Settle Here

From opening a bank account to buying a house, it is good to know what to expect before you arrive in Nova Scotia. Once you arrive, there are lots of friendly people who can help you become comfortable in your new surroundings.

See our Settlement Infographic (PDF) for an overview of the settlement services available for you and your family.

There are a few things that you should do within the first few weeks of arriving, so you are ready to live, work and receive health care in the case of an emergency.

Apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) Card

The Permanent Resident (PR) Card replaces your paper Record of Landing (IMM1000) document you received for travelling. A PR card becomes the proof of status document needed when re-entering Canada by airplane, boat, train or bus.

Application forms for a PR card are available on the immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. If you can not find the information you are looking for you can contact IRCC through their website.

Apply for a Health Card – Nova Scotia Medical Service Insurance (MSI)

You will need a Nova Scotia Health Card to get free medical and hospital services in Nova Scotia. You must show your health card whenever you see a doctor or go to the hospital. To apply for a health card visit the Government of Nova Scotia website.

Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

To apply for a job in Nova Scotia or receive government benefits you will need a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN). Everyone who works in Canada, including Canadian citizens, must have a SIN.

To apply for a SIN you must provide the true/original document proving your identity and status in Canada. All documents must be in either English or French.

You can pick up an application form at your local Service Canada office, or download one from the Service Canada website.

NOTE: When you submit your application, ask for a receipt. With this you can apply for jobs while you wait for your official SIN. You will receive a letter with your SIN by mail within 20 business days from the date the application is received.