7 Things You Need To Know Before Moving to Alberta

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: May 31, 2022

Alberta is a beautiful western province in Canada. It is known for its picturesque beauty with mountain ranges and miles of coniferous, lush green forestry.

These factors, paired with good health and education infrastructure, make Alberta an ideal place to live and raise a family.

Although the prospects of moving to Alberta are huge, it comes with a cost. Moreover, you have to tick a long checklist before moving so that your life in Alberta is comfortable, safe, and secure.

The checklist from the pros at Surex ranges from getting a local driver’s license to buying the best home insurance in Alberta.

The good news is that we have done the homework for you. Read on to find out things you need to know before moving to Alberta.

Moving to Alberta checklist for homebuyers

Here is everything you need to take care of before moving to Alberta:

  1. Get the Alberta ID card


Your priority when moving to Alberta should be to get an ID card.

The eligibility criteria include:

  • Applicants aged 12 years or below 18 years need the consent of their parents or guardians
  • A non-resident student who belongs to a different jurisdiction and is currently pursuing education from an Alberta-accredited institution.


The applicant needs to visit an authorized registry agent to get their ID card. In case of inability to visit, fill out the ID card application.

Note: The Alberta ID card’s validity is five years from the date of issue.

  1. Apply for Alberta’s Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)

Alberta’s Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) is the province’s free, public, and useful healthcare system, which can be accessed by any permanent Albertan resident.

But, when you aren’t a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, it is vital to purchase a private healthcare insurance plan at the earliest.

When moving to Alberta from Canada

If you are moving to Alberta from another province and intend to live in Alberta for 12 or more months, you must apply for AHCIP, within three months from the date of issued Alberta residency.

Meanwhile, you can use your previous health card from the older province to avail of insured health benefits here as well.

When moving to Alberta from outside Canada

Individuals moving to Alberta from outside Canada become eligible to apply for AHCIP coverage once approved for Alberta residency.

Apply for AHCIP coverage along with the prescribed documents within three months from the date of issue of Alberta residency.

When moving to Alberta temporarily (work/visit/study)

If a person moves to Alberta for work purposes but intends to live here for 12 or more months, they become eligible to apply for AHCIP. The different documents needed include:

  • An active work contract of 6 months or more
  • Documentation for the designation of the individual as a Convention Refugee
  • Study permit/ visitor permit
  1. Apply for an Alberta driver’s license

Temporary residents

The temporary residents, including visitors, students, or foreign workers (Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program), cannot apply for an Alberta driver’s license since they don’t intend to live here permanently.

Such temporary residents are permitted to use the driver’s license issued by their home jurisdiction for up to one year.

But, the driver’s license should be equal to or higher than a Class 5. Additionally, when the license is in any other language than English, an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is important for temporary residents.

When moving to Alberta from another province

When Moving to Alberta from Another Province

Canadians belonging to other provinces who want to live in Alberta temporarily are permitted to use their home jurisdiction’s driver’s license.

However, Canadians are permitted the same only when they live in their home province for six or more months every year.

When moving to Alberta from a different country

Get your previous driver’s license exchanged for an Alberta driver’s license within 90 days. The individual is also required to qualify for a written and driving test.

  1. Change your address

Start with the address-changing process two weeks before moving to Alberta. The inability to do so could lead to complications.

Start with your official addresses. Create a checklist of the different accounts that need an official address for important communications. Afterward, inform all the concerned private and public organizations about your new address.

  1. Cost of living

Alberta is Canada’s most affordable and reasonable province. As per the Canadian income survey reports, the families living in Alberta earned $91,500 as an average income after tax. It is remarkably above the national average income of $72,500.

Rental rates might vary from city to city. However, Alberta offers the lowest rental rates compared to the other cities in the country.

For instance, the average rental rates for a one-bedroom apartment in different cities are:

  • Edmonton – $873
  • Calgary – $976
  • Toronto – $2,230
  • Vancouver – $2,100
  1. Renting an apartment

Renting an Apartment 1

Here are some important things that Canadians should try to remember when renting an apartment in Alberta:

  • The rental property should preferably be within proximity to public transportation, the workplace, or the school.
  • After signing the lease, take out a sufficient renter’s insurance policy. The renter’s insurance can cover all your belongings. Moreover, it is affordable.
  • Compare prices and coverage options by using a reputable insurance brokerage to obtain a wide variety of different home and auto insurance quotes in Alberta.
  1. Get to know the weather and prepare for it

It snows in Alberta from early September up until late June. While the daytime temperature remains around -5°C to -15°C, it could drop to -30°C or -40°C for shorter periods of time.

Before moving to the province, you should check Alberta’s snow shoveling policies and bylaws. Non-compliance could lead to heavy fines for property owners.


Moving is often considered a synonym for stress, waste of time, money, and prolonged tasks.

But, with the right checklist, including getting a driver’s license, buying the best home insurance, getting an Alberta ID card, applying for the AHCIP, etc., your move to Alberta will expose you to a vibrant and prosperous community.

Moreover, it ensures a comfortable, safe, and secure stay in Alberta.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments