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British Columbia Newcomer's Handbook: Housing, Jobs, Healthcare, and More


Publish Date: 26/12/2023

BC is the third-largest province, known for its stunning landscapes with 40 provincial parks and six national parks, offering a mild climate.

Newcomer Services

BCSIS manages newcomer services, offering assistance in employment, language training, childcare, legal help, and community events. Eligibility depends on location and legal status.

  • 1. Diverse housing market with prices varying by location and family size. Average rents (1-bedroom/2-bedroom) in major areas: Vancouver ($3,013/$3,918), Victoria ($2,054/$2,753), Kelowna ($1,947/$2,790).
  • 2. Public transit options in major cities (Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna), with over 73% of residents living near transit access points. Driving allowed for the first 90 days with a foreign license.
  • 3. Diverse economic sectors, including natural resources, technology, film production, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and real estate. Immigrant Employment Council assists in job searches.
  • 4. Public healthcare funded through taxes. MSP eligibility after two months. Private health insurance crucial for certain treatments.
  • 5. Mandatory education from age six to high school graduation. Strong public education system, with options for private education. Over 275 Designated Learning Institutions for post-secondary education.
  • 6. Sales tax includes 7% PST and 5% GST. Income tax rates range from 20%-53%, increasing with income.
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