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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Introduction

The decision to immigrate to another country is not an easy one. You need information to make the right decision.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the government agency that oversees all immigration, refugee and citizenship applications.

The IRCC website is divided into categories: for students, for workers, for visitors, for refugees, and for people who want to immigrate permanently. You can also look for IRCC offices around the world to get information on the application process.

Can You Immigrate?

The demand to come to Canada is very high. The Canadian government selects candidates based on industries that require workers to maintain and grow the national economy.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that extended family can immigrate with you.

There are many programs that allow non-Canadians to live/work temporarily or permanently in Canada. Each has specific requirements, so do your research before starting the application process.

Getting Help to Immigrate

There are many companies who say they can help you immigrate to Canada.

Tip:

Be careful to choose a representative who is authorised by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to help you. If you pay someone to help you who is not authorised, you may be a victim of fraud.

Using an authorized immigration representative does not guarantee your application will be successful. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada officers do not work with immigration representatives. Representatives make it easier for you to apply by doing the work for you, but they can’t promise you will be accepted by IRCC.

Finding Work in British Columbia

Immigrating to Canada does not guarantee you will find work. It is important to research the local job market before immigrating. The BC government publishes a lot of information about the labour market in BC.

Tip:

 Certain industries are growing faster than others, so looking for work in those industries may be easier. In-demand industries include:

  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Agri-Foods
  • Construction

Once you are legally able to work in Canada, you can use government employment programs to assist you with your job search. This usually means you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

  • Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre (SIIC)
    An online and in-person resource centre that helps newcomers to Canada find the information you need to get a job or explore careers. It is based at the Vancouver Public Library and is free.
  • Work BC
    The BC government created WorkBC to provide information on the job market in BC. It has job postings, info on employment programs, and more.

Life in Canada

Canada is the second largest country in the world. The climate and lifestyle is very different in each region of the country.

It is important to research the Canadian lifestyle before applying to immigrate or work in Canada.

  • Prepare for Life in Canada
    Before starting the immigration process, a checklist of things to consider with links to information and help guides.
  • Welcome BC
    Information about living and working in British Columbia.
  • IRCC Offices
    IRCC visa offices process applications for permanent immigration, work permits and study permits.

Citizenship

Citizenship is not automatically granted in Canada. You must apply for citizenship after meeting requirements for residency, language and employment.

  • Citizenship Testing
    To become a Canadian citizen, you must take the Citizenship test. This explains the process.
  • Citizenship Counts
    This has practice questions to help you study for the Citizenship test. It is partly paid for by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Settlement Services

Newcomers to Canada have many programs available to help after moving to Canada. These types of programs are called settlement services, which mean services that can help you settle into your new life.

These services cannot help you apply to immigrate. You must talk to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for questions about immigrating to Canada.

  • New To BC
    A project by public libraries to help newcomers to BC. Learn about community services that help you settle in your BC community, including public libraries. Services can be searched by location or service.
  • MOSAIC
    Helping immigrants and refugees since 1976, MOSAIC offers multilingual services.
  • SUCCESS
    One of the largest settlement services in BC, offering many programs to immigrants and refugees.

Your First Week in Canada

After your application is successful and you move to Canada, there are a few things to do immediately.

  • Get Health Care – Welcome BC
    All BC residents must register with the BC health insurance provider, Medical Services Plan (MSP). The cost of coverage varies, but the BC government pays for a majority of your basic care when you are registered.

Additional Resources