Before you move to B.C.

Get Ready to Move to B.C.

While you make arrangements for your visas or permits, you can take a few steps to make sure your arrival in B.C. is smooth and that you’re able to settle in quickly. 
  • If you have been approved for Permanent Residency in Canada, you may be eligible for free online and in-person services and supports while you are still overseas.
  • Find a place where you can stay when you first arrive. It can take some time to find permanent housing that meets your needs and your budget. If possible, find a place near to where you plan to live permanently.
  • Learn more about the region and community where you’d like to move. Learn about local schools, housing, the local economy and social services. The Regions of British Columbia section of this website gives information and links on each part of B.C. Read about the local weather so that you bring the right clothing for you and your family.
  • Contact a settlement agency in the area where you’re going to move—ask how to find one when you arrive. A settlement agency can help you and your family find housing, learn English and settle in when you arrive.
  • If you are not arriving with a job offer, take the following steps:
    • Research employment opportunities in advance.
    • Create a strategy to find a job early.
    • If you’ll be joining a regulated trade or profession, contact the regulatory body to find out how to become licensed or certified.
    • Gather your documents (for example, letters of reference from employers, professional certificates, school records). Translate them into English for use in B.C. Learn about the important documents you’ll need and be sure to bring any information you need to get those documents.
  • Learn more about the Canadian port of entry where you’ll arrive. Most newcomers arrive through Vancouver International Airport (YVR).  You can find out about YVR immigration services, terminal maps, travel from the airport to your next destination and more.
  • Start reading the Newcomers’ Guide to Resources and Services. It will give you useful information to help you settle into life in B.C.
  • Start learning or improving your English. Good English language skills will help you in your profession and in your daily activities. Find out more about learning English.