Canadians consider pharmacists to be one of the most trusted professions in the country. Your patients and colleagues will value your skill and knowledge, and will rely on you for professional advice and medication expertise.
During your transition to living and working in Canada, you will need to be aware of how life may be different here than in your current location and how to prepare for those new realities. Learn more about Canada’s provinces and territories, including services to help you settle and resources for Francophone immigrants.
You may discover that the work environment in a typical Canadian pharmacy practice environment is very different than your previous experience. As well, you may need some time or guidance to adapt to Canadian society and culture.
Depending on where you decide to settle in Canada, you may find that some living expenses—such as rental costs or home purchase prices, food and clothing, transportation—may be higher compared to where you have lived previously.
This section will provide you with basic information to help you understand some of the practical aspects of working and living in Canada. It will also provide links to organizations that assist immigrants with the settlement process and provide programming and support for immigrants and their families.
If you decide to move to Canada to work as a pharmacist, you must also apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to be granted permission to enter and remain in the country. After you have spent some time in Canada, you may decide to apply for permanent residency and the Canadian citizenship after meeting the requirements. Review all of your options for living in Canada (citizenship, permanent residency, or a work or study permit).
You may want to contact an organization that helps immigrants settle in Canada and learn about living costs in Canada.
Settlement Service Providers
Settlement service providers are located across Canada’s provinces and territories and each one offers a unique set of services to help new immigrants adapt and adjust to life in Canada.
Settlement services include:
- Interpretation and translation of documents, or help arranging these services
- Help filling out forms and applications
- English as a second language (ESL) classes for you and your family
- Help to find a job or training
- House or apartment hunting
- Information about other community services, schools for your children and health care for you and your family
- Social skills development
To learn about specific services in your area, it’s best to contact your local Settlement Service Provider.
Because settlement service providers are funded by the government, these services are usually free of charge and are always confidential. Many settlement service providers have staff who can speak languages other than English and French. If you go to a settlement service provider and they do not have the service or language you need, they will help you find another provider that does. A list of settlement service providers can be found on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website.
Settlement service providers may also be called immigrant services, settlement agencies, refugee-serving agencies, or newcomer services. Some schools and libraries also have settlement services.
Many agencies have eligibility requirements that you must meet to use their services. For example, you might have to live in a particular area or have a specific immigration status.
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) is a community-based organization that welcomes newcomers and offers a full range of support along with a settlement continuum.