B.C. government provides more support for newcomers (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Alanah Connie

Senior Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Municipal Affairs


Supporting Ukrainians

The BC Settlement and Integration Services program (BCSIS) provides funding to more than 30 non-profit agencies, neighbourhood houses and other community groups across the province that provide newcomers with immigration and labour-market information, help connect them to services and resources, help them build connections to the community, and provide language services to upgrade their English. 

The Province has adjusted BCSIS to include support for Ukrainians with Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) visas. Previously, Ukrainians arriving in B.C. with temporary CUAET visas had been ineligible.

The Refugee Readiness Fund was announced last year as a one-time investment of $2 million to enhance existing programs and provide additional resources for communities and private sponsors working to bring refugees to B.C. The expansion of this fund by an additional $1 million to include supports for displaced Ukrainians will allow communities to benefit from a co-ordinated approach to delivering services using shared knowledge and drawing from provincewide expertise.

In addition to more robust services, the Province has ensured more supports are available to help Ukrainians settle in B.C. through actions that include:

  • extending MSP coverage to all individuals arriving in B.C. under the CUAET through an amendment to the Medical and Health Care Services Regulation;
  • waiving the three-month waiting period before MSP coverage begins, ensuring immediate access to health services;
  • expanding United Way British Columbia’s services to include phone and web support for its bc211 support service;
  • providing access to free employment services and supports through more than 100 WorkBC Centres, including skills training, employment counselling and access to WorkBC's job board with more than 49,000 job postings, job application tips and career tools;
  • encouraging school districts to enrol K-12 students from Ukraine and allowing schools to waive any additional fees for extracurricular activities;
  • ensuring Ukrainians arriving though the CUAET program are eligible for domestic tuition at public post-secondary institutions;
  • enabling post-secondary institutions to deliver on-campus supports, including mental-health, accommodation and financial assistance, including emergency grants or tuition deferrals.

Most Ukrainians coming to B.C. are expected to arrive through the CUAET program. Between March 17 and April 26, Canada received more than 180,000 applications from Ukrainians under this new emergency travel program. In that time, more than 71,000 applications were approved. Ukrainians arriving through this program may settle where they choose.