Settlement Information for Newcomers

Settlement Information For Newcomers

Settling in BC: Questions and Answers

Immigrants have many questions about living, studying, and working in BC.

The NewToBC team has collected 100s of questions that are often asked by new immigrants before or after they arrive in BC. To answer these questions, the team researched and found the most up-to-date and credible sources of information. Look through the lists of categories and questions for information about immigration, employment, education, health, housing, banking, the BC legal system, and transportation.

Many newcomers have shared with the NewToBC team that they wished they had known about this resource sooner!

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The Legal System


In Canada, the police are separate from the government and the army. The police are part of the community. Their duty is to protect the people in the community. British Columbia has many types of communities, from highly populated, large urban centres to small villages. The residents of each community have different policing needs. This is reflected in how policing is delivered throughout the province. In British Columbia, there is 1 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provincial force, 63 RCMP municipal forces, 11 independent municipal police departments, 1 First Nations administered force, and the RCMP federal force.

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Many cities and towns have two phone numbers for the police. One is an emergency number and the other is a non-emergency number. You should call the emergency number if you or someone else is in danger or if a serious crime has just happened. In most areas of British Columbia, the emergency number is 9-1-1. This call is free, even from a pay phone. You can ask for help in your own language. In some communities, the emergency number is not 9-1-1. You can find the number in the front pages of the telephone book in your area. You should call the non-emergency number if no one is in danger or time has passed since the crime happened. You can find the number in the front pages of the telephone book in your area. If you are not sure which number to call, call the emergency number and tell them what is happening. They will be able to help you.

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Scams and Frauds

When you move to British Columbia as a new immigrant, you may not be used to how organizations or governments operate. To protect yourself, you should be aware of scams and frauds that often target new immigrants to Canada. You should visit government websites to learn about common scams and frauds as well as how to protect yourself when a scam or a fraud occurs. It is important to note that Canadian government departments will not contact you over the telephone to collect any fees or fines, be aggressive or threaten to arrest or deport you, threaten to harm you or a member of your family, or damage your home or property.

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