Settlement & Orientation

  1. Newcomer’s Guides
  2. Canadian Culture
  3. Legal Aid Services & Resources
  4. Guides to British Columbia


Newcomers Guides

It is government of British Columbia’s official site for immigration and welcoming communities. WelcomeBC.ca is a one-stop website for newcomers, the agencies that serve them, and the communities they select as home. Anyone thinking of living, working, studying or investing in B.C. can find what they need from this reliable government website.

Welcome to Canada: what you should know (PDF)
This booklet contains information on landing procedures at the airport, what to expect upon arrival, initial settlement procedures. It also provides essential contact information on settlement organizations which provide free services for new immigrants.

The Victoria Newcomers’ Guide
This is a definitive reference and resource book for new residents to Victoria. The book is available in the library.

British Columbia Newcomers’ Guide to Resources and Services
The guide contains current information on housing, banking, heath care, education, employment, the legal system and government of BC. It will help newcomers settle in BC in the first few months after they arrive.

 ABC Life Literacy Canada
ABC Life Literacy Canada envisions a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life.

Canadian Culture

Canadian Newcomer
This online magazine offers how-to information for new immigrants. Subjects include employment, housing, Canadian lifestyles, health, finances, ethnic media and education.

Canadian Immigrant
This online magazine helps immigrants to Canada by providing information, tools, resources and strategies for personal growth and success.

Multicultural Resources and Services
The Multicultural portal is Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) gateway to multicultural and multilingual resources.

Legal Aid Services & Resources

This site provides legal information, education and help for British Columbians.

Legal Service Society (LSS)
LSS provides legal aid to BC residents with low incomes. Legal aid services range from legal information and legal advice to legal representation (a lawyer paid by LSS to handle your case).

  • LSS Publications
    This page will link you to public legal materials produced by LSS. Most publications are in PDF and Video formats.
  • Useful Links
    These sites provide information about law and legal services in BC

Family Law in BCThe website is managed by LSS and includes self-help materials to help people resolve family law problems, current family law information and resources in many languages, and links to useful related sites.

It is a free service that is available by telephone and on the Internet. It offers transcripts of taped information written by lawyers, about various law topics and your rights in English, Chinese and Punjabi.

MOSAIC Multilingual Legal Publications
BC’s online access to multilingual legal publications. A site where newcomers can find legal information in their own languages.

Multilingual Legal Glossary
A glossary of 5000 Canadian legal and court-related terms in English plain language, and their equivalents in 6 other langugaes (Chinese, Farsi, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese).

People’s Law School
Legal information on a variety of topics in plain English and many other languages.

The website provides a simple, user-friendly way of locating free legal services throughout BC. Enter your location to get contact informatoin, office hours, maps, directions, and descriptions of the free services offered in and around your community.

Justice Education Society
This is where you can learn about the courts and the justice system in Canada and British Columbia.

Guides to British Columbia

1. General Guides

BC Citizen and Client Services

British Columbia

Vancouver Island


BC Regions & Cities

2. Climate and Geography

Environment Canada

Tourism BC: Climate & Weather

BC Geography

BC Maps

3. Transportation

BC Transportation and Maps
Learn about B.C.’s modern and dependable transportation systems.

BC Transit
Provides bus transit services within BC outside of the Greater Vancouver area.

Translink BC
Transit authority within Greater Vancouver. The Vancouver area has SkyTrain (rail) and SeaBus (boat) as well as buses.

BC Ferries
A site to help you plan your travels around coastal British Columbia.

4. Settling on Vancouver Island

Immigrant settlement agencies help new immigrants and refugees settle, get oriented and find support in a familiar cultural setting. Most agencies have interpreters and counselors and may also do translations. Greater Victoria hosts two organizations that have an agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (recently renamed Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship) to privately sponsor refugees as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH): the Anglican Diocese of B.C. and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. The Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society also assists in refugee settlement. See the Refugee Support Hub.


Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria
930 Balmoral Road
Victoria, BC V8T 1A8
Telephone: (250) 388-4728
Fax: (250) 386-4395

Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society
637 Bay St, 3RD Floor
Victoria, BC V8T 5L2
Telephone: (250) 361-9433
Fax: (250) 361-1914


Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society
114 – 285 Prideaux Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 2N2
Telephone: (250) 753-6911
Fax: (250) 753-4250

Campbell River, Comox Valley and the North Island

Immigrant Welcome Centre
Campbell River Office:
740 Robron Road
Campbell River, BC V9W 6J7
Telephone: (250)-830-0171
Fax: (250) 830-1010

Comox Office:
Unit C – 1001 Lewis Avenue
Upstairs Suite
Courtenay, BC  V9N 5R4
Telephone: (250)-830-0171
Fax: (250) 830-1010


Comox Valley Family Services Association
407 – 5th Street
Courtenay, BC V9N 7P1
Telephone: 250- 336-8772

Cowichan Valley

Cowichan Intercultural Society Services
#205-394 Duncan Street
Duncan, BC V9L 3W4
Telephone: (250) 748-3112
Fax: (250) 748-1335

5. Education

Developed by the Ministry of Advanced Education, this website is designed to answer any questions you may have about coming to study here in British Columbia. It will give you an overview of B.C.’s internationally recognized education system, details about programs and institutions, contact information, and requirements for studying in Canada, so you can pick the right program in the best institution for you.

6. Doing Business in BC

Trade and Invest British Columbia
Invest British Columbia is a partnership of provincial, federal and local economic development organizations working together to expand business investment in British Columbia. In addition to English, the site is also available in Dutch, Italian, Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

7. Tourism

Hello BC
The official travel planning site of Tourism British Columbia. Visit this consumer travel website for travel and accommodation information.

British Columbia Weather
Check the weather forecast for your community.

Drive BC
Current reports on BC road conditions.

BC Ferries Routes & Schedules
Check the ferry schedules for coastal British Columbia.

BC Parks
Find national parks in BC by name, geographic location and things to do and see.

BC Visitors A-Z Index 
Check all  travel in BC related topics alphabetically.