Welcome to Canada! We hope we were some help with the New Zealand side of things last time. Before you embark on your travels through Canada you’ll need to get a few things done so you can make some money along the way. Here’s what we reckon is pretty helpful.
Hopefully you’re like Cam and made the most of the Air New Zealand inflight bar to get a few hours rest on the plane #outlikealight. The customs waiting area can be a drag. Once you collect your bags you’ll need to head to the immigration office to pick up your work permit. The immigration website recommends you make copies of all of your documents to give to the customs officer, but we found it unnecessary having a huge warehouse stationery folder with all our stuff because they didn’t ask for any of it. They will call you up to collect your work permit, make sure you check the expiry date is twenty three months from the current day. After that head to the doors before they change their mind!
From the airport, hitch a ride with KJ Apa if you can.. otherwise grab a cab. Taxis from the airport love to rip off travelers so make sure that the meter is on before you head off, or you’ll get charged $50 for a five minute trip like we did (we were sleep deprived). For those who are staying in the city or need to get busses, there is also the Canada line train that runs from the airport station all the way to downtown Vancouver. For your first ride just purchase a single fare ticket to the city, you can use the kiosk at the station or your visa/mastercard. If you’re planning on using the public transport often then it will pay to get a compass card. You can purchase them from London Drugs or small kiosks in shopping malls. Here is a link to the transport system in Vancouver – https://www.translink.ca/
Social Insurance Number
After you’ve relaxed for a day or two you’ll need to go to a Service Canada office to register for your SIN (Social Insurance Number). This is just like an IRD number so you will need to get one before you start applying for jobs. We went to the Sinclair Centre location in downtown. It was a really fast process even though we got there half an hour before they closed.
Banking isn’t as modern as it is back home so be prepared for physical cheques and some hefty tax! We went with CIBC as it was one of the highest recommended banks for people on a working holiday visa. CIBC don’t charge foreign workers any annual fees for the first year, so that was a treat. Setting up your account is super easy but make sure to bring your visa, sin, and passport.
Well where to begin with this one. Canada by far has some of the worst mobile plans you can find. Mostly every company that we looked at were charging upwards of $65 per month for an extremely basic package. The plans have limited text, limited minutes, and bugger all data. We originally went with Virgin mobile as at that time they had the best to offer, but we soon found out how bad they were to deal with… especially with all the ridiculous extra charges they dreamt up. So please avoid them at all costs. We are now with Freedom mobile and they are fantastic, so give them a shout when you’re looking. If you decide to go for freedom then give us an email for a sweet discount code, #chursavings.
We hope this helps you guys out and sets you up for an amazing adventure! -Kristina and Cam