New Comers

Welcome to St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Vancouver – British Columbia

If you will land in Vancouver soon and/or you already landed and need any help, please feel free to email us ( and we will try our best to help you.

If you wish to be added to the Church weekly Email List please send your email to

Pray for our service.

Overview on Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley different cities:

Greater Vancouver: includes Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Maple Ridge, Pit Meadows, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.

Fraser Valley: includes Surrey, Langley, Fort Langley, Abbotsford, Mission and White Rock.

Approximate distance from some cities to the St. George church

1. From Vancouver: 35 minutes

2. From Burnaby: 15 minutes

3. From New Westminster: 10 minutes

4. From: Coquitlam: : 15 minutes

5. From Richmond: 30 minutes

Our congregation is spread among all these cities mentioned above. However if you are looking to live close to the church, then you may select to live in Surrey.




Average January temperature: 3ºC / 37ºF

February average high: 7ºC / 45ºF

March average high: 10ºC / 50ºF

April daily high: 14ºC (57ºF)

Average May: 17ºC / 64ºF

June daily high: 19ºC / 67ºF

July average high: 23ºC / 74ºF

August average high: 23°C / 74°F

Average September temperature: 14.4ºC / 58ºF

Average October temperature: 10ºC / 50º

Average November temperature: 7ºC / 45ºF

Average December temperature: 3ºC / 37ºF


Average rent by city:

In BC and in generally in Canada, there are three types of properties which are Houses, Townhouses and Apartment. Although the average monthly rent will differ from one city to the other, but also will differ based on the type of property you rent.

The average monthly rent would from $700 to $2,000. In all cases it is important to select a rented property that is close to public transit.


Transit system and fares:

Transit in Vancouver is very convenient, so you can take Bus, Skytrain (like metro), Sea bus and West Coast express (train).

The following link will help you regarding schedules and fares;

Please pay attention to the difference between day pass and the monthly pass that is good for a month and can be bought from 7 eleven, London drugs, Save on Foods, Safeway … etc)



Driver License:

The provincial corporation responsible for driver licensing is called “The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia” or ICBC.

Normally you can drive in the first few months with your license (presumably issued from Egypt), but you have to arrange for the new BC driver license.

There are three types of driver licenses here (Learner’s stage L, The Novice stage N and class 5). With L and N you can drive with restrictions, but with Class 5 you can drive without restrictions, but subject to the general rules. In all cases you should take both a knowledge test (by computer) and the Road test. You can obtain the required manual from the ICBC driver licensing office. This link will help you to get more in-depth information about ICBC



Social Insurance Number (SIN):

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits.

The SIN is required for a newcomer to Canada or a temporary resident, Children who are 12 years of age or older may apply for their own SIN.

Parents and legal guardians can also apply for a SIN for children under the age of majority of their province.

Where to apply for SIN

In New Westminster: 100 – 624 Agnes Street

Burnaby: 4279 Canada Way

Surrey: 109 – 12414 82nd Ave

Vancouver: 28 West Pender Street and 757 Hastings Street West

Documents required:

You need to show original document for new comers the main document is Permanent Resident Card (PR)


Medical Service Plan (MSP):

MSP insures medically required services provided by physicians and supplementary health care practitioners, laboratory services and diagnostic procedures.

How to Enrol

Under the Medicare Protection Act, enrolment with the Medical Services Plan (MSP) is mandatory for all eligible residents and their dependents.

If you are applying for a self-administered MSP account, you must complete and submit an Application for Enrolment form.

MSP insurance coverage is not free in BC. If you have a job, MSP premiums may be paid by your employer. If you do not have employer coverage, you must pay a monthly fee (premium). The costs per month are:


In B.C., premiums are payable for MSP coverage and are based on family size and income.

Monthly Premium Rates

Effective January 1, 2015

Adjusted Net Income

One Person

Family of Two

Family of Three or More

$0 – $22,000




$22,001 – $24,000




$24,001 – $26,000




$26,001 – $28,000




$28,001 – $30,000




Over $30,000





Please note that: New residents in B.C. are eligible for coverage after completing a waiting period that normally consists of the balance of the month of arrival plus two months.

How to apply: please follow this link to fill the application:


PharmaCare Prescription Drug Program:

As soon as you get your CareCard, you should register for prescription drug insurance with PharmaCare. It is a B.C. government program. It may pay some of the cost for prescription drugs you buy in B.C. You have to be a permanent resident of B.C. and already have MSP coverage. Fair PharmaCare is for all B.C. families. The lower your income, the more help you will get to pay for prescription drugs.

For detailed information, and to enrol in Fair Pharmacare, visit the Ministry of Health Fair Pharmacare website.


B C Housing:

BC Housing’s role is to assist British Columbians in greatest need of affordable and appropriate housing by providing options

BC Housing serves Low-income families through rental assistance programs in the private rental housing market, where most already live.

A family is defined as a minimum of two people, including one dependent child. Families are eligible to apply for cash assistance in the private market or subsidized housing, which is rent geared to income.

Rental Assistance Program

The Rental Assistance Program provides eligible low-income, working families with cash assistance to help with their monthly rent payments.

To qualify, families must have a gross household income of $35,000 or less, have at least one dependent child, and have been employed at some point over the last year.

To apply:

STEP 1 – Confirm your eligibility

STEP 2 – Complete an application form

STEP 3 – Attach supporting documents

STEP 4 – Notify BC Housing of any changes

How to Apply for Subsidized Housing

Follow the links below to get step-by-step directions for applying to subsidized housing:

Step 1 – Confirm your eligibility

Step 2 – Select housing

Step 3 – Apply to The Housing Registry

Step 4 – Apply to non-profit and co-operative housing providers

Step 5 – Keep your application up-to-date

Download Brochures

How to Apply For Subsidized Housing: English / Chinese / French / Punjabi / Spanish / Vietnamese

Subsidized Housing in British Columbia: English / Chinese / French / Punjabi / Spanish / Vietnamese


Child Care Subsidy

The Province of British Columbia is committed to helping families obtain affordable, accessible, safe, quality child care. Child Care Subsidy is a monthly payment to assist eligible British Columbia families with the cost of child care.

Monthly subsidy payments vary depending on your family’s circumstances. Your eligibility will be determined when your application and all supporting documents are received by the Child Care Subsidy Service Centre. You may be eligible to receive full or partial subsidy based on your family’s circumstances.

In this section, you will find information on eligibility and how to apply, as well as information on rates and payments and the renewal process. There is also additional information available for Child Care Providers as well as a detailed FAQ for parents.

Child Care Subsidy Rate Table Effective April 1, 2012


Child Care Programs Map

Child Care Resource & Referral

How to Claim Child Care Subsidy




Working opportunities:

Most of our congregation works in almost all kind of jobs. For example we have doctors, pharmacists, engineers, realtors, accountants and sales representatives.

You can now go to the links that would help you to navigate the job market. Feel free to send your resume to ( and we will forward it to the respective person to fine tune it and also send you important tips that helps you in your job search and career advancement.

Service Canada Centre Vancouver – Local Employment Services

Service Canada Centre Vancouver (Sinclair Centre and East 10th Avenue Offices) offer a number of programs and services though various service providers to help the unemployed in Vancouver with all aspects of their search for work.

Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia:

IEC-BC is here to help employers tap into the vast pool of immigrant talent.

Skills Connect:
You arrived in Canada with your dreams, skills and experience. But have you arrived at the job or career you are qualified for?

The Skills Connect for Immigrants Program is funded by the Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development through WelcomeBC, and jointly offered by Back in Motion and MOSAIC in the Lower Mainland, and with ISSofBC in Surrey.


Skills Connect aims to help skilled immigrants move more quickly into jobs that match their experience and background. We provide specialized assistance to immigrants by helping them to prepare for and obtain employment in every sector of the B.C. economy including transportation, construction, manufacturing, tourism, and healthcare.



Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia

Working in Canada Tool

Jobs – Wages – Qualifications – More!

Progressive Intercultural Community Services

8161 Main Street, #200, Vancouver, B.C…..604 324-7733 – Immigrants and Newcomers



School / District Contacts – Map


Vancouver School District No. 39


Burnaby School District No. 41


New Westminster School District No. 40


Richmond School District No. 38


Delta School District No. 37


Surrey School District No. 36


Langley School District No. 35


Coquitlam School District No. 43


Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District No. 42


North Vancouver School District No. 44


West Vancouver School District No. 05

Abbotsford School District No. 34


Chilliwack School District No. 33


Mission School District No. 75


Fraser-Cascade (Hope) School District No. 78



French Immersion Program – K-12

It is the policy of the Ministry to support the establishment of French Immersion programs within the public school system.

French Immersion programs parallel the regular English program in structure and content.

The major goal of French Immersion is to provide the opportunity for non-francophone students to become bilingual in English and French.

Bilingualism is achieved by providing instruction of the basic curriculum entirely in French during the first years.

Once a firm base in French has been established, instruction in English language arts is added, and instruction in the English language gradually increases.

Students continue to receive instruction in certain subjects in French so that by the end of Grade 12 proficiency is achieved in both languages.

Pupil Eligibility

Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in the British Columbia school system are eligible to enter an immersion program at the appropriate entry points, if the program has been made available and if there is space at the appropriate grade, subject to the registration policies of the school district in which the student resides.

Curriculum and resources are provided by the Ministry for Early French Immersion (K-12) and Late French Immersion (6-12) programs. 

These programs are differentiated according to point of entry and are as follows:


Entry Point


Early FI

K (and1)


Late FI



Therefore, if a school district offers Early French Immersion, it must be available at the Kindergarten level. Ideally, students enter in Kindergarten, but they may enter in Grade 1 if space is available.

Entry to the program at other than the normal entry points should be considered only if there is adequate space and if the student is adequately proficient in French. Adequate proficiency is defined as sufficient language skill to permit the student to be able to comprehend instruction in the subjects taught in French, assuming a period of 4 to 8 weeks of adjustment to the program.

Conseil Scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF)

List of CSF schools and contact information for 2011-2012

More than 4,600 students are currently registered in the 36 CSF’s schools across the province. Click the link above to learn more about the school nearest you and who to contact for more information.

Ecoles francophones du CSF – Emplacements:



الجمعية الكندية  لعلوم المختبرات الطبية
The Canadian Society for Medical laboratory science

What We Do
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

CSMLS provides a single point of access for prior learning assessment to internationally educated medical laboratory technologists who are seeking Canadian Certification.

As an internationally educated medical laboratory technologist (IEMLT), you have the opportunity to establish your eligibility to the CSMLS National Certification Examinations through the prior learning assessment process. Your education and experience in another country do not automatically make you eligible to write the certification exam.

To help you decide if the PLA process is right for you, CSMLS encourages you to complete the Personal Competency Rating Booklet (PCRB).

The Competency Rating Booklet is an excellent tool to help rate and compare your past education and experience to the required Competency Profile.
Once you have completed the Rating Booklet, we encourage you to complete the PLA Online Self-Assessment.


Credential Evaluation:

Before continuing with the Prior Learning Assessment we require a credential evaluation for all medical laboratory technology education. We only accept credential evaluations from the following:

International Credential Evaluation Services (ICES)

World Education Services, Canada (WES)

Language Proficiency Requirement

A Language Proficiency test may be required if your credential evaluation states your language of instruction was not in English or French. For more information regarding accepted language proficiency evaluations visit the following sites:

Test of English as a Foreign Language-TOEFL

International English Language Testing System-ILETS

Discover Business The TOEFL Study Guide