What neighborhoods in Montreal have the best schools?
There are good schools throughout the Montreal area. Which school and neighborhood are right for you is an individual choice, best decided after a thorough orientation tour to understand the pros and cons of the various areas and in understanding how the various school systems work. There are public and private French, English, bi-lingual and immersion schools and there are certain restrictions for entry into some of these schools. It will be important to know which schools will be available for your children. We can clarify all of this for you with a needs assessment and our school search service.
Should I rent or buy when I move to the Montreal area?
This will depend on what your personal financial situation is as well as how long you plan to be in the area. We often suggest that you spend your first few months to a year in a rental while getting more familiar with the different areas, knowing where your spouse may be working, where your children’s activities will be and seeing how you will want to spend your free time. We work closely with qualified and professional real estate agents who can assist you with finding the right home for you immediately and/or in the future.
Do I need to know French to live in Montreal?
It will be a great plus if you know French or if you learn to speak French while living in Quebec. It is required for most job opportunities, but you will be able to get around comfortably only speaking in English in the greater Montreal area. Fortunately there are many options to learn and to practice French here – what a great opportunity to add a second (or third+) language to your skills set!
What type of healthcare should I expect in Quebec?
Healthcare is very good in Quebec, though getting your own individual or family doctor can be difficult. There is excellent care however in the neighborhood clinics (CLSCs), in the public hospitals and private or semi-private clinics. For Canadian citizens, permanent residents and 6 month + work permit holders and their children, Quebec offers healthcare through the Regie d’assurance maladie du Quebec (www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca). There is normally a three month waiting period for new arrivals to Quebec. RAMQ does not always cover every aspect of healthcare but it is very comprehensive. You may want to have some supplemental health care insurance for items that are not covered under RAMQ. Many companies offer their employees supplemental plan options.
Do I need to get a Quebec driver's license if I am only staying in Quebec for a limited period?
Depending on your status while living in Quebec, you will most likely want to get a Quebec driver’s licence if you will be staying for a year or more. Also, depending on your status, you may be REQUIRED to get a Quebec license within the first three months of your arrival. We can let you know what your obligations are and let you know the pros and cons of keeping, when legally allowed, your ‘home’ license.
Will I have to give up my current license when I get a Quebec license?
You can legally hold only one North American license at a time. If you have a license from outside North America, depending on the laws in that country, you can usually get a Quebec license AND keep your foreign license.