Immigrating to Canada can seem daunting. However, there are many benefits for new immigrants to Canada that you can take advantage of to ease into life in Canada, thanks to the government of Canada. Your transition into your new life doesn't have to be a cashless one.
New Canadians are eligible for many benefits which are accessible upon arrival, regardless of income. In all instances however, you must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) before you apply for these benefits.
Below, we will explain how permanent residents can acquire financial and medical benefits in Canada.
Canadian Immigration Overview
An immigrant is a person who moves to a new country, legally or illegally, from another country. Canada is among the most popular countries for immigrants because of its relatively lax immigration laws and strong economy. Canada allows most people to immigrate if they can prove they have the money to support themselves and contribute positively to Canadian society in some way.
So, what does it mean to immigrate to Canada? In short, one can become a Canadian citizen by meeting specific requirements, including passing a proficiency test in either English or French, having no criminal record, being of good character, and having a valid job offer.
There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. The most popular are the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW). Immigrants must pass a medical exam, security checks, and a language test before being accepted.
Immigration is not easy, but it offers many benefits. For example, immigrants can get more work opportunities in Canada than in many other countries. Immigrants can also enjoy a higher standard of living, better healthcare, and more freedom than in their home countries.
Benefits for New Canadian Immigrants
The Canadian government has a generous benefits system that provides financial assistance across many areas. If eligible, there are disability, employment insurance, housing and caregiving to name a few. Let's explore a few now.
The Canada child benefit is a federal government program that provides families with monthly payments to help them with the cost of raising children. To be eligible for the Canada child benefit, you must have at least one child under 18 who lives with you and is dependent on you for support.
The Canada child benefit amount you receive depends on your family income and the number of children you have. In addition to the Canada child benefit, many provincial and territorial governments offer child benefit programs.
You must understand that the Canada child benefit is not a substitute for child support payments. You can use the Canada child benefit to cover many child-related expenses, such as food, clothing, transportation, and daycare costs. If you receive child support payments from a non-custodial parent, you should make sure that these payments are applied to your childcare costs before claiming any remaining amount for income tax purposes.
GST/HST Tax Credit
A GST/HST credit is a non-taxable amount that you can apply to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) payable on purchases.
GST/HST credits are available to individuals eligible to claim the disability tax credit (DTC) and families with children under 18 years of age. Your family’s net income and the number of children in the family determine the amount of credit you receive.
Families with incomes below a certain threshold may also be eligible for a more sizable credit. If you meet the GST/HST credit criteria, you can use it to offset provincial sales tax (PST), provided that the type of purchase is eligible for the credit.
For example, a family with two children under 18 years of age whose net income is below $35,000 could receive a GST/HST credit of $970 for 2018. The calculation is as follows: $35,000 x 5% = $1,750 maximum credit (actual amount: $970). The portion of the credit that you do not use can carry forward, and you can claim it in the future.
In addition to living in a safe, friendly country with many opportunities, new Canadian immigrants can benefit financially. New Canadian immigrants may be eligible for various government benefits, such as tax credits, employment insurance, and social assistance.
New Canadian immigrants may also take advantage of their foreign credentials and education to find well-paying jobs in their respective fields. Plus, new Canadian immigrants may be able to receive financial assistance from family members who are already living in Canada. Canada also offers settlement and language services for cash to new residents.
How to Get Benefits for New Canadian Immigrants
A Canadian immigrant can apply for medical and financial benefits when they meet the eligibility period. Some programs, such as welfare, only help people living in the country at the time of application. Others, such as disability, may be available to those with long-term or permanent resident status. You must know the details of each program before applying.
Many people are eligible for financial benefits in Canada. There are government benefits, such as disability and welfare, and private benefits like worker’s compensation and insurance.
Some private companies even offer “baby bonuses” to new parents. To be eligible for these benefits, you must meet basic eligibility requirements. For example, you must show that you need the assistance or qualify for it based on your income and other factors.
Certain restrictions may apply to certain types of benefits. For example, the government may deny disability if it determines that you can work at least part-time.
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