Settlement Information for Newcomers

Settlement Information For Newcomers

Useful Immigrant Settlement Guides and Websites

In addition to the settlement information on this website, the NewToBC team maintains a list of other great sources of settlement information. The 45+ guides, videos and websites listed here are current and comprehensive and cover a range of topics important to immigrant settlement and integration.


IRCC Pre-Arrival Services

New immigrants and their families can get free in-person and online services to help prepare for and adjust to life in Canada. Pre-arrival services can help new immigrants to prepare for their move to Canada, to get their education, work experience and credentials recognized in Canada, to connect with employers to find a job, and to connect with free services after you arrive in Canada.

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Community Airport Newcomers Network

The Community Airport Newcomers Network (CANN) provides information and orientation to newly landed immigrants and refugees. Services are provided inside the secured area and available immediately upon arrival into Canada. The program is operated by S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

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The WelcomeBC website provides information for immigrants and service providers on topics related to settling and working in BC. It helps newcomers adapt to work and life in British Columbia. Newcomers will find a wealth of information on immigration, jobs, qualifications recognition, support services and more!

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WelcomeBC – In Your languages

Are you looking for immigration or settlement information in your language? On this page you will find the B.C. Newcomers’ Guide, videos, pre-arrival information, and more, in 14 languages other than English.

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Newcomers’ Guide

The British Columbia Newcomers’ Guide to Resources and Services provides information on many settlement topics. The B.C. Newcomers’ Guide is available online in English and seven other languages—Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Korean, Punjabi and Tagalog. Print copies in these languages are also available free of charge for shipment within BC.

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Newcomers’ Videos

The British Columbia Newcomers’ Guide information is also available as videos in several languages. Through them, you will learn about government services and get tips on money management and banking, health care, public transportation, and more.

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IRCC Videos – Immigrating and Settling in Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a series of videos that will help you settle into your new life in Canada, including what you should do in your first two weeks in Canada, information about renting or buying a home, learning English or French, and working in Canada.

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Cost of living in BC

WorkBC’s Cost of Living Calculator allows you to estimate the cost of living in different cities across British Columbia. By entering the location of their residence, occupation and other information such as house size and mode of transportation, you estimate income and living expenses for your intended destination.

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Legal Aid BC

Legal Aid BC is a non-profit organization that provides legal information, advice, and representation services. Legal Aid BC helps British Columbians with serious family problems, child protection matters, immigration issues, and criminal law issues. Legal Aid BC’s priority is to serve the interests of people with low incomes, but their services are available to all British Columbians.

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Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

This study guide helps immigrants prepare to take the Canadian citizenship test. This guide was developed by the Government of Canada.

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The WorkBC website helps people understand the local labour market, explore career options, and find jobs. The website provides a list of WorkBC Employment Services Centres.

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WorkBC Resources for New Immigrants

British Columbia provides a number of services to assist immigrants become part of B.C. society and succeed in the B.C. job market. Visits the WorkBC website to learn about the employment services available, living costs, available jobs, success stories, and more.

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Career Path for Skilled Immigrants Program

Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants connects immigrants to jobs in BC. Career Paths offers support specific to your occupation, including related language training. The goal is to help new immigrants find skilled employment that uses the education and experience they bring to Canada.

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WorkBC Career Profiles

The WorkBC Career Profiles are overviews of 500 occupations and how these occupations are practiced in British Columbia. The profiles include all the details you need from job duties and wages to projected occupational demands in your region. The Career Profiles are based on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016. The National Occupational Classification is a system of classifying and coding all occupations in Canada, and is the basis for occupations listed on WorkBC.

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Getting Certified to Work in BC

Some jobs in B.C. are regulated. This means people need special education and training to do these jobs, and they need to prove that they have the required skills and training. If you want to work in a regulated job, you will need to show that the education you received meets the requirements in Canada. You will need to have your certification checked, and you may need to get more education or training to work here.

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WorkBC Job Board

WorkBC is committed to helping British Columbians successfully navigate B.C.’s labour market. If you’re searching for a job, check out the WorkBC Job Board and browse thousands of jobs in BC.

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High Opportunity Occupations

High Opportunity Occupations are those that are expected to experience higher demand and offer higher pay compared to other occupations. Click below to discover occupations in B.C. that are expected to offer the best opportunities over the next 10 years. You may search for High Opportunity Occupations by region, education and occupational interest.

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Top In-Demand Trades

According to B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook, a variety of industries are expected to have thousands of job openings in the skilled trades over the coming years. On the ITA-BC (Industry Training Authority of BC) website, you may explore the trades that are most in demand in British Columbia.

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Apprenticeable Trades Outlook 2019 Report

Apprenticeable trades occupations comprise a relatively big group among all occupations in B.C. There are over 100 apprenticeable trades occupations in B.C. These range from welders, plumbers and electricians to cooks, bakers and hairstylists. This Apprenticeable Trades Outlook 2019 Report presents information on employment growth, job openings and wage ranges.

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Job Bank: Explore the Canadian Labour Market

Try a new way of viewing Labour Market Information anywhere in Canada. You can discover the employment prospects for your dream job across Canada, or compare different occupations, or find out how much workers earn in your area. You can explore careers by wages to view wage data for specific occupations. Once you have selected an occupation, you will receive a detailed job market report showing the low, median, and high wages for that occupation in various regions across Canada. You can also search by city or postal code.

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Language Learning

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks

Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are used across Canada to assess English language levels. The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks is the centre of expertise in support of the national standards in English and French for describing, measuring, and recognizing second language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants for living and working in Canada. It also has some English and French learning and teaching resources and language assessment information and tools.

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LINC Home Study Canada (LHS)

The Centre for Education & Training’s LINC Home Study Canada (LHS) program provides free distance education for eligible newcomers who cannot attend Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes in person.

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ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that aims to strengthen organizations that promote adult learning. They develop and support the use of high-quality introductory learning materials and resources written in clear language. Visit ABC Life Literacy Canada’s website to find a literacy program in your community or access free online activities and resources.

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Free Language Learning Resources

Using your local public library card, you can access to a wide range of free e-resource to learn English, French and other languages. Featured language learning resources include:

Mango Languages: Offer over 70 self-paced language learning courses and dialects.

Clarity English: Include three components (Active Reading, Practical Writing and Tense Buster) that offer different aspects to English Language learning.

Muzzy: The simple and effective language learning programme works by teaching through fun and animated stories featuring Muzzy and friends. These stories use the natural immersion method, which is modeled after the way children learn their first language. Languages: English, French, German. Italian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish.

Visit the library in your community or its website for details and instructions.

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WorkBC Parents’ Guide 2018

The WorkBC Parents’ Guide is a career development resources for parents, guardians, relatives or friends working with a young person as they explore career and education options. The guide includes information on the jobs that are expected to be in demand over the coming years, and what education, training and career planning programs are available. It offers ideas and information about programs and services that can help you and your student make some important choices together. The guide is available in English and seven other languages.

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Education Planner BC

EducationPlannerBC is a centralized resource that helps learners plan, search and apply for admission to post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. EducationPlannerBC helps learners make well informed decisions about their education and career options. Students can use the Plan section to find articles and information about the different paths along the student journey.

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BC Health Guide

The BC Health Guide Handbook has comprehensive information on how to recognize and manage common health problems. Learn about preventing illness, home treatment options and when you should see a doctor. This guide is also available in Chinese, Farsi, French, and Punjabi.

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Kids Help Phone

Supporting newcomer youth. Kids Help Phone offers 24/7 e-mental health support to all young people across Canada, including newcomers. All the services are free and confidential. You can connect with Kids Help via text, Facebook messenger, phone and live chat here.

The Kids Help Phone website also offers tips, tools and stories for newcomers.

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HealthLink BC

HealthLink BC provides free non-emergency health information and advice in B.C. Information and advice is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone, website, a mobile app, and printable information.

All of HealthLink BC’s services are free. If you have questions you can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C., or for the deaf and hard of hearing, call 7-1-1.

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HealthLink BC – In Your Language

HealthLink BC has translation services in more than 130 languages. When you call 8-1-1, say the name of your language (for example, “Punjabi”).

HealthLink BC provides health resources in some of the languages most common to B.C. residents. This section of the HealthLink BC website brings together all the resources it has for health information in the languages most comomon in BC.

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Canada’s Food Guide

Healthy eating is more than just the foods you eat. Canada’s Food Guide provides Canadians with easy access to information about healthy eating. The food guide snapshot is available in 17 languages: Arabic, Farsi, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Simplified Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Traditional Chinese, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

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Refugee Supports

The BC Refugee Hub

The BC Refugee Hub provides users information about refugees that are arriving to British Columbia, the latest reports and publications, statistics and factsheets, and a resource centre with a variety of information to support refugee settlement in BC.

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Refugee Claim Process

The Refugee Claim Process Resources are for refugee claimants and their service providers. It educates, guides, and supports refugee claimants who are preparing for their refugee hearings.

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Refugee Hearing Preparation Guide

This Guide will help you to understand:
* how you start a refugee claim
* the legal definitions of refugee protection
* your hearing preparation deadlines
* the kind of evidence you should give to the IRB
* how to prepare for your hearing
* where to find important hearing preparation resources
* what will happen at your hearing

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BC Government: Welcome Ukraine

B.C. is welcoming people from Ukraine to communities across the province.

A dedicated Welcoming Ukraine portal has been launched to help Ukrainians who are moving to B.C. and helps current residents volunteer and donate. The website is available in English, Ukrainian and Russian.

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Ukrainian_Newcomer Guide

This guide is intended to provide information about the following topics: the role of policing in Canada, when and how to contact police, what to expect if approached or questioned by police, crime prevention programs, and preventing crime in your neighbourhood.

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Information and Resources on Personal Income Tax

New to BC and want to learn more about taxes? Click below now:

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Human Trafficking Awareness for Ukrainian Newcomers to Canada

Human trafficking is a crime and a serious human rights violation, specifically the loss of liberty. It occurs all over the world, and can happen to anyone, even in Canada. It takes many forms and may be present in any community, nationwide.

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AMSSA: Ukrainian Migration Resources

The Government of Canada, and the Province of B.C. have dedicated support to those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Government of Canada’s response includes special programs to help Ukrainian nationals and their family members find safety in Canada.

For more information on these supports, visit the AMSSA ‘Ukrainian Migration Resources’ webpage.

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Canada-Ukraine Transitional Financial Assistance

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Ukrainians affected by the war. To help Ukrainians and their dependents arriving in Canada (including those who have already arrived) meet their basic needs, the Government has introduced transitional financial assistance.

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Newcomer LGBTQ2S+

Government of BC – Gender Equity & LGBTQ2S+ Resources

Work is underway in B.C. to advance equality throughout B.C and these services and opportunities are helping to expand access to childcare, health care, education and training, affordable housing, counselling and crisis support services, as well as support for people facing domestic violence and sexual assault. Work is also underway to create more opportunities for training and good jobs, and encourage more balanced representation in leadership positions.

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Trans Newcomers Resource Hub

The Trans Newcomers Online Resource Hub is an online community that provides information and support to newcomer transgender folks, including information and resources, peer and mentor support, and a platform to build a network of support.

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LGBTQ+ Youth Resource Guide for B.C.

This guide will provide resources such as phone lines, shelters, drop-in programs, and other informational sites that will help youth and service providers navigate options for LGBTQ+ youth to find support.

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Rainbow Refugee – Support and Advocacy for LGBTQ+ Refugees

Rainbow Refugee is a Vancouver based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGI) or HIV status.

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QMUNITY – BC’s Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit Resource Centre

QMUNITY is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. We provide a safer space for LGBTQ2SAI+ people and their allies to fully self-express while feeling welcome and included. Our building serves as a catalyst for community initiatives and collective strength.

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The Prideline is The Centre’s peer support/information/referral phone line. It operates 7 days per week from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. serving our communities both locally and province wide. The Prideline is staffed by trained volunteers. The Prideline provides information on social and community events; tourist information; referrals to social service agencies, support groups, LGTB friendly doctors or therapists; and information on services offered at The Centre itself. In addition, The Prideline offers peer support services. People can call the line to talk about a concern or issue that is troubling them.

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Learning About BC’s First Nations & Indigenous Peoples

Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers

The Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers is a response to the call for accurate resources on First Peoples in Canada from an Indigenous perspective. This guide provides information on the traditional protocols, histories, and current realities of Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit people in Canada, and address common misconceptions about the First People of this land. By adopting a community-centred pproach, this document seeks to uplift and amplify the voices of the land-based Nations that Surrey occupies. This resource will uncover hard truths, construct a foundation for shared understanding, and continue the important work of building solidarity between the Indigenous and newcomer communities in Surrey.

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First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers

First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers aims to fill the need for clear information in simple language about the First Peoples in Vancouver. It introduces newcomers to three important topics: who are Aboriginal people (or First Peoples) in Vancouver and Canada; a brief overview of the relationship between the Government of Canada and First Peoples; and current initiatives and ways for newcomers to learn more about Aboriginal people in the community.”

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Native Land Digital

Native Land Digital strives to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources such as our map and Territory Acknowledgement Guide. We strive to go beyond old ways of talking about Indigenous people and to develop a platform where Indigenous communities can represent themselves and their histories on their own terms. In doing so, Native Land Digital creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.

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Video: Welcome to Our Homeland

As of 2016, there were 1,673,785 Indigenous people in Canada, which represented 4.9% of the total population. This video attempts to introduce the vast richness of Indigenous people’s values and views while highlighting some of the many complex historical events that have shaped this country and the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

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Nouveaux Arrivants Francophones

La coopérative d’immigration francophone de la Colombie-Britannique – Je Suis Résident Permanent

Le Programme d’immigration francophone de la Colombie-Britannique offre des services d’établissement gratuits, d’intégration et d’aide à l’emploi aux détenteurs d’un statut d’immigration au Canada ainsi qu’aux citoyens naturalisés. Découvrez comment des services individuels et personnalisés peuvent vous aider.

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IRCC – Immigrer dans une communauté francophone hors du Québec

Ce site fournit des informations aux nouveaux arrivants francophones intéressés à s’établir dans des communautés hors du Québec.

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Aider et orienter les nouveaux arrivants en Colombie-Britannique

Il y a au total plus de 40 organisations communautaires, organismes et institutions francophones pour accueillir et aiguiller les nouveaux arrivants d’expression française en Colombie-Britannique. Le Répertoire des services francophones développé par le RIFCB permettent de trouver facilement les organismes de notre communauté et leurs services.

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Public Health Services Authority – Services Francophones

Ce site fournit des renseignements sur les ressources et les services de santé en français en Colombie-Britannique.

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Vous trouverez ici des informations pour vous aider, vous et votre famille, à vivre, travailler et vous installer en Colombie-Britannique. Ces ressources contiennent des informations sur le logement, l’éducation, les transports, les banques, l’emploi, les soins de santé, la citoyenneté et plus encore.

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