Newcomers in Canada with a Working Holiday Visa (WHV),
here are some tips for you!
If you want to work here in Banff or anywhere in Canada, first you will need a Social Insurance Number or SIN. To do so, you have to go to Service Canada in Canmore with your passport and your WHV. It is free and you will instantly have a temporary paper with your number on it. They will sent you the card by mail, so remember to give this address.
It is the address of main post office in Banff and you just need to show ID to get your mail.
Alberta Health Card
Usually, you have to get your own insurance when you applied for a WHV but just so you know, you might also be able to get Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan for free if you are an eligible resident of Alberta.
You might need a phone if you are looking for a job and contact employers. In Banff, the Cascade Plaza Mall on Banff Ave and Wolf St is the place to go. You will find Rogers and Bell shops but also The Source who also provide Virgin Mobile plans. You might also want to check Telus/Koodoo shop on Bear St. Usually, they ask passport and a credit card if you need a monthly plan.
Alberta Driver’s Licence / ID
There are lots of advantages getting an Alberta ID or a Alberta Driver’s Licence if you plan to stay in Banff. You can have discount in bars, restaurants, shops, rentals, … not only in Banff but also in the Bow Valley. To do so, you have to go to the registry office in Banff. It is located under the theater.
There are two banks in Banff, more in Canmore. Here you can find ATB, Bow Valley Credit Union, BMO and CIBC. They may have special plans for new comers. We also have RBC and Scotia Bank ATM only. In Canmore you can those banks and also TD, Scotia Bank and RBC.
To open a bank account, it is really easy and fast if you just need a debit card, they will probably ask you your passport and the address you are staying now. Remember to give the General Delivery address so you can easily access your mail.
If your intentions are to stay for a couple of weeks, months or seasons, you might want to look for shared accommodation or private apartment if your job doesn’t provide staff accommodation. You could check ads online on Kijiji or on newspapers’ website such as Rocky Mountain Outlook or Crag & Canyon. You can also leave an application to real estate agency such as Re/max or Cascade Realty Services. If you need any information about renting a place, anything concerning landlord/tenants rights, check the Service Alberta website.