One of the great things about immigrating to BC is that British Columbia won’t ever leave you “on your own.” Canada, British Columbia, and Surrey itself offers a wealth of immigrant support programs and services.
We urge our clients to look into these programs. Moving to a new country can be extremely challenging, even for highly skilled, professional immigrants who did so intentionally. It can be even more challenging for refugees, who may not have initially planned to come here but who now must contend with a new life in a new place. Some things may work differently than you’re used to, like the banking, credit, legal, and financial systems.
Each of these services can help you make your life in Surrey more successful. Specific programs may help your elderly parents find emotional support and friendships, help your school-aged children acclimate to school better, or help you, a professional, reskill and recertify quickly so you can work in your chosen field.
Programs from the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society
PICS is a non-profit organization devoted to creating “a healthy and just society which values and respects all cultures.”
They provide the following services:
- Free English classes with additional training in the Canadian work culture, including resume, cover letter, job search, interview skills, and work expectations training.
- A free translation and interpretation service staffed by certified human translators.
- The BC Settlement and Integration Services (BCSIS) Program which provides a needs assessment, one-on-one information to clients, counseling, and an information and orientation group.
- The Settlement and Integration Program (IRCC) which includes transportation services, care for newcomer children, needs assessments, referrals, and one-on-one support.
- The Resilience Toolkit for Syrian Refugee and Newcomer Women. This program helps support Syrian women who are experiencing barriers due to gender and racial stereotyping, language barriers, new social role expectations, and resistance from anti-refugee groups and individuals.
- The Newcomer Digital Connect program, which is a program for visible minority newcomer women over the age of 19 and provides basic digital literacy skills and employment training.
- A Temporary Migrant Worker Support Program including awareness workshop to get a better understanding of rights and provincial regulations.
The Options BC Settlement and Integration Program (SIP)
Options BC offers services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Punjabi, Hindi, Somali, Arabic, Kurdish, and Tagalog. They provide the following services.
- Needs assessments and referrals.
- Orientation to local recreation centres.
- Orientation to the British Columbia library system.
- Orientation to Canada’s banking and financial system.
- Family law and legal issues training.
- Housing services to help you find a place to live here in Surrey.
- Orientation to Canada’s tax system.
- Health services to help you apply for health insurance, find a doctor, and support in understanding the overall system.
- Parenting classes.
- Senor connections to help new senior immigrants make new friends and access additional services that may help them.
- Income assistance for refugee families.
- Access to child care services.
- Access to translation and interpretation services.
- Transportation support.
Services from the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation
The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation offers an Immigrant Settlement and Integration (ISIP) program that includes a number of events such as newcomer orientation, ways to protect yourself against common frauds and scams, orientation to Canada’s Mortgage and credit systems, and more. These events are often conducted in Mandarin, Vietnamese, and other languages.
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. also helps you:
- Find housing.
- Navigate BC’s public transit systems.
- Navigate BC’s health care system.
- Update your language skills.
- Get your children enrolled in school.
- Understand the Canadian justice system.
- Understand how to manage money and personal finances in Canada.
- Help with getting your foreign credentials recognized and updated.
- Opportunities to volunteer and make new friends in the community.
DiverseCity Community Resources Society
DiverseCity says: “Everyone belongs here.” Thus, they help newcomers build the life they want in Surrey.
- Language assessments and instruction.
- Interpretation and translation services.
- Skills training.
- Employment programs.
- An opportunity to save for your child’s higher education needs with the Canada Learning Bond.
- Free language classes with free child care for anyone enrolled in the classes.
- One-on-one support.
- Group orientation services.
- Community field trips.
- Two youth programs, including one for permanent residents and one for refugees or immigrants with multiple barriers to immigration.
- Senior services, including transportation services, household help, accompaniment services, and more.
- Employment programs for temporary resident youth, refugee claimants, and international students between the ages of 15 to 29.
- Mental health services.
- A refugee support fund to help cover medical treatments not covered by insurance, emergency housing and accommodation, the provision of emergency baby care supplies, family reunification services, food and rent assistance, and more.
- Violence prevention services.
- Citizenship preparation services.
As you’ll see, while there are differences from program to program many of these programs offer very similar services, and it may just be a matter of finding the program you either feel most comfortable with or which is closest to you upon your arrival in Surrey.
Here are some other organizations you can connect with.
Langley Immigration Settlement and Integration Services Programs
Need help immigrating to Surrey, BC?
While some of these programs also offer legal clinics, none of them offer experts in immigration law. Before you need to worry about taking advantage of any of these services you need to make sure that your visa application is correct and that you’ve chosen the right immigration program.
Our team can help. Our skilled, experienced immigration attorneys have helped thousands of immigrants begin their new life in British Columbia.
We even have attorneys on staff who speak fluent Punjabi and fluent Mandarin.
Get started by calling (604) 394-2777 to make an appointment today. We are happy to set up a video chat appointment if you are not currently located near our office in Surrey, BC. Our team is ready to work with you!