Before You Arrive

As you plan and prepare for your move to Canada, consider living in Northumberland County. Located only an hour east of Toronto, our community has everything you need to settle and live here. If you have questions about life in our county and would want to connect with someone from your cultural group or someone who speaks your language, please email us.

How to apply to live here

Before you can move to Northumberland County, you will need to apply for entry through Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program can also make your application for permanent residence quicker.

Helpful resources

Application categories

You can apply to come to Canada under the following categories:

Skilled worker or professional

Canadian experience class

If you are a temporary foreign worker or foreign student who graduated in Canada, you may have the qualities to make a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence. You must be familiar with Canadian society and can contribute to the Canadian economy. You should have knowledge of English or French and qualifying work experience.

Investor, entrepreneur or self-employed person

Provincial nominee

You can be nominated by a province or territory if you have the skills, education and work experience needed to make an immediate economic contribution. You must be able to economically establish yourself successfully as permanent resident in Canada. You must be nominated by a Canadian province or territory.

Family class (spouse or partner, children)

If you are eligible, you can sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent children to become permanent residents of Canada.

If you do, you must be able to:

  • support them financially, and
  • make sure they do not need social assistance from the government.

Live-in caregiver

You can only hire a caregiver through the program if you have:

  • found a caregiver who already has a work permit in the Live-in Caregiver Program and who is looking for a new employer, and
  • been approved for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) that shows the caregiver has agreed to live in your home.
Other options for hiring a caregiver

If this doesn’t apply to you, you can still hire a foreign caregiver through the:

You can decide, with the caregiver, if they live in or out of your home.


Refugees are people who have fled their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution. They are not able to return home.

A refugee is different from an immigrant. An immigrant is a person who chooses to settle permanently in another country. Refugees are forced to flee.

Canadian refugee protection programs

The Canadian refugee system has two main parts:

  • Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program for people who need protection from outside Canada
  • In-Canada Asylum Program for people making refugee protection claims from within Canada

For more information, visit Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada.

Refugee sponsorships and settlement

The Resource Committee on Refugee Sponsorships and Resettlement in Northumberland County is a core group of government and community agencies that provides support and coordination to refugee-sponsorship groups as well as support for resettlement when sponsored families arrive in our community.

The committee anticipates the need for critical refugee settlement, especially in language training as well as other settlement issues including education and training, housing, health and immigration.

The committee is composed of:

If you wish to volunteer with any of the groups listed above or donate to their fundraising efforts, please call or send an email to the listed contact person(s). If you wish to volunteer to coordination and resettlement supports, please email us.

Other helpful resources

Save time by sending a complete application

Watch this tutorial video on YouTube to learn how to complete your application correctly.

For more information on the application process, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Documents to bring

When you are getting ready to come to Canada, it is very important to have original versions of important documents to bring with you. It is also important to have copies of these documents made and to keep the copies in a safe place. Before you leave your country, make sure the documents below can be ready in time:


Education documents are official records from your secondary school, college, or university. These types of documents might include the following:

  • Degrees, diplomas, and certificates
  • Program descriptions, transcripts
  • Detailed course information can also be useful
  • Work experience

Bring documents that explain your past work experience. These documents might include the following:

  • Job descriptions
  • Employment records
  • Performance evaluations
  • Letters from employers and work supervisors
  • Descriptions of training that you have completed
  • Credential Assessment – Foreign Skilled Workers

If you are applying as the principal applicant under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) you must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of your completed foreign educational credentials, especially if these were obtained outside of Canada. You must include the ECA with your application along with proof of your foreign credential.

To learn more about how you should have your education assessed by a CIC-designated organization, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Job search documents

A resume and cover letter are used by most people looking for a job in Canada. You should prepare these documents before you arrive here.

Other helpful documents

Here are some other important documents you should think about bringing with you to Canada:

  • Medical records for you and your family including vaccinations records
  • School records for your children
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificates
  • Driver’s license
  • Legal documents such as wills or proof of real estate ownership in your country of origin

The Federal Government has produced some important information to help you get started on gathering and preparing all your documents. Visit Welcome to Canada: What you should know to find more information on what important documents you should bring with you to Canada.

Translation services

Most of your documents will have to be submitted in English or French. Before you translate your documents, find out which language is needed (English or French).

You will have to pay for translation services. Also, some organizations may only accept documents translated by certain companies or their own agencies. Be sure to ask the organization you are applying to for a list of qualified translation companies.

Helping immigrants integrate and succeed

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has developed a video called 'Before You Arrive in Canada' to give newcomers useful practical advice and information that will help them as they prepare their move to Canada.

Canadian laws

Canada has a system of laws that apply to all people who live here. These laws are created by a government that was chosen by the public. Basic laws are in place to keep society in order and to keep peace.

We call our system of laws the justice system. Everyone in Canada is equal under the justice system. You are innocent until proven guilty. If you are guilty of breaking the law, you will be fined or go to jail, depending on the crime.

Some important laws that apply in Northumberland County are:

  • All children aged 6 to 16 must go to school or get a formal education.
  • You cannot make any kind of sexually harassing remarks or advances.
  • You cannot hit or harm anyone, including your spouse or children, either in the home or in public.
  • You cannot damage or destroy public or personal property.
  • You cannot buy or drink alcohol until you are 19.
  • You cannot buy tobacco, tobacco products, vapes or vaping products until you are 19. You cannot smoke tobacco products until you are 18.
  • You cannot buy or sell addictive drugs such as  heroin or cocaine. Cannabis (marijuana) is now legal in Canada but its sales and possession is regulated by the government.
  • Some prescription drugs are prohibited in Canada.

For more information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Canadian Law and Justice page.

Rights and freedoms

In Northumberland County, you will have the same rights and freedoms as all people who live here. These are the same for all Canadians.

Some rights and freedoms include:

  • You have the right to freedom of speech.
  • You have the right to a peaceful life and must respect the laws that promote peace in our community.
  • You have the right to practice your own religion.
  • You have the right to rent or buy a safe home.
  • You cannot be treated differently or unfairly because of your race, language, sex, sexuality, creed, religion, colour, family status or age.

Visit the Justice Law website to read more about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Getting ready to work

Before you arrive, you will need to find out what kind of work you are qualified to do, or can be trained to do.

You may have questions like these:

  • What is my occupation called in Canada?
  • Is my occupation regulated?
  • What documents should I bring from my home country?

Helpful resources:

Your safety matters

Learn about how the Occupational Health and Safety Act protects you, and learn about the rights and duties of workers, supervisors, employers and others for safe and healthy workplaces.