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After You Arrive

Welcome to London and Middlesex County. There are many things to do when you arrive and it may be confusing. Several organizations are available to help make the transition to your new home. Consider taking advantage of all the people who have experience within these organizations to make things easier. Here are a few things to get you started.

Get help

There are many organizations that can help you get settled:

Cross Cultural Learner Centre

LUSO Community Centre

South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre

Collège Boréal: offers Immigrant settlement and entrepreneurial services (Bilingual/French), contact Manager of Settlement Services at 519-451-5194 extension 7108 or send an email to

Centre Communautaire Régional de London: provides community-based educational, recreational, social and cultural programs and activities in French. Also, have SWIS workers in schools.

Checklist: Things to do after you arrive

There are many government and other forms that you need to complete during your first days in London and Middlesex County.

1.  Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN): The Government of Canada uses Social Insurance Numbers (SINs) to keep track of all Canadian workers. You must have a SIN to work in Canada.

2.  Apply for a Health Card (OHIP): You must have a health card to show that you get healthcare services paid for by the government Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Apply for a health card as soon as you get to Ontario.  There is usually a three-month waiting period from the date you arrive. 

3.  Consider buying private health insurance. Information can be found at website. The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) suggests that newcomers buy private health insurance while they wait for their Health Card. You should buy this insurance within five days of arriving in Ontario, or the insurance companies may not give you insurance.

4.   Apply for an Ontario Driver’s Licence: If you live in Ontario and want to drive, you must have an Ontario driver's license. You may be able to use your foreign driver’s license for a short time when you first get to Canada. The Out of Country Drivers and Getting an Ontario Driver's Licence will tell you how to get a driver's license. 

5.  Make a note of emergency and important phone numbers.  If you have an emergency, phone 9-1-1.  You can call this number to stop a crime, report a fire, save a life, or in any emergency situation when police, fire or ambulance assistance is needed immediately.  Call 9-1-1 only in an emergency. 

6.  You’ll also need find housing, jobs, schools, places to learn English, a place of worship, recreational facilities, etc. This information is contained on the following pages.

Please remember that there are many people and organizations to help you through these important first steps as you get settled in London and Middlesex County.

For more information:

About the Immigration Process to Canada, please visit the Government of Canada website. 

First Days Guide – has information for your first two weeks in Ontario. It is offered in 24 languages, including English.

After You Arrive has information on getting a good start in Ontario.

Welcome to Canada: What you should know has basic information about living in Canada and finding the help you need. has information for new immigrants, including almost 100 tips by immigrants.

Canadian Newcomer Magazine has an on-line magazine containing information for newcomers to Canada. [This site is temporary unavailable].

Newcomers to Canada Day planner has many helpful tips.