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How to get started in Calgary

Arriving in a new city can be overwhelming. In Calgary, there are many resources and services to assist newcomers, community organizations to help you get settled, and immigrant serving agencies who can help if you’re new to Canada.

Looking for information on Syrian refugees and how you can help? See the Syrian refugees in Calgary page.

The Newcomers Guide to Calgary also provides important information for new residents in an easy to download and print format.

The Newcomers Guide to the Calgary Police Service provides information for new Canadians about the role of the Calgary Police Service, how to recognize police officers and how to reach out if they need help.

Here are the most important things to do as you get settled in Calgary.

If you’re new to Canada:

  • Contact an immigrant serving agency if you’re new to Canada or a recent immigrant. They can assist you with housing and language training to employment and finding a social circle at no extra cost.
  • Apply for a Canadian bank account


Apply for the right identification

Find a place to live

  • Find accommodations.
  • Set up utilities*
    *Some utilities are included in your rental agreement – please check with your landlord first.
    • Cable
    • Telephone
    • Water
    • Electricity
    • Heat
    • Gas
  • Secure Home/Renters insurance
    • Provides coverage for personal property against fires, theft, vandalism, etc.


Build your career


Ensure you and your family can access health care services

  • Apply for your Alberta Health Card
    • You must register for Alberta Health Care within three months of arriving to Calgary
    • Your Alberta Health Card covers basic health care services

Enroll your children in school.