Moving to Vancouver: Things you should know before you immigrate to Vancouver

Vancouver has long been one of the most popular immigration destinations on the planet and it owes that position to the high standard of living, good opportunities for education and employment and the livability of the city. Founded in 1886, nowadays Vancouver is an international melting pot of cultures from different continents and a popular destination for expats. Being the most densely populated city in Canada, Vancouver will give you the feel of the hustle and bustle of a metropolis while it is still possible to find your peace and quiet within the city borders. Are you also intrigued by this quickly developing city less than an hour drive from the American border? Join us when we tackle all questions regarding relocation to Vancouver.

International Removals to Vancouver with Eurosender

Vancouver was ranked as the third most livable city in the world. So, moving to Vancouver from the USA or any other country would almost certainly mean an improvement in living conditions. And compared to the rest of Canada, Vancouver has the mildest climate, meaning that the harsh winter conditions that prevail in Canada, are a little less in Vancouver. Being so close to the American border is good for the economic development of the city and there are many opportunities to find a good job, whether it is in the tech world, the film industry or any of the other prosperous directions you can choose from. So, you can’t wait to settle in Vancouver? Then let us tell you all you need to know about this city and you will be ready to relocate in no-time.

When taking the plunge and moving to Vancouver, you need to know some basic fact about this wonderful city near the American border.

ProvinceBritish Columbia
TimezoneUTC -8
CurrencyCanadian Dollar (CND)
PopulationVancouver has a population of approximately 631.000 inhabitants.
How do you call someone from Vancouver?Vancouverite
Official languageEnglish (although research has shown that 53% of the population doesn’t speak English as first language)
International dialing code+1 (country code) 604, 778, 236 (area codes)
Emergency number911
DrivingOn the right side
TippingA 15-20% tip is expected, with more being given in case of good service.
Unusual factBotox treatment was invented in Vancouver.

When you are thinking of relocating from the USA to Vancouver, you want your international removals Vancouver to go as smooth as possible. With the services of Eurosender, you can be sure that this is the case. Find out how it works, read about customs clearance and place your order. After that, you can track your order 24/7 online to see it moving to the destination: Vancouver!

Living in Vancouver

Vancouver has so much to offer to its residents but there might be some things that you hadn’t expected. Let’s take a look at what some of the expats, already living in Vancouver, had to say.

  • Say Canada and people think of snowy winters. However, in Vancouver, it rarely snows and when it does, it is gone before you know it.
  • When you do want to enjoy winter, about 2-4 hours from the city there are many places that are great for skiing.
  • Traffic jams are a huge problem in Vancouver and the average commuter spends 11 days a year waiting in traffic.
  • There is a looming danger that there will be a devastating earthquake in the future. Unfortunately, no one knows when and how that would unfold.

Visa Regulations for Vancouver

The same visa rules apply to Vancouver as to the rest of Canada. Ignoring the tourist visa, for now, there are 2 options for immigrants wanting to reside in Canada. When you want to apply for a Canadian visa, we recommend contacting the Canadian embassy near you for all the requirements.

  • Temporary Residence Permits (TRP) This permit could come as single-entry or multiple-entry and allows you to stay up to 6 months.
  • Permanent Residence Permits (PRP) This permit allows you to become a permanent resident in Canada.

Healthcare in Vancouver

Residents of Vancouver are covered by the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia (MSP). This also applies to permanent residents and it means that basic medical care is free. However, you will have to pay monthly premiums for every person in your family that is insured. But paying those fees will give you access to some of the best healthcare in the world. The high standard of healthcare is even unequalled in Canada. When getting sick or injured, you will first visit your general practitioner, who will then refer you to a specialist if needed

School and education

The education system in Canada differs from province to province and Vancouver lies in the province of British Columbia.

Elementary school1-7
junior secondary school8-10
senior secondary school11-12

School is mandatory until age 16, which is after finishing senior secondary school.

Public schools in Vancouver are known for there outstanding performance and this is also the reason that there are not that many private schools present.

With the exception of tuition for international students, schooling for children of Canadian citizens and permanent residents is free of charge.

The job market in Vancouver

You are not the only one who wants to live and work in Vancouver, so you should be aware that there is fierce competition in the job market. So, here’s some advice to make sure you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.

  • Have your diplomas notarized and translated. Also, check whether they meet the Canadian standards. As this may be a lengthy process, start with this long before you actually travel to Vancouver.
  • There are many skilled graduates in Vancouver, which means stiff competition for you. However, there is always room for exceptional talent.
  • Look for a job in an area where there are shortages. This could be in the fields of IT, engineering and trade.
  • Doing an internship or voluntary work is a great way of meeting new people that could help you out with finding employment in Vancouver.

Property information

One bummer when it comes to Vancouver is the price of real estate. With the prices in Vancouver being the highest in Canada, accommodation will take a big chunk from your budget. Therefore, we have listed some advice for you when looking for living space in Vancouver.

  • Look for living space in newspapers and online listings (such as Craig’s list).
  • Get in touch with other expats as they already have experience finding accommodation in Vancouver.
  • Try to avoid using real estate agents because that will only add to your expenses.
  • Flat-sharing is a common and budget-friendly option when you just arrive.
  • Public transport is in perfect condition in Vancouver, so moving to a cheaper area shouldn’t mean an endless commute.

Cost of moving to Vancouver

When you decide to relocate, one of the most important questions is: How much is shipping from the USA to Vancouver? The average moving costs to Vancouver depend on the kind of service you choose. Take a look at a brief explanation of the services Eurosender has to offer.

  • Want to ship your luggage or something else? Anything that doesn’t exceed the dimensions below, qualifies for Standard Shipping.
    • Maximum weight of 40kg (30kg in some cases).
    • A maximum length of 175 cm.
    • Length (in cm) + 2x width (in cm) + 2x height (in cm) < 300 cm.
  • Want to ship pallets full of your stuff to your new location in Vancouver? Then our Freight Service is the right choice for you.
  • Want to have an entire van solely for your shipment? Opt for the Dedicated Van Delivery and your items will go directly from point A to point B.
  • Have something unusual that doesn’t match the services above? Ask our logistics experts for an individual offer, custom-made to your wishes.

After you have chosen the shipping service that matches your requirements, it is time to see what else Eurosender can do for you, regarding the cost of moving house to Vancouver.

  • Packing: With our detailed packing instructions you can rest assured that your packing is world-class.
  • Payment: With our easy payment options, you can pay the way you want.
  • Insurance: Having the right insurance is important but also affordable with Eurosender.

So, whether you are looking for the cheapest way to move furniture to Vancouver or you want to ship your motorcycle, with Eurosender you have the fastest and most cost-effective solution at hands.

Cost of living in Vancouver

As mentioned before, the prices of real estate are sky-high and will, therefore, take up the biggest part of your budget. And on the whole, life in Vancouver cannot be considered cheap, even when keeping the high wages in mind. Let’s take a look at some options you have to save money in Vancouver.

  • Spend less on leisure. Vancouver is surrounded by fantastic nature, which makes for a great and free way of escaping the hectic city life.
  • Buy second-hand, which is an easy way to save on things like buying electronics and furniture.
  • Plan your budget. Putting things on paper, or on your laptop, will give you a better understanding of where your money is going and where it should be going.
  • Public transport is top-notch in Vancouver and an inexpensive option compared to driving a car. Want to spend even less? Buy yourself a bicycle and get some free exercise on your way to work.

Driving in Vancouver

When you want to take up driving in Canada you need an International Driving Permit (IDP). After you get a residence permit you will also be able to apply for a Canadian driving license.

While driving in Canada, with its well-developed infrastructure, is generally quite comfortable, there are several things you should know before you hit the road in and around Vancouver.

  • Just like in the rest of Canada, distances are given in kilometres and not in miles. This may take some getting used to when you are coming from the USA.
  • Parking is big business with paid parking being the norm around town. When you do find a free parking spot, be aware that you can only occupy it for a maximum of two hours.
  • The Port Mann Bridge and the Golden Ears Bridge are toll bridges, so don’t leave home with any money on you.
  • There is a vast network of bicycle lanes that mostly run parallel to traffic lanes, so be on the lookout for cyclists at all times.
  • Between 01-10 and 31-03 it is mandatory to have winter tires on your vehicle.
  • As with many major cities these days, it is often a good idea to leave your car in a carpark and travel within the city by foot or by using public transport.

Most popular destinations from where you can move


Moving from Toronto to Vancouver, or from any other city within Canada is catching on. The number of inhabitants of Vancouver goes up every year, which is no surprise with the growing economy. However, Canada is a huge country and relocating might not be as easy you might expect. That is why good preparation is important. With the article above you are ready to choose the right options for you, and to start packing for your move.

United Kingdom

Moving to Vancouver from the UK is a good option for those looking for a new environment. With many problems in the UK such as Brexit, many British people have decided that it is time for something else. And why not Vancouver? English is the main language, there are already many British that went there before you and there is ample opportunity to find employment. So, hop on a plane and fly across the ocean to make a new start in Vancouver and live the life you dreamt of. But not without the things that make you feel at home such as your own mattress, paintings or plants.


Moving to Vancouver from Australia is a huge step when we talk about the change in climate. When you are from Australia and you are tired of celebrating Christmas at the side of the pool, then moving to Canada is the right choice for you. You will have a white Christmas for sure and will experience what it means to live in a country with harsh winter conditions. With the same language being spoken and with many similarities in mentality between Canadians and Australians, relocating to Vancouver might be the right step for you.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.