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News and Events at NewToBC


Useful Information for Newcomers Who are Settling in BC

Posted on: August 14, 2023

New immigrants need good information to build their lives in a new place. In our work with immigrants, we know that newcomers have many questions. We have researched and found the most up-to-date and credible sources of information to help you. Our website is a great starting point for people on their settlement journey. Let us help you find what you need in your community of BC.

Immigrant Programs and Services

Programs and services are available across BC to provide a connection point for newcomers. New immigrants need good information to build their lives in a new place. There are 100s of different programs and services offered by 75+ immigrant and community service agencies. Our directory includes information on:

  • Children’s Services 
  • Employment Services
  • English Language Services
  • Refugee Services
  • Women’s Services, and more

Services in the Inventory are listed by location of the program, and many programs and services also welcome clients from other communities.

Answers to Your Questions

Our website lists questions and answers about many topics. Lists of categories and questions for information about immigration, employment, education, health, housing, banking, the BC legal system, and transportation can be found here. For example:

  • What types of childcare are available in my community?
  • Which family members can I sponsor to immigrate to Canada?
  • How can I get a BC Driver’s License?
  • How do I protect myself from scams aimed at new immigrants?
  • How can I find a home to rent in BC? And 100s more!

Helpful Immigrant Settlement Guides and Websites

In Canada and BC, 45+ guides, videos and websites cover a range of topics important to immigrant settlement and integration. These include:

  • Pre-arrival services to help new immigrants prepare for their move to Canada. Get your education, work experience and credentials recognized in Canada, connect with employers to find a job, and connect with free services after you arrive in Canada.
  • Employment information to help you understand the labour market, explore career options, and find jobs.
  • Language learning resources and materials to help you learn and improve your English. 
  • Information about BC’s First Nations and Indigenous Peoples.
  • LGBTQS2+ resources to help you navigate services and opportunities that are inclusive and respectful.

Information About Libraries

Libraries are often the first place new immigrants visit in BC. Libraries are free, and getting a library card is easy! New immigrants visit libraries to get information about housing, search for jobs, study English, prepare for citizenship exams, and more. Libraries have places to study and relax. They have computers that you can use and staff that will answer questions and help you find information and resources. In addition, you can access books, music, newspapers, magazines, and online resources in more than 66 different languages

Volunteer Opportunities

The Library Champions Project helps new immigrants learn more about settlement programs and library services. Immigrants are trained to speak publicly and share information with other newcomers to help support them in their settlement journey. This program enables you to meet other newcomers and your community. You can sign up as a volunteer with your local library anywhere in BC. We encourage you to register for an information session to learn more. 

One Library Champion had this to say about their experience: 

“By joining the Library Champions Project, I felt more connected to my community. I better understood how to connect with others through library events, programs, and the library itself. I practiced presentation skills in English by both creating a PowerPoint and presenting it to others. I gained Canadian experience through volunteering, adding value to my resume. My English has improved during these sessions. As a newcomer, I sometimes felt so lonely in this country because everything was strange for me. Being a Library Champion allowed me to connect with my community and make some friends. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience for me.” 

We hope you find this information helpful in helping you settle into your new home. Feedback is always welcome. Please get in touch if you would like to share information that was useful to you or information that we might have missed. If you find this helpful, please share it with your networks.