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Before you Arrive

Moving to London or Middlesex County is one of the most important choices you will ever make.  We hope that you will decide to make our community your home. 

On this page are tools and information to help you prepare to come to Canada.  This link gives a general overview for newcomers in several languages.


Pre-arrival Services

There are free online and in-person services you and your family can access as soon as you are selected to immigrate to Canada. These pre-arrival services are provided to you free of charge by the settlement service providers from across Canada listed on this site while you are still overseas.

Select any of the following for Ontario On-line services from the list or click on the following links:


Checklist: Things to do before you arrive

There are many things you can do to make your arrival easier. Here is a list of things you can do to ease the transition and feel at home more quickly.

1. Gather required documentation
When you travel to Canada, you must carry essential documents with you. You will need to show these documents to Immigration and Customs Officials.  Do not pack them in your suitcase. Ontario Immigration can also supply vital information about the immigration process.

2. Translate documents
Translate documents only if a translation from your home country will be accepted.  Some organizations only accept translations from specific Canadian translators. The reason for this is that the translation cannot be verified and overseas translators are not known in Canada. Most government services, businesses and other community services prefer that translation of documents be done here. For example documentation for your driver’s license should be translated in Canada. 

Check with the organization that is asking for the translation before paying for translation services. Read more about translating documents at Settlement.Org.  You may also be interested in local translation and interpretation services, like those at Cross Cultural Learner Centre, London Translation Services, and Across Languages.

3. Learn English
English is the common language in London and Middlesex County and is needed for work and many daily situations.  Start learning English in your home country and try language resources on the internet (

4. Learn about the weather 
Southwestern Ontario enjoys four seasons and is cold during the winter months. If you’re from a warmer climate, this webpage on provides good information about dressing for winter in Ontario.

5. Get ready to work or study in London and Middlesex County
It may take a while to get the job that you want.  There are many things you can do before you arrive that will help you find a job more quickly.

  o Research Canada’s labour market at the Working in Canada website
  o Gather education records - School records or transcripts, diplomas or degrees, Trade or professional certificates and licences
  o Gather employment records - Reference from past employers, work samples, employer brochures
  o Create a Canadian-style resume, which lists your education and skills and work experience


Get ready to study in London and Middlesex County
  o Think about your career and learning goals.  Is a university degree, a college program, or other
      adult education courses best for you?
  o Research courses or programs that are of interest to you.  Contact the school to find out about
     educational requirements, English language requirements, and available services and financial

6. Plan your costs
A well planned budget will help you make important financial decisions about housing, owning a car and other expenses. This link will help you understand costs of living (basic expenses, like housing, food, shelter, etc.) in Ontario.

Be Careful

Immigration consultants and lawyers are people who work to help newcomers through the paperwork involved in coming to Canada. Many are honest but some are not. If you choose to use one, carefully consider his or her qualifications. Immigration consultants and lawyers need a licence to practice in Canada. For more information, visit Government of Canada website or view a list of qualified consultants.

**Disclaimer: City of London is not affiliated with any Immigration Representative nor do we give recommendations about whose services to use.  If you do choose to have your paperwork completed by an Immigration Representative, please refer to Choose a Representative for more information on making an informed choice.**


For More Information

* If you like to know more about the Immigration Process to Canada, visit Immigrate to Canada webpage.
* Building Futures in Canada has personal stories of people who have immigrated to Canada.
* Before You Arrive by Ontario Immigration provides information on preparing to move to Ontario, helps you prepare for your move, and tells you what to expect when you arrive.
* First Days Guide has useful information for your first two weeks in Ontario. It is available in 24 languages including English