Welcoming Ukraine

B.C. is welcoming people from Ukraine to communities across the province.

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Last updated: May 13, 2022

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What to do when you first arrive

Immigration is the responsibility of the federal government of Canada. You must follow federal guidance to enter Canada. Through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, you can receive temporary resident status.

You must have a medical exam within 90 days of arriving in Canada.

Learn about British Columbia

Welcome to British Columbia, Canada. Our province has 5.2 million people, including 232,000 Indigenous people from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. Canada's official languages are English and French, but most people in B.C. speak English. B.C. is also home to more than 200,000 Ukrainian-Canadians.

Ukrainian communities can be found in cities across the province:

Getting settled in B.C.

Map of B.C. showing large Ukrainian-Canadian communities

Health care

B.C. offers free health care coverage to all residents. To access health care services, you need to enrol in two different programs, the B.C. Medical Services Plan and BC PharmaCare. Anyone can access emergency health care in B.C. Find clinics, hospitals and pharmacies near you.

Apply for health insurance

The B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP) pays for required medical services. You must apply.

You can apply for MSP if:

  • You have a valid work permit
  • You have permanent resident status
  • You arrive in Canada through CUEAT

For people arriving through CUAET, your coverage starts the day you arrive in B.C, not the date you apply.

Get prescription drug coverage

You may be eligible for coverage under BC PharmaCare.

PharmaCare can help pay for:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Medical supplies
  • Pharmacy services

Emergency coverage is available for medications you need urgently. Your doctor or nurse can complete a form (PDF, 1MB) that you take to the pharmacy.

Protect yourself against COVID-19

Vaccination against COVID-19 is free for everyone 5+ in B.C. Getting vaccinated is easy and safe.

You can get free COVID-19 test kits from a local pharmacy.

Employment and cost of living

To work in B.C., you need a work permit. Ukrainian nationals and their family members can apply for an open work permit, valid for up to 3 years. 

Children and education

Children under 18

If you have children aged 5 to 18, register them in a local school. Schools in B.C. offer English language learning support for all students who need it.

See how the expect respect and a safe education (erase) plan helps B.C. create safe and caring school communities.

Child care

Learn how to access child care in B.C.


If you are a post-secondary student looking to study in Canada, you may need a study permit. Ukrainians arriving though CUAET may be eligible for domestic tuition rates.

If you don't have access to education documents like diplomas or academic transcripts, the World Education Services Gateway Program may be able to help you.

Graduate studies

Graduate students and researchers may be eligible for funding to continue their research in Canada. You must have already received funding from a Canadian research agency.

I need help

When you phone, translators are available in Ukrainian, Russian and 140 other languages.

Get help with resources like housing

Talk to BC211. They can help you find the right resources and access services close to where you are.

Dial: 211Available 24 hours a day.

From outside B.C., call 1-888-484-3211.

Get help with government services

Talk to a Service BC agent about government information and services like health care and education.

Dial: 1-800-663-7867Available 7:30 am to 5 pm.

I want to help people from Ukraine

British Columbians are coming together to support the people of Ukraine. Learn how you can help:

Visit Operation Ukraine Safe Haven to find other ways to support people arriving in Canada from Ukraine or call 211.

Businesses can make large donations through the federal Canadian Industry for Ukraine web site.