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Australians relocating from South Africa to Calgary, Canada

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Canada.

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Australians relocating from South Africa to Calgary, Canada

Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:29 pm

Hi, hope to be relocating to Calgary, Canada by mid-year. Currently going through the process of getting a temporary work permit (valid for 2 years) and would appreciate any help on the topics of: 1) getting money into Canada to get us started, 2) driving licenses & 3) buying a bungalow or townhouse.

 

gottabmad
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Australians relocating from South Africa to Calgary, Can

Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:05 pm

I presume that you have a bank account in SA?

Get the branch manager to write you a letter of introduction to the bank in canada that they do business with. Get a second "Letter of credit" that shows that you have X amount of money to draw on in SA. You can also get a international money order to provide you with Instant Cash once you are in Canada.

Opening a bank account in Canada is a one hour process, provided that you have proper identification, such as a valid passport.

Get a " International Driving Permit" in SA. Check with the local Automobile Club to find out who can issue them to you. This will cover you for up to 6 months in Canada, untill you get a Alberta Provincial one.


RENT for the first two or three years, to save money. Despite the fact that you probably have a great credit record in SA , nobody here gets ANY credit for the first 3 to 5 years that they live in Canada. WHY? Blame the past Immigrants to Canada , who have taken out home loans and then left the country with the money. No offence to you, but it has made Canadian lenders VERY wary of Immigrants and lending them money. Tough but true facts. You will be considered, by Canadian credit companies, as if you wre bron the day that you get here. Like a new born baby, with no credit history in Canada. You have to build it up , over the next few years, by paying your monthly bills on time and getting a small limit card or two, and paying them off each month, to demonstrate your credit worthiness.


The best plan is to be a frugal as possible for the first few years, to save as much as you can, to get a big downpayment amount in the bank. Calgary is a boom town and that means that houses are at a premium, even though they are building at a furious rate all year round. It is the fastest growing city in western Canada.


More questions? Ask me here.

Jim Bunting. Toronto.

 

buntingj
Forum Legend
Forum Legend
 
 
  
Re: Australians relocating from South Africa to Calgary, Can

Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:10 pm

Thanks Jim
Sobering news about the credit situation! We went through something a little similar when we moved to South Africa from Australia but not quite as draconian! Sounds like we'll have to bring in money to start off with a big deposit. We have access to lots of funds back in Australia - it's just a matter of getting it into Canada I guess.

 

gottabmad
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Australians relocating from South Africa to Calgary, Can

Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:41 pm

You are most welcome.

AS I said about credit for Immigrants here in Canada, it is based on past bad experiences.

Canada has no government controls on money being brought in by you. Speak to your SA banking manager for more details on the correct methods to get funds to Canada from Australia.

When I give advice on this forum, I never assume that the person I am advising has a lot of money at hand. If they do, so much the better.

Have you visited Canada before, or is this your first time ? First immpressions will be that everything is BIG and NEW. Obviously coming from Australia, you will be used to a large country, but un-like OZ where most people live along the coasts, we tend to be much more spread out and the cities are not as close together as they are in Europe.

After having lived in SA, Canada with it's four distinct weather seasons will be a pleasant surprise. Each has it's own character ,and feel. Summer is from June to September, with a 3 month autumn when the leaves turn colour and then fall to the ground, ( except for the pines of course ) winter is December to April, and then we look for the first flowers poping thru the snow and the melting of the snow and the begining of the greening of the land, with wild flowers and new buds on the trees that will become the leaves again. A rythm that has ruled the land for millions of years.

WE have learned how to build thru the winter and our houses reflect our technology and the advances in insulation and building materials. Many of our new houses are built with steel frames not wood, and the roofs are steel tiles, guranteed for 50 years. Furnaces are gas or oil fueled, and are a combo of a heating system in winter and a air conditioning system in summer, all in one uint. Calgary gets summer heat, an avearage day in July will be 28 to 33 C. Winter lows will be at minus 10 to minus 20C, and don't forget the windchill fcator. Windchill is the affect of the wind speed combined with the actual temp. Minus 10C and a wind speed of 20 KPH will make it " feel like minus 40C. WE dress for it and learn to have fun outdoors, all winter long.

Calgary is located in the western part of the Province of Alberta, which is now the center for the oil and gas industry in Canada. Alberta is a very rich Province due to the huge amount of income generated by the energy sector there. It is also one of the best places in Canada fo agriculture, both cattle and grain farming. The Alberta ranches are huge even by Australian standards, and it is not unusual for a grain farmer to have 4 to 6 thousand acres in wheat production. Cattle from Alberta are exported all over the world and Alberta beef is number one in quality.

Calgary is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and the land is grasslands, and the farther west you go in Alberta the more the elevations rise. The continental divide is to the west of Calgary. That is the point where the rivers run from the mountain heights and go either west to the Pacific Ocean, or go east to the Atlantic, or go north to the Arctic ocean. Remember that Canada has 3 ocean coasts.

Questions ? Ask me here, and also take the time to read more of my answers to others on this forum.

Jim Bunting. Toronto.

 

buntingj
Forum Legend
Forum Legend
 
 
  
Re: Australians relocating from South Africa to Calgary, Can

Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:49 pm

Thanks again Jim
We visited in mid October last year - both Calgary & Vancouver. Were offered jobs at either locale and we chose Calgary (to the surprise of many!). Seemed like a more interesting place and the lure of the Rockies just to the west was great.
Yes, we do have a fair source of money that we can draw on but we'd like to minimise the amount we have to transfer around the world etc, especially as banks like to take their slice of the pie with international transfers.

 

gottabmad
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Australians relocating from South Africa to Calgary, Can

Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:56 pm

It is good that you have been in Canada before, and that makes it easier when you arrive next time.

I agree that Alberta is THE place to be in Canada now, It is more dynamic and has lots for a family to do on their off times.

You will find many newcomers in Calgary and even more in Fort McMurray to the north. That town didn't exist 30 years ago, it is the typical oil town in Canada, with an annual population increase of 2 to 5 thousand people. Anybody can get a job there, and if a guy has any trades skills, he can double the wage he would make elsewhere in Canada.

Jim B Toronto.

 

buntingj
Forum Legend
Forum Legend
 
 
  
Re: Australians relocating from South Africa to Calgary, Can

Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:09 pm

- buntingj

Have you visited Canada before, or is this your first time ? First immpressions will be that everything is BIG and NEW. Obviously coming from Australia, you will be used to a large country, but un-like OZ where most people live along the coasts, we tend to be much more spread out and the cities are not as close together as they are in Europe.

After having lived in SA, Canada with it's four distinct weather seasons will be a pleasant surprise. Each has it's own character ,and feel. Summer is from June to September, with a 3 month autumn when the leaves turn colour and then fall to the ground, ( except for the pines of course ) winter is December to April, and then we look for the first flowers poping thru the snow and the melting of the snow and the begining of the greening of the land, with wild flowers and new buds on the trees that will become the leaves again. A rythm that has ruled the land for millions of years.

WE have learned how to build thru the winter and our houses reflect our technology and the advances in insulation and building materials. Many of our new houses are built with steel frames not wood, and the roofs are steel tiles, guranteed for 50 years. Furnaces are gas or oil fueled, and are a combo of a heating system in winter and a air conditioning system in summer, all in one uint. Calgary gets summer heat, an avearage day in July will be 28 to 33 C. Winter lows will be at minus 10 to minus 20C, and don't forget the windchill fcator. Windchill is the affect of the wind speed combined with the actual temp. Minus 10C and a wind speed of 20 KPH will make it " feel like minus 40C. WE dress for it and learn to have fun outdoors, all winter long.

Calgary is located in the western part of the Province of Alberta, which is now the center for the oil and gas industry in Canada. Alberta is a very rich Province due to the huge amount of income generated by the energy sector there. It is also one of the best places in Canada fo agriculture, both cattle and grain farming. The Alberta ranches are huge even by Australian standards, and it is not unusual for a grain farmer to have 4 to 6 thousand acres in wheat production. Cattle from Alberta are exported all over the world and Alberta beef is number one in quality.

Calgary is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and the land is grasslands, and the farther west you go in Alberta the more the elevations rise. The continental divide is to the west of Calgary. That is the point where the rivers run from the mountain heights and go either west to the Pacific Ocean, or go east to the Atlantic, or go north to the Arctic ocean. Remember that Canada has 3 ocean coasts.

Questions ? Ask me here, and also take the time to read more of my answers to others on this forum.

Jim Bunting. Toronto.



Jim,

Rox again. Loved your description of Canadian Geography - just wanted to say this !!!!!

 

Roxanne
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
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