British Columbia Branch


Sponsored by
AngloINFO Vancouver


A Special Welcome to Our New Members on Vancouver Island!


For more information for newcomers to British Columbia please go to AngloINFO Vancouver:

The Society of St. George of Greater Vancouver extends an English Welcome to new immigrants from Britain planning to settle in our fair province, particularly in the Vancouver area. Brits considering relocation, or those already here, are invited to contact us for helpful information that's offered free of charge. It covers housing, access to services, transportation, schools, etc. For those just embarking on the immigration process, we offer tips and advice from people that have been through it. If you'd like a helping hand when you arrive as a landed immigrant or as a visitor, we can assist you and answer your concerns about settlement. This is a friendly English service provided by our Society's volunteers. For more information please go to IMMIGRANTS FROM BRITAIN

It's important to have basic information about living in Canada. Here are some facts and tips that will make your transition easier. Many of them you will already know but it's the omissions that may cause you difficulty.

A Key Source

The official agency for information on immigration is Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or "CIC" as it's called. The site is Whether you want to immigrate, study, work, or visit, this source provides directions and the required forms.

A Useful Newspaper

A monthly publication that contains key information for prospective immigrants is Canada News, published in the U.K. It has facts on recent changes to immigration regulations, background on settlement in various parts of Canada, advertisements placed by movers, and a host of other leads. The publisher's website is

Specific Questions

If you have specific questions concerning your immigration, you are welcome to send them to the Society. We have persons who are willing to offer nonlegal advice for no charge. Some prospective immigrants hire a consults to help them with the process. Opinion is divided on whether that's necessary. Some newcomers say when they filled out the forms conscientiously and provided all relevant documentation, the process worked well. Others say that they valued the assistance of their adviser and felt more secure as a consequence. A few have been unfortunate, losing sums of money and not receiving the services promised from unscrupulous people. Consultants for Canadian immigration are now regulated. If you wish to be placed in touch with a consultant, the Society may be able to suggest one to you.

Settlement Notes (click for details)
For a list of useful facts, hints and suggestions for the new immigrant to the Vancouver area go to Helpful Hints

Employment Aids

Local Links

Some local sites for employment include:,,,

National Links

Some national sites for employment include:

Help from the Society

Members of the Society of St. George make referrals and pass on resumes of newcomers to prospective employers. If you would like to take advantage of that service, we ask that you join the Society.

Searching for a Home?

Rent or Purchase?

There are two strategies that our newcomers follow. One is to rent or lease for a year. That time period allows you: to explore all the neighbourhoods in which you have an interest, to give your realtor ample time to find the kind of place you want, and to wait for the most suitable housing to come on the market at the best price. That strategy permits the location of your employment to stabilize so that you can select a residence as close to your place of employment as possible, avoiding a commute--especially one across a bridge. The downside is that you will probably move in a year's time, requiring your children to change schools.
The other strategy is to buy a home shortly after you arrive. Newcomers say that the acquisition of a home in Canada increases their sense of commitment to their adopted country and allows them to concentrate on their settlement. Any extra time you have may be devoted to fixing up your new home. As housing values generally appreciate in Greater Vancouver, the value of your investment probably starts to increase from the time of your arrival. Along with a sense of stability come some drawbacks. If your employment situation does not work out as quickly as planned, you could be faced with financial hardship and uncertainty about your future.

Rentals or Leases

Even though you may regard renting as temporary, a diligent search will provide the most suitable options at the most reasonable prices. As you move outwards on the map from the centre of Vancouver, prices go down and space goes up. Newspapers are a good source of advertisements for rentals, but so are websites and walkabouts--many landlords do not list their properties. They post "for rent" signs that can only be discovered through exploration. It is important to know the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. Legal information is available from the Residential Tenancy Office in the provincial government at Volunteers in the Society can provide some detailed information, particularly about rental accommodation in their own neighbourhoods.

Housing for Sale

The Greater Vancouver housing market is divided into detached homes (free-standing structures), attached homes (townhouses or duplexes), and condominiums (apartments). Sellers of homes (realtors or real estate agents, as they are called) have local organizations that regulate them. The provincial organization is the British Columbia Realtor Estate Association which provides information about the housing market and the website addresses of member boards at Buyers of homes have important rights, some of which are reviewed by the Homeowners' Protection Office at Independent inspectors may be hired to determine the integrity of structures before purchase. Many persons who used this service are glad that they did. Volunteers in the Society can provide informal information about the housing market as they have experienced it.

Local Schools

The selection of schools is an important decision for you and your children. For general information about them, see Greater Vancouver Schools. For further information, please check with the Society.

For more information or for specific inquiries, please visit AngloINFO Vancouver, or email Dan Brown at

About Vancouver

We are all proud of this beautiful, vibrant city, "The jewel of Canada!" within the scenic paradise of the Province of British Columbia. We like to think that new immigrants from Britain will choose British Columbia when they have done their research on the best place to settle. We even offer a light-hearted comparison of our city with Toronto and Calgary at Vancouver's My Choice
For more information on Vancouver and its surroundings, the best place to start is through the internet and we have included a few links here including Tourism Vancouver
If you'd rather write or fax then try the:

Vancouver Tourist Information Center
Plaza Level,
200 Burrard Street.
Vancouver, BC.
V6C 3L6.

Or talk to your travel agent or get in touch with us directly. There is another good website for Vancouver at Vancouver web pages.

For local news there is the Vancouver Sun
then there are Government resources etc. The more detailed information required by hopeful and prospective immigrants needs more careful research, and our members are willing to help you get started, so contact us.