Canada Immigration

What Things You Need To Know Before Moving To Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is one of the coastal provinces in eastern Canada off New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The island features red sand beaches, lighthouses and farmland and is known for its seafood and tranquil lifestyle.

PEI is the least populated province in all of Canada, making it a region where newcomers can largely escape the hustle and bustle of Canada’s metropolises. PEI is known for its quieter and more intimate communities and the province’s crime rate is very low, making it a great place to settle.

If you’re planning to settle in PEI or are looking for more information about living in the province, this article covers topics from housing to taxes.

Housing In Prince Edward Island

The housing market in PEI is quite small, largely due to the small population of just over 170,000 residents. There are just over 64,000 residential properties across the province.

Although newcomers to Canada typically settle in a region’s two or three largest Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), there are no CMAs in PEI. Instead, PEI has two Census Agglomerations (CAs), namely the capital city of Charlottetown (just over 86,000 residents) and Summerside (just over 18,000 residents).

As of February 2022, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Charlottetown was $1,205.

Some resources to help you find housing on PEI include:

Commuting In Prince Edward Island

Statistics Canada reports that more than 90% of residents in both PEI California primarily use a car, van or truck for commuting. In Charlottetown, more than 29,000 residents primarily use a private vehicle to get around the province. Over 6,000 people live in Summerside.

If you want to drive in PEI, you must obtain a PEI driver’s license. For the first four months, as a PEI newcomer, you are allowed to drive a motor vehicle with your driving license obtained in your home country. It is important to note that both the PEI provincial government and the Canadian federal government advise newcomers to Canada to also carry an International Driver’s License (IDP) during the time they are in Canada using their home country’s driver’s license.

After this four-month period, new PEI drivers must obtain a provincial driver’s license. The process for obtaining a driver’s license for the first time in PEI involves following the province’s “three-year Graduate Driver Licensing Program,” which is a requirement “before you will be issued a Class 5 driver’s license.” However, the first step in the process is to obtain a teacher’s license.

PEI does not have as much public transportation as other provinces; However, the province continues to provide some public transportation to its communities. Public transportation in PEI is largely operated by T3 Transit, a bus system.

Employment In Prince Edward Island

In PEI, the three industries that employ the most people are:

  • The commercial industry employs over 12,000 PEI residents
  • The public administration employs over 9,000 people
  • Over 9,000 people are employed in the health and social services

Retail falls into a broad category of service sectors, including retail and wholesale trades. Those who work in public administration typically work in government positions, either at the federal, provincial, local, municipal or regional government level. Finally, the health and human services industry employs doctors, nurses, caregivers, and many other types of mental and physical health specialists.

Resources to help you find a job in PEI include:

Healthcare In Prince Edward Island

Health care across Canada is funded by public tax dollars under the universal health care model.

Once a newcomer has resided in PEI for more than three months, they can receive free healthcare if they have a valid provincial health card. The process to apply for a health card in PEI involves using this online form or submitting an application and all required documentation to either PEI Medicare or an Access PEI center.

With a valid provincial health card, Canadians living in a province or territory can access public health services in their region of residence free of charge at the point of use. However, some medications and treatments require the recipient to pay for the item or service out of their own pocket.

Education In Prince Edward Island

In PEI, children enter the compulsory part of the Canadian education system around the age of six, when they enter kindergarten. You can send your child to school for free by enrolling them in the public school system from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Parents can also send their child to a private school or an independent boarding school where the school fees are paid out of their own pocket.

The provincial government has made this online resource available to the public, which breaks down the province’s outlined curriculum for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

When it comes to postgraduate education in PEI, there are more than 20 Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in the province, located in 13 different cities in the province.

Most DLIs in PEI offer programs that would allow a newcomer to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). A PGWP is great for non-permanent residents as it allows the permit holder to gain Canadian work experience that will be useful when applying for permanent residency in Canada.

Taxation In Prince Edward Island

In PEI, the sales tax on goods and services is 15%. This is the Harmonized Provincial Sales Tax (HST), which combines PEI’s Provincial Sales Tax (PST, 10%) with a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5%.

Similar to other provinces and territories in Canada, income taxes in PEI depend on how much you earn in a given tax year. Typically, those with higher annual incomes pay more taxes to the government during tax season.

Newcomer services

New arrivals to PEI can take advantage of the province’s Immigrant and Refugee Services Association (IRSA), which provides services to settle new arrivals from the pre-arrival phase through to preparing the newcomer for the Canadian citizenship test.

211PEI is another service that helps those new to PEI find settlement resources in the area.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides federally funded settlement services to residents across Canada. These services can help you find a job, learn English or French, or send your child to school.

About author


Hudson, the travel scribe, paints the world with his words. His tales are a passport to unseen places, his passion, the compass guiding his journeys. From the rhythm of city life to the tranquility of nature, he weaves narratives that are not just travelogues, but love letters to exploration and storytelling.
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