupation

Requirements for entry into a regulated trade include:

  • Technical examinations
  • Supervised work experience
  • Language competency

It can take some time to get a license. If you were trained outside of Canada, you may want to get a non-regulated job in your field while you go through this process. This can be a good way to gain experience.

Health Force Ontario provides information about how to obtain your license in health care professions.

Find unregulated employment

A non-regulated profession has no legal requirement for a license. The majority of Canadian jobs are non-regulated. For some non-regulated jobs there are optional certifications available.

You will still need to demonstrate your experience and training to employers when applying for non-regulated jobs.

You can check the Government of Canada’s Job Bank to find out if your occupation is regulated or not. The Job Bank can also provide detailed labour market information for different jobs and locations.

You can also check with Global Experience Ontario to find out if your profession is regulated. They help internationally trained people qualify for professional practice in Ontario. You can email, call them at 416-327-9694 or register for one of their free live webinars for more information.

Find credential assessment services

Whether your occupation is regulated or not, it is good to know how your foreign credentials will be assessed in Canada.

Credential assessments will help you:

  • Learn whether your credentials meet Canadian standards
  • Find out whether you need more training, education or work experience
  • Understand what jobs may be available based on your qualifications
  • Help employers understand your qualifications

You can start the credential assessment process before you arrive in Canada. The process takes time and includes administrative fees. Evaluations for an employer may not be the same as an evaluation for a school program, so you should specify your goals.

There are many organizations that can assess your credentials, including:

Niagara’s employers are looking for these skills

Transferable skills are skills that can be used in many different situations or types of work. These skills can be taught, but most are gained through life and work experience. Exploring the skills you already have is an important part of the job search process.

Canadian employers are often looking for the following skills and experience:

  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Hard working
  • Logical
  • Volunteering
  • Apprenticeships
  • Mentoring
  • Courses

Health Care

Accessing Ontario health care

The first point of contact for most health concerns (except for emergencies) will be your family doctor. It is advisable to find a family doctor in your area as soon as you receive your health card.

Learn more about Niagara’s health system and exceptional resident care.