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Before you move to B.C.

Getting Ready to Move to BC

While you make arrangements for your visas or permits, you can take a few steps to make sure your arrival in British Columbia is smooth and you’re able to settle in quickly.

  1. Find a place to stay when you first arrive, someplace that will be convenient while you look for housing. It can also help to locate a settlement agency in the area you’re going to move to, and ensure you know how to find them when you arrive. A settlement agency can help you and your family find housing, learn English and settle in when you arrive.
  2. Learn more about the region and community you’d like to move to, this is a great opportunity to learn more about local schools, housing, local economy, and social services. The Regions in BC section of this website contains valuable information on the climate in each region, make sure you learn about the local weather so that you can plan to bring the right clothing for when you and your family arrive.
  3. If you are not arriving with a job offer, start researching your employment opportunities, and develop a strategy to hit the ground running. If you’ll be joining a regulated trade or profession, contact the regulatory body to find out what you’ll have to do to get licensed or certified.
  4. Gather your documents (letters of reference from employers, professional certificates, school records) and make sure they’re translate into English for use in BC Also, plan ahead and learn about the important documents you’ll need to obtain once you start living in BC, and make sure you gather any information you need to help you to get those documents.
  5. Learn more about the Canadian port of entry that you plan to travel through. Many newcomers arrive through Vancouver International Airport (YVR). You can find out about YVR airport immigration services, terminal maps, travel from the airport to your next destination, and more at
  6. Start reading the British Columbia Newcomers’ Guide, it will provide you with all the information you will need to help settle into life in BC

Learning English

Whether you are a tourist, newcomer or immigrant, if you are coming to work, study, or live in British Columbia – take every opportunity you can to improve your English by enrolling in English courses.

English is the primary language in British Columbia, and knowing and using English will make both your work and life experience more successful and enjoyable while you are here.

Here are just a few ideas to help you:

This project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.