Tips for Moving to British Columbia

Good to Know Before You Go!

Preparing for your new life in British Columbia is not something to be taken lightly regarding immigration. Good planning can make all the difference for you and your family. Here's some information to help you get ready before you leave.

Tip 1: Learn About Your Future Province

It's a good idea to visit tourist sites to learn general information about British Columbia, such as climate, geography, tourist attractions, major cities, history, etc. For tourist information in French, visit

Tip 2: Find Out About Job Opportunities

Inquire about job opportunities in the province. It's important to note that the job search in British Columbia may differ from that in your home country or province. Please check our Employment section for information and resources on this subject.

Tip 3: Translation of Official Documents

You'll need official documents translated into English to settle in British Columbia. It's best to have them translated and formalized in your country or province of origin to avoid significant costs once you arrive at your destination. Here are some important types of documents to have translated into English:

  • Birth certificate;
  • Driver's license;
  • Marriage certificate;
  • Diplomas and academic certificates;
  • Reference letters, if applicable (we're talking about letters from your most recent employers that can be used for future employment);
  • Vaccination records.

Tip 4: Arrange for Accommodation

Think about arranging temporary accommodation in advance. This will give you peace of mind when you arrive. It could take several days to find suitable permanent housing.

Please check our accommodation section for more information.

Tip 5: Exchange Money for Canadian Dollars

Bring a small amount of Canadian currency to ensure you can pay for your first purchases easily. You can easily exchange your money for Canadian dollars at airports, major city centers, and banks.

Please check our section on banking and finance to find out more.

Tip 6: Practice Your English

Before you immigrate or settle in British Columbia, practice your English. You can also take language courses once you've settled in.

Please check our education section for more information.

First Steps Upon Arrival in British Columbia

1. Once at the Airport

Vancouver International Airport has a reception service for new immigrants in the Canadian immigration zone. It's called the Community Airport Newcomers' Network (CANN). Here you can obtain basic information on the various services you'll need to settle in Canada.

For more information, visit the CANN website.

2. Welcome and Support in French

The British Columbia Francophone Immigration Program welcomes and guides you in French to answer all your questions about your status in Canada, housing, employment, health, education, community life and more. Contact us today to make an appointment with our settlement agents.

3. House Hunting

Check out our housing section for tips on finding temporary or permanent housing.

4. The Importance of the Social Insurance Number (SIN)

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is the nine-digit number on a SIN card issued by the Canadian government.

The SIN is essential in several situations.

  1. You need a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs.
  2. You will need to provide your SIN to your employer when you are hired.
  3. You'll need your SIN to open a bank account.

To obtain your Social Insurance Number, call 1-800-808-6352 or visit the Service Canada website.

5. Medical Services Plan (MSP) Card

As soon as you arrive, take the necessary steps to obtain your health insurance card. These procedures take time (about three months), so it's a good idea to start as soon as possible.

For further information on this subject:

  1. Visit the BC Ministry of Health website and the RésoSanté health directory;
  2. Call toll-free 1-800 663-7100;
  3. Check out our health section.

6. Enrolling Your Children in School

Enroll your children in school as soon as possible. Note that you don't have to wait until you have a permanent home to do this. If you arrive after the school year has started, you'll need to speed up the process so that your children miss as few classes as possible.

Check out the section on education to find out more.

7. Child Benefit

The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) is a monthly payment from the government to help families with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. Several conditions apply.

Contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800 387-1194 (toll-free) or visit their website.

8. Newcomer's Guide to Resources and Services

The provincial government publishes a guide to resources and services for newcomers to British Columbia in French. This guide provides information on the various immigrant aid centers and their services, such as the MOSAIC Centre or ISS of BC. Whether you're seeking information about language courses, employment assistance or translation services, these centers can provide valuable support as you settle in.

Tips on Banking and Finance in Canada

Opening a Bank Account    

Under Canadian law, you have the right to open a personal bank account even if:

  • You are not employed;
  • You have no money to deposit in the account;
  • You have already declared bankruptcy.

How Do I Open a Bank Account ?

To open an account, you must go to the bank in person and present two pieces of identification. It would be best to have the original identification pieces on hand, not photocopies. There are various combinations you can use.

You have two choices:

Choice 1 – Present two pieces of identification from list A.

List A :

  • A Canadian driver's license;
  • A current Canadian passport;
  • A Canadian birth certificate;
  • A Social Insurance Number (SIN) card;
  • Certificate of Indian Status;
  • A provincial or territorial health insurance card (note: such a card cannot be used in Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Manitoba);
  • A certificate of Canadian citizenship or naturalization;
  • Permanent resident card or Citizenship and Immigration Canada form IMM 1000, IMM 1442, IMM 5292.


If you do not have two pieces of identification from list A, you may :

Choice 2 – Present one ID from List A and one ID from List B.

List B :

  • An employee photo ID card;
  • A debit card or bank card with your name and signature;
  • A Canadian credit card with your name and signature;
  • A Canadian National Institute for the Blind client card with your photo and signature;
  • A current or valid foreign passport.

The bank may refuse to open an account for you if it suspects you have committed a bank-related crime, if you harass or threaten a bank employee, or if you present false identification.

Book an appointment with a settlement officer if you need help opening a bank account.

Managing a Chequing Account

Cheques are not free of charge in Canada and are not widely used. You can order cheques from the bank or another company. The box of cheques you order will be mailed to you.

To Pay by Cheque :

  • Allow sufficient time for the cheque to reach the payee on the due date;
  • Ensure you have enough money in your account to cover the amount of the cheques you've written to avoid non-sufficient funds (NSF). Be aware that your financial institution and the biller may charge you a fee if your funds don't cover the amount of a cheque;
  • Keep track of all your cheque payments.

Cancelling a Cheque

You can cancel a cheque by crossing it out and writing "VOID" or "CANCELLED" on the back of the cheque in large letters.

Common reasons for cancelling a cheque.

  • To set up an automatic payment.
  • To cancel a cheque that contained an error.

A cancelled cheque will not be used or cashed. Nor will it be replaced by another cheque from the same account with the same cheque number. Cancelling a cheque guarantees that it will not be used or cashed.

Understanding Credit

When we speak of credit, we mean the ability to obtain goods or services before payment, expecting payment to be made in the future.

In today's world, credit is a standard part of everyday life. Credit cards have become a necessary convenience for renting a car, booking a plane ticket or hotel room. However, reasonable use of credit is essential to building a solid credit history and maintaining your fiscal health.

Some tips for building a good credit history:

  • Pay your bills promptly.
  • Open a current account and never leave it without funds.
  • Open a savings account and deposit funds regularly.
  • Get a credit card from a store, and make regular monthly payments to it.
  • Obtain a small loan using your savings account as collateral.
  • Get a co-signer on a loan and repay the loan as agreed.

Advantages of Credit

  • Ability to buy needed items right away.
  • No need to carry cash.
  • Creation of a record of purchases.
  • Easier to use than checks.
  • Consolidation of bills into a single payment.

Disadvantages of Credit

  • High-interest rates if the balance is not repaid on time, so higher cost of items purchased.
  • It may require additional fees.
  • Financial difficulties can arise if you lose track of how much you spend each month.
  • You may be tempted to make impulse purchases that could cost you dearly.


Your Responsibilities as a Credit User

  • Only spend what you can repay in full.
  • Make sure you read and understand the credit agreement.
  • Pay off your debts promptly.
  • Inform your creditors if you cannot make the required timely payments.
  • Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Only give out your credit card number over the telephone if you are calling your bank or are absolutely sure of the caller's identity.

Understanding the Credit Report

A credit report summarizes your credit history. It is one of the main tools lenders use to determine whether to grant you a loan. Your credit report contains information about your past and present financial situation, such as:  


Your Personal Information

This includes your name, current and previous addresses, social insurance number, telephone number, date of birth and current and past employers.

Credit Information

This is information relating to credit you already have, such as a credit card, line of credit, loan or mortgage.

Banking Information

This is information relating to any accounts you may have. It also includes any overdrawn cheques (cheques cancelled for non-sufficient funds) you may have written.

Public Records

This is information on the public record, such as a bankruptcy or a court decision relating to credit against you. Secured loans backed by an asset (your property, for example) may also appear on your credit report.

Your Collection Information

This is information about any debts you have been unable to pay.

Consumer Statements

You may have made this statement to explain a particular situation, such as a dispute with a financial institution or a fraud warning.

Credit Inquiry Report

This report lists all individuals or entities that have accessed your credit information, including yourself, lenders, and other authorized organizations.  

Understanding Taxes

You'll be required to declare your as an individual or company income. However, depending on your income and situation, you may also be eligible for government benefits and services. For more tax information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website or book an appointment with one of the settlement officers of British Columbia's Francophone Immigration Program.

French Schools in British Columbia

In British Columbia, French schools are found in both the public and private sectors. These schools offer courses in English and French. Enrolling your children in school promptly upon arriving in Canada is recommended, and you don't need to wait for a permanent address to complete the registration process.

Two Free Educational Programs

Since 1982, French-speaking parents in Canada have had the right to educate their children in their mother tongue, as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed. British Columbia's public schools offer two types of programs: the Francophone program and the French immersion program. These programs are free of charge and often include transportation services.

Francophone Program

This program provides instruction entirely in French, with English courses typically introduced from grade 4 onwards.

To learn about eligibility requirements and find a list of francophone schools, you can contact the Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique.

French Immersion Program

In this program, a portion of the curriculum is taught in French, with the extent of French instruction varying among schools. This program aims to teach French as a second language.

You can explore the different school districts to find schools offering French immersion programs and discover the available options.

Fee-Based Education Programs

L'École française internationale de Vancouver provides a French-language curriculum from kindergarten to college that adheres to the French Ministry of Education standards.

Elementary and Secondary School

In British Columbia, education is compulsory for children aged 5 to 16 and is divided into two levels:  

  • Elementary (kindergarten to 7th grade)
  • Secondary (8th to 12th grade)

Children can enroll in kindergarten starting at the age of 5, and younger children can attend preschool. You can contact the Fédération des Parents de la Colombie-Britannique for a list of French-speaking preschools. It's important to note that preschools require fees.

In some instances where regular school attendance is not possible due to illness or distance, remote learning programs are available through select francophone schools. For further details, please reach out to the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique.

Collège Éducacentre offers remote courses and educational services for high school and college levels.

Post-Secondary Education (Colleges and Universities)

Several post-secondary institutions provide programs in French. To obtain more information about their offerings and courses, it is advisable to contact the institutions directly.

L’Université Simon Fraser (SFU) offre quelques cours en français au niveau des études supérieures ou de la formation professionnelle. Veuillez contacter le Bureau des affaires francophones et francophiles de l’université SFU (BAFF) pour connaître les détails concernant leurs programmes offerts en français.

Le Collège Éducacentre offre la possibilité de faire des études collégiales en français. Le centre propose également des cours de langues, d’hôtellerie, d’informatique, de premiers soins et plus encore

Learning English

A good English command is highly recommended for settling in British Columbia.

The LINC program (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) is specifically designed for permanent resident immigrants (those born outside Canada). It offers free adult courses in English language learning. These courses focus on developing spoken and written English skills and providing essential information for newcomers about healthcare, housing, employment, banking, legal and political systems, and other aspects of Canadian society.

If you are interested in taking a placement test or obtaining course information, please get in touch with one of the centers listed below, depending on your residence.

Western ESL Services

(For residents of Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, South Delta, Burnaby and New Westminster)
LINC Assessment and Referral Centre
208 – 2525, Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5N 4C1
Phone: (604) 876-5756
FAX: (604) 876-0134

Surrey Language Assessment Centre

(For residents of Surrey, North Delta, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge and the Fraser Valley)
LINC Assessment and Referral Centre
202 – 7337, 137th Street
Surrey, BC V3W 1A4
Phone: (604) 507-4150
FAX: (604) 507-4155

Collège Éducacentre offers a LINC program.
For more information, visit their website or call toll-free 1-800-747-4825.

Continuing Education

There are times when returning to school is necessary to acquire new knowledge or enhance existing skills. Continuing education courses are typically offered part-time, allowing students to work simultaneously.

  • Collège Éducacentre provides professional training and development courses.
  • Open Learning Agencies or School District Adult Learning Centres offer courses in English.
  • For information on continuing education programs, you can directly contact the universities and colleges in the province.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid

Public elementary and secondary schools do not charge tuition fees, while colleges, institutes, and universities do. Students who lack sufficient financial resources to cover tuition fees can apply for government student loans or benefit from various support programs.

For specific information regarding your situation, please get in touch with the financial aid office of your educational institution or the British Columbia Ministry of Education.


Other Available Assistance Programs :

  • Provincial financial assistance programs for Canadian citizens, protected persons, and permanent residents.
  • British Columbia grants.
  • Scholarships and study grants funded by private companies, banks, or individuals.

Finding Housing in British Columbia

Locating suitable housing can sometimes be challenging for newcomers. Still, numerous resources are available to help you swiftly find a place that meets your requirements and fits your budget.

Popular Apartment Search Websites

If you are searching for an apartment in British Columbia, consider exploring the following reputable and dependable websites:

In British Columbia, renting directly from private individuals is common, bypassing the need for a real estate agency.

Tips for Avoiding Ad Scams

When conducting an online search for accommodations, it is important to exercise caution and avoid fraudulent advertisements that aim to deceive you and take your money. Before engaging in any transaction, ensure that you verify the authenticity of the ads. Before contacting property owners, carefully review the descriptions and examine realistic photos to assess the credibility of the advertisements.

Understanding Common Ad Abbreviations

During your search, you will encounter various abbreviations used to describe the features of homes. Here are a few commonly used examples :

  • Apts = apartments
  • t/h = townhouse
  • bst = basement
  • br = bedrooms
  • n/p = no pets
  • n/s = no smoking
  • references
  • appls = appliances
  • utils = utilities included (heating, water, electricity)
  • d/w = dryer and washer

British Columbia Apartment Pricing

Apartment and real estate prices in British Columbia, particularly in Vancouver, can be high, making it one of the most expensive cities to live in Canada. However, here are some tips for finding affordable housing in the region:  

  • While downtown, West End, Kitsilano, and Shaughnessy are the most expensive neighbourhoods, affordable options may still be available.
  • Greater Vancouver, including its suburbs, benefits from well-developed public transportation, making commuting from the suburbs a viable option.
  • Neighbourhoods farther from downtown, such as Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, and Coquitlam, generally offer more affordable housing opportunities.
  • Sharing an apartment with roommates can help reduce rent costs. Websites like Craigslist and Kijiji have dedicated sections for finding roommates in the "rooms" or "shared housing" category.

Once you have identified a suitable place, ensuring it fits within your budget is crucial.

Electricity and Heating Costs

During property visits, inquire about including electricity and heating costs in the rent. These charges may or may not be included. If not, you will need to contact the energy suppliers directly and pay the charges separately. Keep in mind that the actual cost of your apartment will be higher than the online price, considering these additional expenses.

Commonly Used Companies:

  1. For heating and electricity, commonly used companies in British Columbia are BC Hydro and Terasen.
  2. For landline, Internet connection, and TV services, popular options are Telus and Shaw.

Security Deposit

After selecting your desired home, you will be required to pay a security deposit. This amount should not exceed half of the monthly rent.

The purpose of the security deposit is to cover any potential damages or breakages within the apartment. If you leave the apartment in good condition, the landlord will refund the deposit or deduct it from the last month's rent.

The Rental Agreement

When renting an apartment, you will need to sign a rental agreement, often referred to as a Lease or Tenancy Agreement. This contract outlines the rules, responsibilities, and rights of both the tenant and the landlord. It can be signed at any time during the year.

Changing Accommodation

  • It's important to note that some leases are for a year or longer, and terminating a lease before it expires can be costly.  
  • If you plan to change apartments, you must provide one month's notice to the landlord and handle tasks such as closing utility accounts (telephone, gas, etc.) or transferring them to your new address.  
  • You are responsible for cleaning the apartment and returning it in the same condition as when you received it. Please do so to avoid the landlord withholding your security deposit.  
  • To ensure your mail reaches your new address, the post office offers a free mail forwarding service. You can change your address at the post office to have your mail forwarded.

Rights and Responsibilities as a Tenant

To avoid conflicts with your landlord, it is essential to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

The BC Housing Management Commission is responsible for regulating housing standards. You can contact them at their toll-free number, 1-800-257-7756, to speak with an agent. If you prefer service in French, you can wait until the end of the greeting to make the request.

In Canada, discrimination based on ethnic origin, skin colour, age, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or income is strictly prohibited. Landlords cannot refuse to rent you an apartment based on any of these factors. However, they may refuse to rent you an apartment if you smoke or have pets.

For further information regarding your rights as a tenant, refer to the Tenant's Suvival Guide.

If you believe you are a victim of discrimination, contact :

  • Tenant’s Right Action Coalition : 1-800 665-1185 (service in English)
  • B.C. Human Rights Coalition : 1-877 689-8474 (service in English)
  • B.C. Human Rights Tribunal : 1-888 440-8844

Finally, it's important to be aware that as a tenant, your landlord does not have the right to enter your home without your permission, except in cases of emergency. Additionally, the landlord is required to provide you with 24 hours notice before entering the premises.

Resources in the Event of a Dispute

If you encounter a dispute, you can seek assistance from The Legal Services Society by calling (604) 601-6100 or visiting their websit. Mediation services are also available through our agents.

When signing the rental agreement, ensure the landlord provides you with an emergency repair contact number.

The landlord is responsible for covering the cost of repairs unless the tenant causes the damage.

Insuring Your Property

Obtaining insurance to safeguard your belongings, such as furniture, jewelry, electronics, and more, is advisable.

CRecommended insurance advisors to contact are :

  • IBABC (Insurance Brokers Association of B.C.).
  • L'Annuaire des services en français, which can help you find a French-speaking insurance advisor.

Find a Job in British Columbia

Securing employment is a significant milestone for newcomers in British Columbia. There are several avenues to explore when searching for work. Consider the type of job you wish to apply for before arriving in Canada. Research the companies that interest you and start building a professional network on social media, more specifically on LinkedIn.

Typical Steps in the Employment Process

The process of finding a job in British Columbia generally involves the following steps :

  1. Identify an appealing job opportunity.
  2. Prepare a customized cover letter and CV.
  3. Submit your application, usually via email or an online submission system.
  4. The employer shortlists a few candidates for interviews.
  5. Attend an interview with the employer.
  6. In some cases, a second interview may be required.
  7. The employer typically requests contact information for three professional references.
  8. The employer selects a candidate and communicates the decision to all interviewed applicants.

Where to Find a Job?

Here are various avenues to explore when seeking employment in British Columbia:

  • Companies and organizations that align with your interests.
  • Online job boards.
  • Job fairs.
  • Classified sections of newspapers.
  • Networking and leveraging your existing contacts.

The Importance of Networking

Networking is vital in accessing the hidden job market, where 80% of positions are not publicly advertised. Here are some tips for building your professional network :

  • Attend events organized by professional associations in your industry.
  • Follow companies and associations in your sector on social media.
  • Arrange informational meetings with professionals working in your field.
  • Create personal business cards to facilitate networking opportunities.

Useful Websites for Your Job Search in British Columbia

Volunteering : An Action That Enhances Integration

Volunteering offers numerous benefits, such as improving your English or French language skills, expanding your local knowledge, and enhancing your professional experience within your new province.

Useful Information about the Job Market in British Columbia

To assist you in finding a job in British Columbia, here is some valuable information:

  • Upon your arrival, it is important to visit a Service Canada office to obtain your Social Insurance Number (SIN), which is required for employment purposes. You can find detailed instructions on how to get your SIN.
  • Job interviews in English-speaking organizations often require a proficient level of English. Fortunately, there are courses available to help you improve your English skills.  
  • While fluency in French can be advantageous, it is worth noting that positions entirely conducted in French are relatively rare.
  • Starting with a less-skilled job to establish your capabilities and progress within a company may be necessary.
  • British Columbia offers ample opportunities for career advancement.
  • Ensure that your CV is tailored to meet current Canadian standards.

Beware of Fraud!

When searching for a job, it is crucial to exercise caution and refrain from sharing sensitive information such as your Social Insurance Number, Permanent Resident Number, or banking details. Legitimate employers will not request this information on your first day of work.

Organizations to Assist in Your Job Search

Depending on your status in Canada, several organizations can provide guidance and support during your job search. Consider reaching out to the following organizations:  

Sources and Resources

Health Care in British Columbia

Medical Services Plan (MSP)

The public health and hospital insurance plan in British Columbia is called the Medical Services Plan (MSP). The MSP is financed through government revenues and federal transfers, operating not-for-profit. Eligibility for MSP is limited to residents of British Columbia, including immigrants and refugees who meet the necessary requirements.

Additionally, under specific income conditions, the PharmaCare drug insurance program complements MSP by covering the cost of prescribed treatments recommended by your healthcare provider. It's important to note that expenses not covered by MSP or PharmaCare may be covered by private insurance, which employers can provide in part or in full.

MSP Registration

It is essential to start the formalities as soon as possible after your arrival to obtain your health insurance card as quickly as possible. It takes around 3 months to receive the CareCard. During this time, it is advisable to take out private insurance. The CareCard is personal, and you are advised to carry it with you whenever you visit a healthcare professional or hospital.

Download the MSP brochure in French from the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) website.

MSP Monthly Membership Fee

Health insurance is not provided free of charge to everyone. A monthly fee is applicable, and the amount varies depending on each person's family and financial situation.

For low-income individuals, the payment amount is reduced under specific conditions. To determine the exact fee you will have to pay, please get in touch with your local MSP office or visit their website.

Federally sponsored refugees receive free coverage under MSP.

However, refugee claimants are not eligible for Medicare. They may, however, be eligible for emergency assistance. For more information, please contact the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

For more details on basic monthly premium costs, refer to the RésoSanté article provided.

MSP Health Coverage

The MSP covers all basic health care, such as doctor's visits and medically necessary services (doctors, specialists, midwives, etc.), hospitalization, laboratory services, diagnostic procedures prescribed by doctors, and specific additional treatments and services.

However, the public health insurance plan does not cover the costs of dentists, optometrists, and other health professionals (massage therapists, physiotherapists, psychotherapists, etc.). Consider complementary private insurance for these services, or ask your employer. Your employer may offer you insurance that generally covers the cost of:

  • Prescription drugs for the portion not covered by MSP;
  • Dental care;
  • Corrective lenses;
  • Physiotherapy;
  • Ambulance services;

The Healthy Kids Program covers certain expenses for children under 19. Ask your doctor for more details.

Drug Reimbursement

The British Columbia government has established a drug reimbursement program called Pharmacare. This program aims to lower the cost of specific medications and is accessible to residents of the province who are already enrolled in the public health insurance plan (MSP). The government may cover a greater portion of your drug costs, depending on your income level.

For additional information, you can speak with one of our agents, visit thePharmacare website, or call toll-free at 1-800-387-4977.

Emergency Services

In the event of an accident or a severe medical condition, it is advised to go to the nearest hospital emergency room.  

To request an ambulance, dial 911. You can ask for one if you require an interpreter by stating "French". Please be aware that the ambulance ride is not free, but the cost can be paid later.

If you need an interpreter, inquire at the hospital or arrange an English-speaking person to accompany you.

Hospitalization is free for permanent residents. However, asylum seekers must obtain authorization to cover their costs from the Federal Intermediate Health Program of the Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.

Finding a General Practitioner in British Columbia

Canada has two main categories of healthcare professionals: General Practitioners (family doctors) and Specialists. A general practitioner monitors your health regularly and can refer you to a specialist if necessary. You can ask RésoSanté for a directory of French-speaking specialists to provide to your GP.  

It's important to note that many GPs do not accept new patients. Suppose you cannot immediately find a doctor. In that case, it is recommended, whenever possible, to join the waiting lists of doctors or clinics that offer this option. You will be contacted for an initial appointment to discuss your medical history when a spot becomes available.

If the doctor you wish to see is not accepting new patients, feel free to call their office every month to inquire about any available openings.  

Until you have a designated GP, you can visit the walk-in clinic of your choice for medical consultations, medication refills, and other healthcare needs.

It's always more comfortable to discuss yourself and your health in your native language. To find a French-speaking healthcare professional, refer to RésoSanté's directory, which includes over 1,200 French-speaking healthcare professionals in British Columbia. The directory is accessible online or in hard copy.

If you require an interpreter for a hospital appointment, your doctor must request it in advance. For additional information, please visit the PHSA website.

Francophone Community Health Resources

Several resources are available to provide guidance in French regarding your healthcare needs:  

  • RésoSanté: This provincial non-profit organization promotes French-language health and wellness services in British Columbia.
  • The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) offers information on French-language healthcare services.
  • On the HealthLink website, you can access the Guide-Santé, a free handbook that covers over 200 common health problems. You can consult it online or order a copy by calling 1-800-465-4911.
  • HealthLink BC combines the expertise of nurses, pharmacists, and dieticians with interpreters available upon request. For province-wide assistance, call 811. For the deaf and hard of hearing, dial 711.
  • The Kelty Resource Center serves as an information source for mental health and substance use support for children, teens, and families in British Columbia. The center also provides resources on eating disorders for all age groups. You can call (604) 875-2084 or toll-free from anywhere in B.C. at 1 (800) 665-1822.
  • BC Seniors’line is a dedicated telephone line for seniors in British Columbia. For the Victoria area, call (250) 952-3181 or toll-free at 1 (877) 952-3181.  
  • Public health centers are accessible in various districts of many large cities. Families can seek advice from doctors or nurses by presenting their health insurance card. Contact information for these centers can be found in your local telephone directory or in the Yellow Pages.

Francophone Organizations and Events

RésoSanté is a non-profit provincial organization promoting French-language health and wellness services in British Columbia. In addition, francophone organizations regularly collaborate to bring health activities closer to home.

Stay tuned to RésoSanté's Facebook page and sign up for their newsletter so you don't miss a thing.

Are you interested in training or working in the medical sector in BC?

Are you interested in French-language medical training in British Columbia? Contact RésoSanté to find out more about the training available.

Are you a healthcare professional trained outside Canada who would like to practice in British Columbia? Contact RésoSanté to find out what's available and the steps to take.

For all other health-related questions

Are you unsure of where to purchase your medication? How to monitor your pregnancy in British Columbia? Who to consult for replacing your glasses? And many other inquiries.

RésoSanté is available to provide answers through its FAQ ection or

Other Health Professionals

It's important to note that the public health insurance plan does not cover expenses for services provided by dentists, optometrists, and other health professionals such as massage therapists and physiotherapists. However, medical insurance plans may cover these costs for individuals with private insurance or those covered through their employment.  

For children under 19, the Healthy Kids Program covers certain expenses. For more information, consult your doctor for additional details.

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