• Neighborhoods
  • Parks, Recreation and Culture
  • What is going on in the city

Government Guide

Arriving at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Transporting Pets


  • Private Health Insurance
  • MSP (Medical Services Plan)
  • Family Doctor


  • Short Term Accommodation
  • Long Term Accommodation

Cost of Living

Public Transportation

Important Documents and Banks Transferring Money Overseas Schools


Other Info


Vancouver is the most populous city in British Columbia, and it is located in the Lower Mainland of the province. Moreover, it is one of the most beautiful, safe and green cities in the world. You and/or your family will not lack of activities and fun.


Parks, Recreation and Culture

What is going on in the city

Government Guide

The following link gives you access to the government guide on how to settle life in British Columbia. You will likely find information in your language.

Newcomer’s guide

Arriving at Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

There are taxis available on Level 2 of the airport and prices are fixed.

YVR Taxis

Note: If you are coming alone, there is the possibility of taking public transportation (refer to topic ‘Public Transportation’ below).

Transporting Pets

Cats and dogs will need a rabies vaccination and you have to bring them with the vaccination certificate. How the certificate should look like is under the following links, as well as container guidelines.    Dogs Cats Other Animals


After arrival, when you have your permit handy, you will be able to apply for the government health card (MSP). However, your coverage may start three months after your arrival date in British Columbia. You should get private health care insurance while you wait.

Private Health Insurance

Option 1 You can find an insurance company in your country and ask its representatives to quote the coverage for you.

Option 2 – You can get a quote from a company operating in Canada:

BCAA Allianz

MSP (Medical Services Plan)

The application can be done online. You will have to upload documents according to your status in Canada.

Family Doctor

In Canada, there are walk-in clinics and hospitals in case of emergency. However, you and/or your family needs to find a family doctor to be responsible for your care.

How to find a family doctor in Vancouver


In Canada, apartments for rent are usually available to move in on the 1st day of the month. My suggestion is to start looking for advertisement based on the date you will arrive. If you arrive past the 15th of the month, book visits to see places upon arrival.

Short Term Accommodation



canada stays


premier suits

Long Term Accommodation

Popular websites to find places to rent (Always book visits to check the place in person – Attention to scams):

craigslist padmapper rent faster

Property management


Furnished Rental


Hiring Relocation Service



Cost of Living

The following links give access to simulation of cost of living by city:

numbeo expatistan government of canada

Public Transportation

Translink manages the public transportation in the city. Trains, buses and seabus run everyday. The most famous system to transit is called SkyTrain, which has 3 specific lines: Expo Line, Millennium Line and Canada Line (Airport Line with connection to the other lines).

Guide to Public Transit

Compass Card Reloadable fare card used to tap your way across the public system. Available for purchase at machines at the entrance of each station. Compass Card

Important Documents and Banks

Following the order below will help you to reduce the time when applying for the documents:

  • SIN (Social Insurance Number) – The link SIN will help you to find the closest Service Canada Office. Required documents: passport and permit (original) + inform your address.
  • The BCID you can get at ICBC. Required documents: passport and permit (original) + inform your address + pay fee.
  • The biggest Banks are TD, RBC, BMO, Scotiabank, CIBC, and Vancity. They do offer packages for newcomers. (You can check the links below). Just keep in mind that you

need to build a credit score in Canada if you want to buy a house or apply for a mortgage in the future, for example. The credit card is one way of building the score and the banks’ representatives will be able to explain it in detail.

Scotiabank TD RBC CIBC BMO Vancity

  • After moving from outside Canada, you have 90 days to switch to a BC Driver’s Licence. Documents required: ID + your country’s driver’s licence + pay fee,+ proof of driving experience. How to apply

Transferring Money Overseas

Tips: Transferwise WesternUnion


“In B.C., children between the ages of 5 and 18 attend Kindergarten to Grade 12 programs at either an elementary or secondary school. Parents can choose to enroll their child in either a public or independent school that offers these programs – there are approximately 350 independent schools and about 1600 public schools.

Many schools provide support services for students whose first language is not English. There are both short- and long-term program options.” (Government website LearnLive BC)

Vancouver School Board

Ministry of Education


Please, refer to the links below:

Tax Guide

Tax Calculator

Other Info

Renting a home in Canada? Who is involved?

The following link explains general terms, how to find a place, moving in and signing a lease, paying the rent, rent increases and moving out. Renting a home in Canada

Is it worth to send furniture overseas?

This is not gonna be cheap. It is not worth it! Rentals in Vancouver come with a stove, fridge and, in some cases, dishwasher and microwave. You can also rent an apartment

furnished (it is going to be more expensive depending on what you are looking for) or you can furnish the place (there is Ikea in Vancouver and the culture of buying second-hand products).

My partner has work permit. Can he or she study english?

According to the CIC website, she can study without a study permit if the program of study is 6 months or less –

English Language Training Programs – LCC

Are there places where I can find my country’s food?

Yes, there are. Vancouver is a multicultural city. Local markets and big franchises (Superstore, Walmart, T&T) offer asian, latin and european products.

My partner will look for jobs. Is there any support?

Your partner can find help through ISSofBC, employment agencies and engaging in events or meetups to build networking. Another option to interact with local people is volunteering.

Suggestion: Locelle a social network for women to help each other progress in their careers. One pager.

What are the emergency numbers?

Emergencies – WelcomeBC

Non-Emergency – Vancouver Police Department

What are the biggest cell phone and internet providers in Canada?

National Internet Providers – Telus, Bell and Rogers

VOIP Phones & Internet Service Providers

Mobile companies Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido, Virgin, Mobilicity/Chatr, Wind, Koodo and PC Mobile. The best, cheapest cell phone plans in Canada in Canada in 2018, according to Global News.

What are the Car Sharing Services in Canada?

In many canadian cities it is possible to find an alternative means of transportation, besides public transportation, bikes and taxis. They are the car sharing services, which require subscription fees and offer automobiles of different brands and sizes.

Evo, MODO, Car2go, ZipCar

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