Living in Ontario

 Living in Ontario

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Elementary and Secondary School

Ontario's public school system is funded through taxes. The public school system offers quality education to 97% of Ontario's children. As a work permit holder your children may attend school in Ontario at the primary or secondary level without the need for a study permit or payment of fees.

Post-Secondary Education

There are 19 universities and 24 colleges in Ontario. Dependants may enrol at the post-secondary level, subject to admission criteria set out by the school. A study permit is required for all foreign students at the post-secondary level.

Health Insurance

As a work permit holder, you and your dependants are eligible for publicly funded health care under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) which provides free basic health care services such as doctor or hospital visits. To qualify, your work permit must be valid for at least 6 months. OHIP coverage does not apply for the first 90 days after arrival so it is advised that private coverage be arranged prior to coming to Ontario or within the first 5 days after arrival.

Driver's Licenses

Visitors to Ontario may drive with a foreign license for up to one year provided their licence is valid and accompanied by an international driver's permit. Residents of Ontario who wish to drive must apply for an Ontario driver's license. A foreign driver's license is only valid for 60 days after arriving in Canada. All applicants for an Ontario driver's licence are required to present a valid foreign driver's licence, pass a vision test and a written knowledge test regarding Ontario's traffic rules, pay all applicable fees and provide proof of identity. Licensed drivers with at least two years of driving experience from the USA, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Japan, Northern Ireland, Korea and Switzerland may get full class licence privileges without taking a knowledge or road test. Drivers from other countries must present official, written confirmation of their driving experience.

Social Insurance Number

Everyone who works in Canada is required to have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). This is a nine-digit number used to identify people who earn money through work, pay taxes and use government services. A SIN should be applied for immediately upon obtaining a work permit or confirmation of permanent residence. This can be done at any Service Canada Centre.

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