British Columbia Location
Far, far away there is a fairy-tale country which lies on the Pacific coast, among the forests and rocks, where bearded bears wander in the evergreen forests, salmon splashes in the mountain rivers, grapes grow in the valleys, and where good people live. This place is called British Columbia, the most western province of Canada.
And if you ever read Jack London, you should know where decent people hunt for gold.
The capital of British Columbia is Victoria; the largest city is Vancouver. Ski resorts: Whistler - Blackcomb, Sun Peaks, Silver Star, Big White, Kimberley, Fernier.
The climate of British Columbia is extremely unpredictable. The Pacific Ocean and the Arctic make their rules. Therefore, those who are sensitive to weather changes will feel slightly uncomfortable from temperature fluctuations. Although, it is not too hot in summer and winter isn’t too cold.
"Miracle" - this is how precisely springs are called all over the world. The most famous of them are Albert, Canyon, Fairmont, Nakusup, Ainsworth, Halcyon, and Radium.
British Columbia Economy
The basis of the British Columbia economy is natural resources. It is in this province where transcontinental automobile and railway road ends; it also has Canada's largest ports on the Pacific coast, which paves the way for international trade. Thanks to the warm and mild climate and considering the fact that less than five percent of the province's land is arable, agriculture is still very developed there.
This is especially true of the Okanagan Valley and Fraser. Tourism and various kinds of outdoor recreational activities are well developed. The main source of income in the province's budget is still mining and logging.
Okanagan region is known as one of the wine regions of Canada and in addition to excellent wine, it also produces cider. The Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley, also produce wine. The warmest and longest summer in all of Canada is in Penticton and Kamloops, as well as in the countryside in the Oliver district.
Most of the island of Vancouver, as well as the rest of the coast of the province, is covered with boreal forests. Territories which sit in the interior of the continent unaffected by the ocean, cover semi-arid plateaus and deserts. The northern latitudes of British Columbia have a rather cold climate. Two-thirds of the province in the north are undeveloped and uninhabited. They are almost completely mountainous.
British Columbia Employment
British Columbia is a good place to find a job in Canada. Unemployment rates in the province have reduced compared to the past 30 years, falling by 6.1%. Most of these new jobs are in the service or technology sectors. The future of the province is really promising; it seems that immigrants in British Columbia will be able to access many jobs in the near future.
Employment among women has increased more rapidly than among men since the mid-1970s. As a result, today women represent almost half of the provincial workforce, including both full- and part-time workers. However, about one-third of women work part-time.
British Columbia Immigration Helpful Links
Those willing to find a job in British Columbia can avail of a few online resources. A very common resource for job search is Job Bank. Comprehensive sites to find jobs include WorkBC job board and WelcomeBC career profiles. To learn about popular occupations in the province, check out WorkBC Jobs in Demand.
Additionally, check job openings in local newspapers or contact the HR departments of the organization where you would like to work. As a newcomer, you can take advantage of a settlement services agency. The Vancouver Public Library provides helpful information for skilled immigrants.
Once in Canada, you have to take into account that despite plentiful sources, many jobs are still hidden. It means there are jobs you won’t be able to find in the advertisement. You’ll have to make people know about yourself, that is, attend job fairs, contact employers, meet new people. One of the best ways to secure Canadian work experience is volunteering. You can find volunteer opportunities here.
If you see you have all the skills to apply to get a work permit, then you need to consider a few things. First, this is a Social Insurance Number without which you won’t be able to start working in Canada. Secondly, you will need to get your credentials assessed by the Canadian Center for International Credentials. Similarly, you need to check whether your occupation needs a Red Seal certification. Finally, ensure your English or French language skills meet at least minimum standards. If you pass these steps, then as a foreign worker, you’ll need to find a Canadian employer who will be willing to secure a job offer for you so you can start the work permit application process.
British Columbia Education
The study in Canada today is at the peak of popularity among foreign students, which is due to the colleges on the west coast. All colleges in British Columbia undergo strict state certification so that foreign visitors can safely expect the highest quality of education and services even in small colleges. British Columbia has one of the most flexible educational systems in Canada, and, perhaps, in the world either. You can easily transfer from one program to another within local colleges and you don’t need to re-exam.
Students from colleges British Columbia colleges receive an excellent opportunity to gain professional internship during their studies; so 90% of them find work within six months after graduation. Studying in local colleges can also be the first step towards full-fledged resettlement to Canada. After successful college graduation in British Columbia, you will be able to work in this province, and subsequently apply for a residence permit.
One of the most popular colleges among foreign students, LaSalle College offers short, intensive programs with a professional career and an abundance of internships. These will help students in the future to find a job in Canada and will give them an advantage in finding employment in any part of the world. To enter LaSalle College, you do not need to take international exams and students who do not meet English language requirements can study the language on the spot.
Other colleges: Douglas College, Acsenda School of Management, Vancouver Film School, British Columbia of Technology.
British Columbia Culture
British Columbia’s culture brings together a unique mix of European, Asian, and First Nations influences. The province's natural resources like salmon, timber, and other, made perfect conditions for British Columbia’s First Nations create arts. Totem poles survived till our days in several British Columbia communities.
As for Asian influence, it goes back to the Chines railway workers, who went through the rough toil during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Chinatowns are located both, in Vancouver and Victoria and an annual dragon boat festivals are held there. Japanese gardens and cherry trees blossom in the mild climate of Victoria. The city is also popular for its strong British background. Bella Coola and Williams Lakenual host annual summer rodeos.
British Columbia Cities
The climate and weather in Vancouver are affected not only by the influence of the nearby mountains but also by the influence of the Pacific Ocean. The city, covered by the island of Vancouver (Vancouver Island), is subject to much less precipitation than the rest of the coastlines of British Columbia. While the Vancouver climate can be humid, winter seasons of being excessively cold. The nearby hills of Cypress, Grouse, and Seymour are subject to heavy snowfalls, creating excellent conditions for winter sports.
Golf is always in demand; thanks to the temperate climate, many Vancouver golf courses are open throughout the year. The reason why the city is called "the edge of the lotuses" is its beautiful flowers.
- Few people know, but the city was named after the captain of the fleet, George Vancouver. The British fleet under his command was the first European mission to explore the Canadian Pacific Canadian coast in the distant 1792.
- Every year Vancouver tourists come from all over the world, from every corner of our planet (there are more than 15 million visitors annually).
- "Greenpeace" was founded in Vancouver.
- Vancouver occupies the third position in the popularity of producing movies; it was ahead of such cities as New York and Los Angeles.
- Vancouver boasts to be the cleanest city on the planet.
- This is a tolerant city because it was the place where loud and large Gay parades took place.
- Stanley Park, located in the heart of the city's massifs, is 10% bigger than its neighbor in New York.
- Most of the city features residential buildings. Do not be surprised if walking in the center of the city, you will often come across residential multi-story buildings. This is common in Canada, and in particular, in Vancouver.
- The climate is warm and moderate, with a lot of rain (except for summer months).
Housing in British Columbia
The housing market in British Columbia is a little bit more expensive than the rest of Canada.
The mediate house price in British Columbia is highest in Vancouver and Victoria, though each has suburbs. The percentage of household income generated through the ownership costs in the Vancouver and Victoria regions range anywhere from 30-60% for the majority of residents. Commercial real estate is generally closer to the national average.
Many people in main metropolitan cities choose to live in adjacent suburbs such as Richmond, Surrey or Burnaby. Housing costs are more affordable in these cities and families can avail from larger apartments at low prices. Newcomers can feel comfortable there as the cities offer diverse immigrant communities to build a network for their future establishment.
Before you move to a new country, it is important to ensure a place to stay. If you have friends or relatives in British Columbia, you might plan to live with them. However, most people rent apartments, and you can choose to rent either a short-term or a long-term rental. The first two weeks you may choose to live in a temporary place. Use Yellow Pages, booking.com and expedia.com to find a list of hotels and motels.
Once in British Columbia, you can look for a home on your own or hire a real estate agent, which will also help you with a mortgage, insurance, and legal procedures. For a full list of certified real estate agents, check out the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (BREA).
To obtain more information on buying and renting a home in Alberta visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Tenant Resource and Advisory Center of British Columbia. CMHC also contains a very useful guide about housing for newcomers.
You can look for appropriate accommodation on Kijiji, Zoeken, and Craigslist. People with low income can take advantage of the Co-Operative Housing and affordable housing programs. In co-operative housing, some tenants pay rent based on their income, while others pay market price rent. The idea is they together share responsibility for the housing. Under the affordable housing, tenants pay rent based on their income.
Any property requires insurance. If something bad happens with your property, like damage, the insurance will cover the cost of repairs. In fact, banks will not proceed with a mortgage without insurance. You can search online for insurance agents and brokers.
If you choose to rent an apartment, you will have to pay your monthly rent, including utilities. You may need to pay additional costs for the parking place. As a rule, tenants must pay a security deposit, which they get back when they move out.
Pet lovers need to check with the landlord whether pets are legally allowed in the house they are planning to rent.
The immigration programs in British Columbia will be interesting for those who plan to live in this province. Also, immigration under the provincial program can be considered by those who want to immigrate to Canada, but don't get enough points to apply for the federal program.
PNP - Express Entry BC
- Skilled Worker
British Columbia’s growing economy needs skilled workers in high-demand occupations. The Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is an accelerated way to receive permanent residency in the province.
To qualify, candidates must first get a valid job offer from a BC employer. The occupation which must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC). In addition, they must meet minimum language requirements; have at least two years of related work experience and show proof of sufficient funds. They also need relevant training and experience.
As with other immigration streams, to apply for the B.C. Skilled Worker Program, you must create an online BC PNP profile. After submitting your registration, you will receive a score based on your skills and job. Selected candidates, will receive an Invitation to Apply.
Health Care Professional
British Columbia is looking for more health care professionals. The Express Entry BC (EEBC) – Healthcare Professional category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) helps physicians, specialists, nurses and other health professionals find a job in the province and get permanent residence.
To qualify, candidates must first get a valid job offer from a BC employer. The occupation must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC). See the list of eligible occupations here (physician, specialist, registered nurse, registered psychiatric nurse, nurse practitioner, diagnostic medical sonographer, clinical pharmacist, medical laboratory technologist, medical radiation technologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist). In addition, you must meet minimum language requirements; have at least two years of related work experience and show proof of sufficient funds.
If you graduated with a valid qualification from an eligible Canadian university or college within the last three years, then you are eligible under the International Graduate category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program.
To submit the Express Entry application under this category, you must have a diploma or certificate from an eligible post-secondary institution in Canada in the past three years. In addition, you need a job offer from a Canadian employer, which must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC), meet minimum language requirements, and show a proof of sufficient fund to support yourself in B.C.
International graduates with a degree in the sciences from an eligible BC institution can pursue their career in British Columbia through the International Postgraduate Program.
Applicants must have a master’s or doctorate degree in the natural, applied or health sciences in the past three years. See the list of eligible occupations here (agriculture, biological and biomedical sciences, computer and information sciences and support services, engineering, engineering technology, health professions and related clinical sciences, mathematics and statistics, natural resources conservation and research, physical sciences)
Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Pilot Project
Entry Level and Semi-Skilled category of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is a stream for workers with work experience in a valid tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking to gain permanent residence in this province.
To qualify, candidates must get a valid job offer from a BC employer, which must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC). In addition, you must meet minimum language requirements, have at least two years of related work experience and show proof of sufficient funds.
If you want to immigrate and are ready to invest in and actively manage a valid business in British Columbia, you apply for an Entrepreneur Immigration - Base Category. Here is an overview of the requirements.
It is important that candidates prove they have business and management experience
In addition, you must have a personal net worth of at least $600,000 and a personal investment of at least $200,000 in purchased business or existing business and the ability to create at least one full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.