As refugees continue to arrive in British Columbia, they will need assistance building new lives. The following resource page will help you and your community learn how to welcome and support those most in need.


Welcoming Communities Toolkit - a toolkit for municipal governments in creating welcoming communities for refugees and immigrants.

Services for Refugee & Immigrant Newcomer - The Refugee Readiness Hub provides an info graphic in English and Arabic about services available.

Resettlement Assistance Program Forms & Activities - The Refugee Readiness Hub provides key forms & activities undertaken within the first 3 weeks in BC.

Timeline of Services for Government Assisted Refugees - The Refugee Readiness Hub provides a timeline of services for Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) in the first year.

Tax Returns for Newcomers - This Fact sheet from the Canadian Revenue Agency is also available in French and Arabic.

Applying for income assistance - The Refugee Readiness Hub provides a list of ID and documents required for the application process.

BC Income Assistance Application Orientation English Version/ Arabic Version - by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSDSI)

General information about how to prepare for living in Canada - article and tips from the Canadian Immigrant Magazine

WelcomeBC Newcomers Guide – a list of resources for newcomers to Canada

Supports for Immigrants and Refugees in British Columbia - BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Fact Sheets-Services for refugees in BC

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada – funded Services for Immigrants and Refugees in BC (Settlement, Language, Employment, Community Connections, as well as specialized programming)

#WelcomeRefugees – Canadian Government updates on key figures highlighting the progress of welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada.

#WelcomeRefugees - Canadian Government statistics on total number of Syrian refugees in Canada.

Growing Roots - A newcomer's guide to Vancouver .

City of Surrey Services Map - Lists over 250 settlement services and programs and can be accessed in 10 different languages.

Community Resources in Burnaby - Burnaby Public Library lists all the resources for refugees in English, Farsi and Arabic

First Peoples: A guide for Newcomers - City of Vancouver resource on First Peoples in the region.

First two weeks in Canada - Canadian Government video translated in Arabic for newcomers to Canada.

Language Training Video(Arabic) - The video raises newcomer awareness on the importance of official language skills for settlement in Canada.

ICBC Driving Regulations - Provides information about moving to BC from outside of Canada

Driving Guide - Prince Edward Island Driver's Guide translated into Arabic.

National Fire Protection Association Fire Safety - Easy-to-read handouts and safety tip sheets in other languages

City of Vancouver - Initiative and information for supporting refugee settlement in Vancouver

The Canadian Red Cross - Migrant and Refugee Services: A variety of services to support settlement and integration of Refugees in Canada

The Red Cross Refugee Buddy App - Provides up-to-date information to refugees in the Canada, with links for translation, latest news, first aid and asylum-seeking procedure.

Okanagan Refugee Community Resources Geolive Map - A mapping website that allows people who want to donate and to share information about household items, employment opportunities, services, housing, and volunteering that might be used by incoming Syrian refugees

Syrian Refugee Support Fund: Application - The Canadian Council for Refugees has established a Syrian Refugee Support Fund to help support the settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada.

Getting ready for my refugee hearing- A preparation guide and hearing room tour for refugee hearings created by Kinbrace Refugee Housing and Support.

Choosing your immigration representative carefully - An IRCC video on who can legally represent you if you choose to hire an immigration representative.


Immigrant Employment Council of BC - Information on what additional training skilled immigrants may need to enter workforce in BC.

BC Refugees JobConnect - Information from an Immigrant Employment Council of BC PowerPoint presentation on connecting refugees to employment. Register for JobConnect here as a candidate or employer.

Work BC – committed to help British Columbians successfully navigate B.C.’s labour market

Work BC Employment Services Centres - There are 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres across BC that provide a range of services.

Work BC Diversity Advantage - Specific supports for employers looking to hire immigrants and refugees are outlined below. We kindly request your assistance in circulating this information to employers through your professional and community networks.

Community and Employer Partnership Program (CEP) - A few promising refugee-focused projects have recently received funding from CEP to research and develop innovative approaches, provide job training and address challenges related to refugee hiring. To further explore ways to address the specific employment needs of refugee youth/young adults and to test your project concepts,

The Canada-BC Job Grant - The CJG assists eligible employers to offset the cost of training current and future employees up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee per fiscal year. View a PDF about this grant.

Canada-BC Fund - A comprehensive overview of refugee supports made available under the Canada-BC Fund administered by JTST.

Refugee Fund - The Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG) is now accepting applications from eligible organizations acting on behalf of employers, under the Refugee Fund, for training with start dates between January 1 and March 31, 2017.

Refugee Fund Eligibility Criteria - A list of requirements for employers, participants, training providers, training programs for the Canada-BC Job Grant.

WelcomeBC Employer Resources - The WelcomeBC website provides employers with beneficial resources to share with employees who are new to BC.

Hiring Syrian Refugees - Provides information about what employers need to know.

Planning to work in Canada? - Canadian Government workbook for newcomers.

WorkSafeBC facts on workers rights in English and Arabic - One-page resource for workers in BC and employer responsibilities.

WorkSafeBC teleclaim - One-page wallet card in Arabic.

WorksafeBC confined space sign - Translated into Arabic.

Pre-Arrival Food Safety Management Program- offers skilled individuals in their home countries the tools and knowledge needed to transfer into a successful career in the Canadian food and beverage industry.

Industry Training Authority (ITA) - Immigrant Trades Training Program - ITA partners with Aboriginal and various other community service providers, training providers and industry partners to deliver entry level (pre-apprenticeship) trades programs.

IECBC – Onboarding Refugees - is a toolkit to assist employers in BC to more effectively recruit, hire, onboard and retain a diverse workforce that includes refugees.

Career Cruising - is a web-based career exploration and planning tool for exploring career and education options.

Working in Canada - Federal online resources for labour market information which offers users free occupational and career information including employment outlook for various occupations, wages, local training and related news articles.

Industry Training Authority of BC - (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system. ITA works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards, and increase opportunities in the trades.


Umbrella Multicultural Health Coop - Umbrella Multicultural Health Cooperative is a member driven not for profit health services organization. Our members are people who face barriers to accessing health care due to their language and culture.

Culturally Connected - A resource that helps health professionals use a cultural humility framework to establish cultural safety for diverse clients

Interim Federal Health Program – Refugees are eligible for the Interim Federal Health Care Program Certificate when they first arrive in Canada to cover immediate health care needs.

The Interim Federal Health Program - Questions and Answers sheet in English and French.

Refugee Health - Variety of resources specific to different refugee groups, list of forms, coverage and information.

Interior Health Authority - Newcomer and Refugee Care - Comprehensive resource for health providers and sponsors in the interior of BC.

Interior Health - Refugee sponsors healthcare FAQ.

IFH Dental Coverage - Important updates for all Dental Care providers

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority - Caring for Children’s Teeth (English)

Reduced Cost Clinics - A list of Dental Clinics in BC.

Not for Profit Dental Clinics operating in BC - British Columbia Dental Association list.

Registered Midwives - A List of Midwives who accept IFH in BC

Provincial Health Services Authority - Interpreting Service - The Provincial Language Service provides interpreting services to BC health authorities.

Caring for Kids New to Canada – Comprehensive resource for people who work with immigrant and refugee children, youth and families developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society.

Caring for Syrian Refugee Children - A program guide for welcoming young children and their families

Translated Resources - HealthLink BC provides health resources in some of the languages most common to BC residents.

Confidentiality and Privacy - A one-page guideline for confidentiality and privacy of refugees.

CCIRH - Evidence based preventive care checklist for new immigrants and refugees.

AMSSA Diet Resource - Diet, Health, and Settlement

How to register as a provider with the Interim Federal Health Program - A simple step-by-step document to simplify the IFHP registration process. We are using this as a part of our outreach to the BC Medical Office Assistant Association, since they are central to the process of Syrian refugees accessing health care through IFHP registration.

Arabic brochure for the Midwives Association of British Columbia - provide details in Arabic about Midwives in BC.


BC211– 211 is a confidential, multilingual telephone and texting service available in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish-Lillooet and Sunshine Coast Regional Districts. 211 provides free information and referral to a full range of community, social, and government services, and operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Simply dial or text 2-1-1. The Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture – telephone service for information, referrals, and consultation on refugee mental health. Call toll-free throughout British Columbia at 1-866-393-3133 Mondays to Fridays 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Supporting Clients who have Experienced Trauma - AMSSA webinar

Burnout to Balance: Self-Care in the Settlement Sector - AMSSA webinar

Burnout to Balance: Self Care in the Settlement Sector - AMSSA webinar handout

VAST - A Group Therapy Program for Refugees in BC

VAST - Vulnerability Screening Tool

Supporting the Mental Health of Refugees to Canada - Resource prepared by the Mental Health Commission of Canada

5 Myths About Refugees - To respond effectively to the mental health needs of refugees, it’s helpful to first dispel several myths and let the intriguing findings of recent studies guide our efforts.

Helping Students Deal with Trauma - A Guide for students and educators created by the Islamic Social Service and the National Council of Canadian Muslims


Airbnb Welcome - Airbnb’s newest initiative to support refugees in Canada. A new platform that will allow relief organizations and nonprofits to seamlessly connect refugees, evacuees and other people in need with Airbnb hosts who have offered to temporarily house displaced people at no cost.

Housing Syrian Refugees - This video showcases a public housing testimony of positive experiences of housing Syrian refugees in Greater Victoria. This video is a collaboration between VIRRT members of our Housing Table, the ICA and Pacifica.

Tenant building rules - The Refugee Readiness Hub provides a English/Arabic info graphic for new tenants to learn about tenant rules.

Ready to Rent Guide - R2R provides education that builds the skills, knowledge and confidence of participants while respecting them as adult learners through engaged and participatory curriculum.

Renting a home in Canada - IRCC provides information about how to find a home in Canada.

CMHC Housing for Newcomers - Go-to resource to better help you settle in Canada.

CMHC Housing for Newcomers in Arabic

Tenant Resource & Advisory Committee - Provides information/referral, advice/summary service and full representation to tenants and advocates across British Columbia in the area of residential tenancy law.

Tenant Resource & Advisory Committee in Arabic - TRAC resources available in Arabic in addition to a pamphlet and video on renting.

AMSSA Migration Matter InfoSheet Issues #31 - Newcomer Housing: Barriers, needs and experiences


The Pride Education Network of teachers, administrators, support staff, youth and parents strives to make the B.C. school system more welcoming and equitable for LGBTQ students and staff, and queer families. “We imagine schools as places where differences are not simply tolerated, but celebrated.”

ISSofBC Bursaries - ISSofBC is encouraging education for refugee youth and newcomers to Canada with six bursaries. 

Education Planner of BC - Publicly funded resource that allows you to compare post-secondary programs in BC. Education Planner helps learners make well-informed decisions about their education and career options.

BC Teal Refugee Tutoring Project - resources for tutors and students.

TCF Refugee Scholarship - A list of Scholarships / awards / bursaries from BC Teal for refugees.

Adult Upgrading Grant - The BC Ministry of Education provides financial support to learners enrolled in Developmental Programs. This grant is intended to support learners most in need with financial assistance.

Vancouver School Board on Multiple Topics - Listed are resources for newcomer parents that will help ease their transition into Canadian life and the community.

UNICEF Act - Instructional resources on topics of global concern for parents or teachers.

Computers for Success Canada - BC Technology for Learning is pleased to provide a free computer system to Syrian Families.

World Education Services (WES) Refugee Pathways - Information about assessment of credentials and qualifications for refugees.

Helping Students Deal with Trauma - A Guide for students and educators created by the Islamic Social Service and the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

SFU refugee programs - Simon Fraser University recently established a Refugee Working Group to develop, coordinate and implement the University’s refugee-related engagement and support. The Refugee Working Group (RWG) provides advice, connections and information on refugee students, community engagement and research.


UBC youth support program - The University of British Columbia looking for youth people who are new to Canada to participate in a support program that explores experiences in becoming an adult.

Challenges & Strengths - AMSSA Migration Matter Info-Sheet #35: Newcomer Youth

Syrian Kid GO! - The Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society has developed an interactive platform for Syrian youth to experience Canadian culture in the City of Surrey. View the Arabic version

Syrian Refugee Youth Consultation and Community Stakeholder Forum - ISSofBC in partnership with The Fresh Voices Initiative of Vancouver Foundation hosted a youth consultation and forum discussing settlement needs for Syrian youth. A summary report is available here.

Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog - is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver.

CCR Youth Network - The youth division of the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Youth Network, gives refugee and newcomer youth and youth allies a voice to address challenges faced by newcomer youth and a space to share ideas on how to meet these challenges.

Best Practices to Support Young Refugees - Wisdom2Action is a highly participatory workshop, bringing together groups from across the country who are responding to the needs of incoming refugee children, youth, and their families.

Government of Canada Services for Youth - Includes programs and services specific to the needs of newcomers to Canada.

Young Canada Works - Young Canada Works (YCW) offers a variety of summer job and internship programs to job seekers and employers.

The Youth Take Charge Program - Supports youth-led projects that exemplify the ability to strengthen youth attachment to Canada and involve activities in one or more of four thematic areas: history and heritage, civic engagement and youth service, arts and culture, economic activities.

Destination Clic – French Enrichment Bursary Program is a three-week summer bursary program for francophone students in Grades 8 and 9 who attend a French-as-a-first-language school and live outside of Quebec. Participants are awarded a $2,000 bursary (taxable income) that covers tuition fees, instructional materials, meals and accommodation.

The Exchanges Canada Program - Helps youth to enhance their knowledge and understanding of Canada, while connecting with other young Canadians.

Explore - Second Language Bursary Program - A five-week, intensive language immersion bursary program that is offered during the spring or summer. The program provides opportunities for English-speaking students to study French, and for French-speaking students to study English. Participants are awarded a $2,200 bursary (taxable income) that covers tuition fees, instructional materials, meals and accommodation.

Odyssey - Language Assistant Program - A bilingual, paid work experience that provides opportunities for postsecondary students to travel to another province. English-speaking students can work in Quebec or New Brunswick, while French-speaking students can work in a province other than their own. Participants work 25 hours per week and receive a taxable salary of $18,500 for a nine-month work term.

Community and Employer Partnership Program (CEP) - A few promising refugee-focused projects have recently received funding from CEP to research and develop innovative approaches, provide job training and address challenges related to refugee hiring. To further explore ways to address the specific employment needs of refugee youth/young adults and to test your project concepts.

Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG) - New community and employer partnerships have been created to access CJG in support of refugees. To support employment pathways for refugee youth or collaborate with an employer or industry association, apply for training funds that target refugees and youth (aged 15-24).


East Vancouver Newcomer Camp: A free summer camp that provides recently arrived refugee children with the tools they need to thrive in their new home.

Syrian Kid GO! - The Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society has developed an interactive platform for Syrian youth to experience Canadian culture in the City of Surrey. View the Arabic version

CMAS: Caring for Syrian Refugee Children - A program guide for welcoming young children and their families.

Teaching Refugees with Limited Formal Schooling - Focusing on early care and learning in settings that serve immigrant and refugee children and their families.

Compendium of Newcomer Children's Services in British Columbia - Provides an overview of programs and services for newcomer children aged 0-12 developed by AMSSA member agencies throughout British Columbia.

AMSSA - Immigrant and Refugee Children in Settlement Programming.


Cultural Profiles - Global Affairs Canada provides cultural insight to virtually every country in the world.

Refugee Backgrounders - Numerous refugee backgrounders from the Cultural Orientation Resource Center

Government of Canada Population Profile - Syrian refugee profile.

AMSSA - Interfaith Bridging: Building Connections. Building Community - This E-Symposium explored innovative approaches to interfaith bridging focusing on collaboration and communication between the settlement service provider agencies, faith organizations, academia and newcomers themselves.


BC EAL Directory of Courses and Employment Programs - The directory is a tool for EAL/ESL students, serving as a place to see language learning programs available across the province.

BC Teacher’s Federation Resources - Refugee Resources to support schools in welcoming Syrian refugees (curricular material, workshops, workshops for Syrian parents, webinars and more.


Trans Care BC - Provincial Health Services Authority - An excellent list of resources, support groups and services for all regions of British Columbia with an emphasis on youth and families for the LGBTQ community.

Rainbow Refugee – An organization that works with LGBTQ refugees and refugee claimants, providing support services. Rainbow Refugee is a Vancouver based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGIE) or HIV status.

Qmunity - BC's Queer Resource Centre: QMUNITY is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. We provide a safer space for LGBTQ/2S people and their allies to fully self-express while feeling welcome and included. Our building serves as a catalyst for community initiatives and collective strength.

Our City of Colours - Raising visibility of LGBTQ+ issues in diverse communities: Provides a list of LGBTQ resources in the Lower Mainland, including a list of support groups.

AMSSA - List of resources to support LGBTQ newcomers. Includes excellent educational videos for organizations providing settlement services to the LGBTQ refugee and immigrant community. – List of resources for applying for refugee status in Canada for LGBTQ individuals

Egale – Canada Human Rights Trust - FAQ: LGBT issues in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee System

Foundation of Hope – LGBT, Refugee and Newcomer Resources 

The Fraser Valley Youth Society (FVYS) - A not for profit society located in the Fraser Valley since 2000. FVYS has been providing opportunities for personal growth and leadership through our workshops, programs and community connections since 2000. "Our main focus is to support LGBTQ2S+ and Allied youth in the Fraser Valley. We want to connect them to their peers, their communities and to provide supportive & inclusive help where needed. We operate a weekly drop-in (Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack) to connect youth and young adults to a healthy and vibrant LGBTQ2+ and allied community."

Victoria Lesbian Seniors Care Society - The Victoria Lesbian Seniors Care Society supports lesbian health and social needs on Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada. VLSCS provides safe, accessible, and welcoming spaces; and builds community through public education and social action.

The Pride Education Network of teachers, administrators, support staff, youth and parents strives to make the B.C. school system more welcoming and equitable for LGBTQ students and staff, and queer families. “We imagine schools as places where differences are not simply tolerated, but celebrated.”

Trans Vancouver Island - A regularly maintained website with a list of resources and support services for the LGBTQ community on Vancouver Island.

Island Sexual Health – A list of support services for the LGBTQ community on Vancouver Island, with a focus on primary healthcare.

Rainbow Health Co-operative - A community owned organization located in Victoria, BC, with the mandate to provide healthcare, livelihood and related services to underserved communities; Membership is open to all, but the focus of this organization is the gender non-conforming and transgender (trans) community. "We are trans-centric and queer inclusive. Our primary service is to promote existing groups and establish new ones to assist transsexuals and their families".

South Island Pride Community Centre Society - A community resource providing support, health and social services, and public education for the well being of people of all genders, gender identities, and sexualities, and their allies in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. The Centre is committed to building pride, civic engagement and community participation within a safe and supportive environment while fostering self-determination and acceptance of diversity within the larger community. It provides a home for the birth, nurture, and celebration of our organizations and cultures.

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Refugee Determination Process in Canada, Paper prepared for the Immigration and Refugee Board, 2013 - By Nicole LaViolette, Associate Professor, Law Faculty, University of Ottawa

UNHCR Report (2011) - Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex Persons in Forced Displacement

UNHCR Report (2012) - Guidelines on International Protection No. 9: Claims to Refugee Status based on Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees

UNHCR Report (2013) - Resettlement Assessment Tool: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Refugees

UNHCR Policy Documents Related to Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity - Refworld has compiled a list of documents related to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, including legal, policy and background information. This "Special Feature" on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is regularly maintained and contains legal, policy and operational material.