After you arrive

  • Westman Immigrant Services
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Manitoba Health Card
  • Transportation
  • Bank Account
  • Find a Doctor
  • Find a place to live
  • Health Insurance
  • Benefits
  • Find a job

What is the Westman Immigrant Services Office?

It’s an organization which can help you to:

  • Learn about living in the community
  • Find out about services in the community and how to access them (health care, education, banking, legal, daily living, housing)
  • Fill out forms and complete documents (Manitoba Health Card, SIN, child tax benefits, travel documents, Citizenship)
  • Understand immigration issues and applications
  • Access free english classes (ESL)
  • Find employment and prepare for a job
  • Hire interpreters 

On your first visit make sure you have: 

  • Your passport
  • A permanent resident card (or letter of confirmation of permanent residence) or landed immigrant papers.

For more information, or to book an appointment click here

What is a SIN card?

To work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card

What do I need to apply?

For information on the required documents you need to provide to apply, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/sin/before-applying.html

How/where can I get it?

If you are a permanent resident, you can apply for a SIN card at any Service Canada Centre office or visit a Settlement Facilitator at Westman Immigrant Services to help you fill out the forms.

A Manitoba health card allows you to see a doctor, get prescription medicine, visit a hospital emergency room or use most other health services.

To apply for one, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/mhsip/register.html download and fill out the registration form, once completed you can fax, mail or email it to the Registration and Client Services Office in Winnipeg. 

Fax:  204-783-2171
Email: insuredben@gov.mb.ca
Mail: 300 Carlton St, Winnipeg, MB R3B 3M9

You can also visit a Settlement Facilitator at Westman Immigrant Services in Brandon to help you fill out the form. For more information, visit http://www.westmanimmigrantservices.ca/settlement-services.html

What forms of public transportation can I access?

Brandon Transit buses, and taxis.

What do I need to ride the bus? 

If you are riding a Brandon Bus, having a "Smart Card" is advised since it makes it easier to pay for fare. All you have to do is tap your card on the fare reader in front of the driver. For information on how to get one, visit http://brandontransit.ca/smart But you can also pay with coins, to see the fare prices, visit http://brandontransit.ca/transit-fares/fare-prices

Brandon Transit also offers a Handi-Transit Service for passengers with disabilities who cannot use the regular Transit service. To access this service or for more information, you can visit their website. 

How do I get a taxi?

There are several taxi companies in the city, all you need to do is call one to request a taxi to your location. You can pay with cash, debit or credit card 

How do I open a bank account?

It doesn't matter if you don't have a job or if you don't have any money to deposit right away. To open an account, go to the bank of your choice. They will need to see 2 pieces of ID (these can be: Your SIN card, your permanent resident card, your Canada issued driver's licence, and your passport). Banks offer chequing and savings accounts.

What is a chequing account?

A chequing account is a place to put money you use often. You can deposit money, withdraw money, make payments, and make purchases. Some questions to ask to your bank include: 

1 What are daily withdrawal limits? And how to set it?

2 If there are special banking packages for students, youths, seniors, newcomers to Canada or business owners

3 What service fees will be charged?

4 How to set up an online banking account (This allows you to pay bills or transfer money from one account to another without having to go to the bank)

What is a family doctor?

Family doctors take care of most medical problems. You can also talk to your family doctor about emotional problems, nutrition, and family planning. If you are sick, go to a family doctor first, and make sure to bring your Manitoba health card. 

Your family doctor may refer (send) you to a specialist (Specialists treat special health problems, such as heart disease). If you think you need to see a specialist, you must talk to your family doctor first and ask for a referral. 

In case of an emergency, go directly to the hospital.

What is a walk-in Clinic?

A walk-in clinic is a medical facility that accepts patients on a walk-in basis and with no appointment required. Some family doctors also have walk-in clinic services.

How do I find a family doctor or clinic? 

New residents coming to Brandon looking for a family doctor may call the various clinics throughout the city and ask if they are receiving new patients, you can find the list at http://economicdevelopmentbrandon.com/medical-clinics You can also use the online family doctor finder at https://forms.gov.mb.ca/family_doctor_finder/

What types of housing are available in Brandon?

Apartment complexes, suites or rooms, single-family homes, mobile homes, senior independent living accommodations, personal care homes, and student housing. 

You can rent a home in the private market, become a member of a co-operative or apply for subsidized housing. The rent types can be month to month or yearly contracts. 

How do I find a place to rent?

There are several online resources and websites about listings in Brandon. To see the list, please visit http://economicdevelopmentbrandon.com/rental-property

What are the steps of renting in Brandon?

  1. Find a place
  2. Contact the landlord 
  3. The landlord might give you a rental application to fill out  (The rental application asks questions that help the landlord decide if you will be a good tenant)
  4. If your application is approved, the landlord will ask you to sign a Tenancy Agreement (A legal agreement between you and your landlord. It is also called a lease) and provide a security deposit (50% of one month’s rent)

How can I buy a home?

To see a listing of current homes for sale and local real estate agents in Brandon, please visit https://brandonarearealtors.ca/browse-listings/

What is a personal health plan/ health insurance?

A health plan covers medical services, such as: Vision, dental, travel, accidents, practitioners, and counselling. This plan allows you to pay just a small fraction of the full price for a service. 

If you're self-employed, working part time or just without workplace benefits you’ll need a health plan.

You can still access medical services like the dentist, ophthalmologist, etc. Even if you are not covered by a health and benefits plan, but you will have to pay a considerable amount of money, so we advise you to purchase a personal health plan.

How do I purchase a personal health plan/ health insurance?

When selecting a health plan, you need to assess your healthcare needs, review the options, crunch the numbers and choose the plan that makes the most sense for your finances and your health. For a list of insurance providers, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_insurance_companies 

The list above is provided as a resource only, we do not control content on external websites

What are benefits?

Benefits are payments provided by the Canadian Government to individuals or families in order to assist with living costs. Some of the benefits include employment Insurance, pensions and benefits for housing, education, training, family and people with disabilities.

How do I apply for benefits?

To see your eligibility to apply for one or more, you can use the benefit finder at https://srv138.services.gc.ca/daf/q?id=245c5b88-f449-4a1d-8829-6ca51b045656&GoCTemplateCulture=en-CA

You can also visit a Settlement Facilitator at Westman Immigrant Services in Brandon to assist you with the process, and help you fill out the forms or documents you might need. For more information, visit http://www.westmanimmigrantservices.ca/settlement-services.html

How can I find a job?

There are several online resources to explore when seeking employment within the City of Brandon and surrounding area. To see a list of websites, please visit http://economicdevelopmentbrandon.com/employment-opportunities

Persons with mental, psychiatric, physical, social and learning disabilities can access comprehensive vocational training services in order to find sustainable employment through Career Connections Inc. (CCI). To learn more about their programs, visit https://cciwestman.ca/

You can also make an appointment at The Westman Immigrant Services where an Employment Facilitator can provide employment assistance, career planning, and guidance. For more information, visit http://www.westmanimmigrantservices.ca/employment.html

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