I arrived in Canada around mid-autumn of 2016, when everything was turning yellow.
I travelled a few times between Montreal and Calgary. I finally settled in Montreal last January 2017 because of the city’s exceptional beauty and diversity. But what I really liked the most is the convenience of transportation. With frequent schedules of buses and Metro (Montreal’s underground train), having a car is not a necessity for a single person like me.
Although the rate of taxes are a bit high at around 9% + 5% compared to Alberta’s 5%, cost of living is affordable. I find the meats, fruits and vegetables cheaper here. Filipino foods are not also hard to find here, I can even buy a balut from a nearby Asian store!
How I got my SIN in Montreal
It just took me thirty minutes to get my SIN. I went to a Service Canada office in Décarie Boulevard. I just took the metro (orange line) to Snowdon station and walked from there:
5160 Boulevard Décarie #700, Montréal, QC H3X 2H9
The office is in 7th floor. After arriving they just asked me for my CSQ and COPR. Within minutes, I got my SIN! Years before they issue SIN cards but recently, they only give a piece of paper with your SIN details in it. You should keep this paper in a safe place as SIN can be used for identity theft and scams.
How I registered for RAMQ
RAMQ’s office is in downtown, between Mcgill abd Place des Arts metro:
425 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal, QC H3A 3G5
RAMQ requires a proof of lease under your name so you can prove that you are living in Quebec. If your name doesn’t appear in the lease because you are living with a relative or a friend, the person who is in the lease should make a sworn statement that you are living with him/her. So I asked my grandma to accompany me when I registered for RAMQ. She signed the sworn statement in front of a RAMQ personnel while I filled up the required forms.
The coverage starts by the time you receive the card. However, the card will be issued 3 months after the registration. I was careful not to get sick while waiting for my RAMQ card back then. But if ever you need to see a doctor, you can go to a walkin clinic and pay $20 – $30 for consultation.
Finding Jobs in Montréal
As I settled in Montréal last January 2017, I started looking for jobs. I learned that it’s very hard to find a job during the winter season. I don’t have connections and I don’t know anyone here except my grandma. After 3 months of scouring Indeed for jobs, I was finally hired by GoodFood as an Associé a la Production. I started working at the beginning of Spring.
Those three months of being jobless is the hardest period for me here in Canada. There are things that I wish I could have done in those three months while I am looking for jobs. I wish I have studied or at least made friends and connections. I felt very depressed but I’m glad that it’s over.