• Airplane ticket and transportation to St-Honoré
You must fly to Québec for departures from Europe, Africa or Asia. On arrival, depending on the airline carrier chosen, you will land in Montreal (YUL) or Québec (YQB).
You will then take the bus to Chicoutimi. If you prefer to drive, you can arrange to rent a car before your arrival. You can also fly (Air Canada Jazz) to the Bagotville airport (YBG) which is located 15 minutes by car from Chicoutimi and 20 minutes from St-Honoré.
When you arrive at the airport, you must show the authorities your study permit, your QCA, your passport, your temporary resident visa, if applicable, as well as all documentation which was required in obtaining your study permit.
• Driver’s licence
If you have a valid driver’s licence, you may drive in Québec for up to 6 months – without having a Québec driver’s licence. You must however respect the conditions specified on your licence. If you licence is in a language other than French or English, it is mandatory to obtain an international driver’s permit (IDP).
The IDP is usually requested when you rent a car, in which case, you must be aged 21 years or more. If you reside in France, you can obtain an IDP by visiting your local prefecture or sub-prefecture.
This service is free but the delay in obtaining your IDP can vary and is valid for 3 years. Your driver's license must always accompany your international driving permit to be valid. For more information, visit the website of the Société d'assurance automobile du Québec. We also recommend reading various publications available in avoiding fines, losing demerit points or to even avoid causing an accident by driving on the wrong side of the road … for your information; giving priority to the right does not exist in Québec.
• The medical certificate
Please be advised! The aviation medical examination and the immigration medical examination are not the same thing. If you come to Exact Air to obtain a private license, you will need a class 3 medical certificate and if you require a professional license, you will need a class 1 medical certificate.
Here you will find the approved list of physicians by Transport Canada available worldwide.
• Transfer of funds
Exact Air can also refer you to financial institutions near your place of residence when transferring funds. Check the recommendation of your current financial institution first when determining the best way to transfer funds to a financial institution in Québec. Some banks are present in several countries, while others without a global presence, associate through other banks. Compare offers and packages which are offered and be aware of the high banking fees some financial institutions may charge.
• Research and familiarization
This is a very important step, as much for your adaptation as the preparation for the possible interviews with immigration officials. Visit the forums, websites and personal blogs for an understanding of the experiences lived by others when going through immigration Québec.
The information is easy to find and familiarizing yourself with day-to-day activities (e.g., meal times, the banking system, the voltage of electric appliances or, where to plug your car in at night!), will ease the "culture shock." As well, don’t be surprised if you do not understand absolutely everything the Québécois say during the first few weeks, it will take sometime to develop an ear for the language.