Frequently Asked Questions

Immigrating and settling in Canada
Can we live in French in British Columbia?

While French is one of the two official languages in Canada, British Columbia is an Anglophone province. Most services, businesses and infrastructure (public transport, urban displays, etc.) use only English as the language of communication.

English is primarily spoken in British Columbia and as such, you must be prepared to speak and understand the language in order to go shopping, take public transportation and to pass interview processes. If you are a permanent resident, you may benefit from free English classes (write us  to find out more on this topic).

However, it is estimated that British Columbia has about 300,000 Francophones and Francophiles. Therefore, it is possible to make French-speaking friends! In addition, many organizations and associations provide support to French-speaking residents in their daily lives. They also promote Francophonie throughout British Columbia.

Public services

  • Provincial public services, i.e., those under the authority of the province of British Columbia (driver's license, health insurance, hospitals, etc.), are generally offered only in English. You may, however, request to be served in French, which will be accommodated if possible.
  • Federal public services, i.e., those under the authority of the Government of Canada (Revenue Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Jobs Canada, etc.) provide assistance in French.

Francophone organizations



  • RésoSanté maintains a directory listing over 1,000 French-speaking professionals throughout the province.

Francophone professionals

  • The Federation of Francophones of British Columbia publishes an annual directory of Francophone and Francophile professionals and services in the province.
  • The British Columbia Economic Development Association supports entrepreneurs and can help you if you wish to work for yourself.
  • The Vancouver Francophone Chamber of Commerce supports businesses and Francophone entrepreneurs in the Greater Vancouver Area.