Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island, Canada

First things to do when you arrive

Updated: 2023-06-27

Moving to a new country can be hard. You may struggle to understand your new environment. The ways people do everyday things may be unusual to you. Many things like housing, health, education, employment, finances, government, shopping, customs, etc. may be different in Canada compared to your country of origin or the place where you lived before.

Making a new home can take a long time, especially if you do not have the right information and do not know what to do. To help you with that, we have developed this Guide.

When you arrive in PEI, there are many things you need to do to get settled. We have listed the most important ones on the checklists below. There is more information about each of the items on the checklists, and many other topics, further in the Guide. [See links]

Things to do upon arrival

There are certain things you should do immediately upon arrival. Then some things are also essential to get settled but can take a longer time. It is a good idea to start doing them as soon as possible.

Things to do right away

Here is a checklist of important things to do within two weeks of your arrival in PEI:

  • register with the Immigrant & Refugee Services Association PEI, your local settlement agency
  • find a place to live
  • apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • apply for a PEI Health Card
  • apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
  • apply for the GST/HST Credit
  • open a bank account
  • get your name on the waiting list for a family doctor
  • find out about local health clinics and emergency services
  • get your language ability tested and find English classes for you and your family
  • register your children in school


  • if you are a Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee applicant, register with the Office of Immigration
  • if you are francophone, register with francophone settlement services

Other important things to do

Here is a checklist of other important things that may take more time to do and are helpful in making PEI home for you and your family:

  • get information on training, upgrading, or international credentials recognition
  • learn how to look for a job in Canada and about Canadian workplace culture
  • get maps and find out about local transportation
  • apply for a driver's licence or identity card
  • find out where to shop
  • find out about recreation, sports, and the arts in your area
  • learn about your legal rights and responsibilities
  • increase your knowledge about Canada and PEI
  • socialize and make new friends
  • become a Canadian citizen

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Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island, Canada © by Immigrant & Refugee Services Association of PEI (IRSA) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this Guide is accurate and up-to-date. If you find of any errors or omissions, please contact us.