In the year 2022, Canada welcomed 437,180 immigrants and saw a net increase in the number of non-permanent residents estimated at 607,782, a population growth of 2.7%. International migration accounted for 95.9% of all growth recorded. Much of this increase is related to efforts by the Canadian Government to ease labour shortages, drive our economy and help bridge the demographic gap.
The decision to immigrate to Canada is a big step. Those arriving require advice and guidance from the time they decide to immigrate until they’re settled in Canada. They need to get familiar with financial institutions, navigate the education system, find housing and secure a job. It may be necessary to become informed about work and study permits, visitor and business visas, inadmissibility, permanent residence and citizenship. In short, they need to become aware of Canadian systems and the resources and tools available. So what financial, accounting and community resources are available to new Canadians?
Resources available to immigrants:
- Banks: A large number of Canada’s financial institutions have programs to help newcomers get established. Almost all of them offer free banking for the first year. This includes unlimited transactions.
- Bank of Montreal has a portal for newcomers. This includes a range of basic information about how to open a bank account, borrow money and start a business.
- Scotia Bank has a “Start Right Program,” a banking product mainly targeted at new immigrants to Canada. It has an informative brochure in regard to Canadian banking, available in 13 languages.
- CIBC: If you’re looking for a newcomer mortgage, this institution has a program which helps immigrants get mortgages even without a Canadian credit history.
- Royal Bank of Canada offers a huge newcomer portal with its “Welcome to Canada” banking package. It has full information and banking tutorials in 14 languages. It also caters to foreign students.
- HSBC has banking products which are directly targeted at newcomers to Canada.
- Accounting firms: Dreams to immigrate can be stalled because of a lack of understanding of the required information, inadequate or no knowledge of the changing immigration rules and unpreparedness for the journey. Tax professionals have the resources and experience necessary to ensure immigrants remain compliant and stay on track with local tax laws and regulations. They’re equipped to take care of various requirements of immigration services and can cater to the requirements of foreign workers and expatriates. Some accounting firms offer services that include assistance with:
- Work Permits
- Business Visas
- Visitor Visas and Super Visas
- Study Permits
- Canadian citizenship
- Caregiver programs
- Permanent Residence
- Compliance Consulting
- Global Mobility program design
- Training in accounting specifically for immigrants
- Community services: A variety of services are available in the community including mentorship, ESL support, work-readiness training and more.
- Welcome to Alberta: Information to Newcomers
- Working in Alberta: Guide for International Professionals
- Regional Employment Services
- Windmill Microlending
- Servus-Bredin Microloans
There are many government and community resources and tools for new Canadians to help them navigate the laws and culture of their new home. Don’t forget CPAs! They can help newcomers and more established immigrants answer the many financial questions that arise when people come to this country.
New to Canada? Looking for advice? Contact Cook and Company Chartered Professional Accountants. We are based out of Calgary, Alberta, serving clients across Canada and the United States. We provide high-quality tax, assurance and succession planning services for a wide variety of privately-owned and managed companies. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.