Moving to Waterloo Region is one of the most important choices you will ever make.  We are glad that you have decided to make our community your home.

On this page are tools and information to help you prepare to come to Canada and Waterloo Region.

Checklist: Things to do before you arrive

There are many things you can do to make your arrival in Waterloo Region easier. Here is a list of things you can do to prepare for life in Waterloo Region and feel at home more quickly.

1. Gather essential 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.

2. Translate documents

Translate documents only if a translation from your home country will be accepted.  Some organizations only accept translations from specific translators.  For example documentation for your driver’s licence 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.

3. Get ready to…

Look for work – 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.

      • Research Canada’s Labour Market at the Working in Canada website, as well as Industry and Job trends in Waterloo Region, and Job Accreditation
      • Bring education records – School records or transcripts, diplomas or degrees, Trade or professional certificates and licences
      • Bring employment records – Reference from pas employers, work samples, employer brochures
      • Create a Résumé  – List your education and skills and work experience

Start a Business

      • Assess – Think of new ideas and decide whether they are good business ideas
      • Write a Business Plan – This is an important document that describes your business,has financing and marketing plans, and shows how you will make money

Locate Your Business Here

      • Contact Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc. or other business associations in Waterloo Region to find out more about locating your business here.

Study Here

      • Assess – Think about your career and learning goals.  Is a university degree, a college program, or other adult education courses best for you?
      • 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 assistance.

4. Learn about the weather

Learn about the Weather in Waterloo Region, and dressing for winter in Ontario.

5. Learn English

Learn English: English is the common language in Waterloo Region and is needed for work and many daily situations.  Start learning English in your home country and try language resources on the internet.

6. Plan your expenses

Plan your expenses.  A well planned budget will help you make important financial decisions about housing, owning a car and other expenses.

7. Find a place to live

Learn about housing and our community to help you decide where you would like to live.

8. Visit Waterloo Region

You may be interested in visiting Waterloo Region before you move here.  These sites have information about interesting things to see and do in and around Waterloo Region.

      • Explore Waterloo Region
      • Grand River Country

You may also be interested in Arts & Culture, Driving a Car, or Maps of Waterloo Region.

For more information…

  • First Days Guide has useful information for your first 2 weeks in Ontario. It is available in 24 languages including English.
  • A Guide to Community Resources for Refugees, Immigrants and Other Newcomers to Kitchener-Waterloo offers information for refugees, immigrants and other newcomers to Kitchener-Waterloo.
  • 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.
  • Building Futures in Canada has personal stories of people who have immigrated to Canada.