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Things You Should Know Before Moving to British Columbia | Canada Immigration

December 27th, 2023 at 01:56 am

Things You Should Know Before Moving to British Columbia | Canada Immigration

Setting out to visit British Columbia. It’s important to arm oneself with important knowledge before you dive into this gorgeous Province. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know before relocating to British Columbia in this extensive guide, from lifestyle and culture to useful advice and regional quirks.

Let’s explore the fundamentals to make sure your move to British Columbia goes smoothly and with knowledge.

British Columbia

British Columbia, the third-biggest province in Canada, is the westernmost region of the nation and is home to more than a million immigrants. This province, which is home to 40 provincial parks and six national parks, is frequently cited as one of Canada’s most scenic by nature.

In addition to having four different seasons without the extremely cold temperatures frequently observed in other Canadian provinces and territories, British Columbia is renowned for having milder weather patterns. Learn more about arriving in British Columbia as a new immigrant to Canada by clicking this link.

1. Housing

British Columbia boasts one of the biggest housing markets in the nation. Be aware that housing costs and the kinds of properties you can choose from in British Columbia, as well as any other Canadian province, will vary depending on things like where you want to settle down and how big your family is. The average rent for a one-bedroom and two-bedroom housing unit in this province’s three major Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) by population—Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna—is as follows, based on the most recent National Rent report by for August 2023.

  • Vancouver: $3,113
  • Victoria: $2,054
  • Kelowna: $1,947
  • Vancouver: $3,988
  • Victoria: $2,753
  • Kelowna: $2,790

2. Commuting

At least 73% of people dwell in the three largest CMAs in this province—Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna—that are fewer than 500 meters from a public transportation hub. It is at least 90% in Victoria and Vancouver and 73.7% in Kelowna. While public transportation options in British Columbia differ from city to city, buses, the sky train, and the sea bus are available in many of the province’s cities.

Still, a lot of people in British Columbia commute mostly by vehicle, van, or truck. For this reason, visitors to British Columbia must comprehend the following information regarding driving in this province.

Driving in British Columbia

Those who are over the legal driving age may use their driver’s license from their home country for their first ninety days of residency in this province. Newcomers must get a British Colombia driver’s license from the provincial government after this ninety-day term.

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3. Employment

British Columbia is renowned for its many economic sectors, which comprise the following important industries that significantly contribute to the province’s economy:

  • Natural resources
  • Technology and Innovation
  • Film and television production
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Agriculture and food production
  • Manufacturing, construction, and real estate

An organization called the Immigrant Employment Council of BC is situated in British Columbia and works to match companies with skilled immigrants by providing tools, services, and initiatives to assist recent immigrants in finding employment.

4. Healthcare

A universal healthcare approach is used to finance public healthcare in Canada. Stated differently, the healthcare services that Canadians receive at no cost at the point of sale in British Columbia and throughout the country are funded by a combination of resident taxes. To be eligible for Public Health Care through the province’s Medical Services Plan (MSP), residents in this province must wait two months plus the remaining month after their initial proof of residency in the province is established.

All newcomers to British Columbia who meet the eligibility requirements for Public Health Care can access Designated Medical Services as long as they have a valid health card.

Applying for a Health Card in British Columbia

Residents of British Columbia can often receive certain public health services for free with a health card. However, the beneficiary will have to pay out of pocket for some prescriptions and procedures. For anyone living in this province, private health insurance becomes essential at this point.

5. Education

Under British Columbian law, children must attend school from the age of six until they graduate from high school. British Columbia is proud of its excellent public education system, with K–12 students routinely receiving the highest scores in the world on assessments. This province has a network of independent schools that offer day and boarding programs in addition to the public system.

Parents of postsecondary education seekers will have to pay tuition out of pocket to enroll their children in private schools. There are more than 275 distinct Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) in British Columbia. It’s crucial to remember that only DLIs in British Columbia can admit international students and provide courses that lead to the fulfillment of a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).

For many DLI in this province, obtaining a PGWP is available after finishing certain, but not all, programs. A PGWP holder can increase the number of immigration pathways leading to permanent residence in Canada that they may be eligible for after completing a year of work experience in the country. This is because numerous of these programs award applicants who have Canadian job experience.

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6. Taxation Sales

In British Columbia, there are two types of taxes: the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the provincial Sales Tax (PST). The PST is currently 7% and the GST is 5%. Depending on one’s tax band, income taxes in this province range from 20% to 53%. The marginal tax rate rises in tandem with an increase in income and the associated tax category.

Newcomer Services in British Columbia

As in other parts of Canada, newcomer services in British Columbia include health, employment, language, childcare, training, community and cultural activities, legal assistance, and much more.

The British Columbia program for settlement and integration services oversees the management of settlement services in the province. Note that the service provider has a major influence on your eligibility for newcomer services. You might qualify for some services but not others based on where you live and your legal status in Canada.

For a comprehensive list of government-funded newcomer settlement services across Canada, as well as further details about these services and where in British Columbia they are offered, refer to this provincial government page.

Armed with an understanding of British Columbia’s distinct qualities and subtleties, you’re laying the groundwork for an easy adjustment as you get ready for your new journey there. You are equipped to make the most of your time in this dynamic province, whether it is by handling the practical issues or by exploring the stunning landscapes and unique culture.

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