Vernon, BC

Vernon: Communities in Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Parsai Immigration Services is providing an overview of 11 Canadian communities. These communities are listed under Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. The tenth community we’ll be looking at is Vernon, British Columbia.

What is the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

In short, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven government program. This program will help rural Canadian areas attract foreign workers. These areas need more workers in order to meet economic development and labour market needs. You can find more information on the pilot program by clicking here.

What can you expect from each community?

According to the government of Canada, the communities will:

  • promote the pilot and their community to possible candidates
  • identify job opportunities in the local economy and work to match applicants to jobs
  • assess possible candidates who:
    • best fit the economic needs of the community
    • have a genuine employment opportunity
    • have the intention of staying in the community
  • recommend candidates for permanent residence to IRCC for a final decision
  • provide a welcoming community for immigrants
  • connect immigrants to official members of the community and settlement services
  • report on the results of the pilot

Now, let’s explore Vernon.

Location

Vernon is a city in the Okanagan region of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. It is 440 km northeast of Vancouver, British Columbia. Named after Forbes George Vernon, a former MLA of British Columbia who helped establish the Coldstream Ranch in nearby Coldstream. The City of Vernon has a population of 40,000 (2013) while its metropolitan region, Greater Vernon, has a population of 58,584 (2011).

Work

Vernon is one of the most economically diverse communities in British Columbia. Employment is generated from a growing professional services sector, the traditional resource sectors of forestry and agriculture, as well as the tourism, technology, manufacturing, retail and service sectors.

Vernon has many online job boards to help people simplify their search. WorkBC offers a job board that lists thousands of jobs in the province. There are also many tips for successful searching. You can find information on how to use the job search site in over a dozen different languages.

Education

The education system includes pre-school through to post-secondary. School District 22 offers a variety of programs including Montessori, french immersion, Aboriginal education, forestry, career and apprenticeship programs, and students without borders, RCMP and snowsports academies.  Click here for an interactive map of the schools.

To register your child for elementary or secondary school. You may need to provide proof of address, birth certificate, and immigration papers if transferring from another country.  If you want your child to attend a private or independent school, ask where to register them.

Okanagan College offers a selection of programs and services at its Vernon Campus. The programs include university transfer, career and technical programs, academic upgrading, trades training, and non-credit community education programs.

The University of British Columbia – Okanagan (UBC-O) is located a short 30 minutes to the south in nearby Kelowna. The campus, which opened in 2005, now has over 8,700 students with approximately 15% being international. UBC-O offers a variety of post-secondary educational opportunities including more than 50 bachelor programs from Medicine (MD) to Engineering (BASc) to Fine Arts (BFA).

For young children, there are many childcare options and supports for families and children with special needs.

Health care

Comprehensive health care services are provided in Vernon by Interior Health Authority. The newly-expanded Vernon Jubilee Hospital is one of the core facilities offering acute and emergency care, ambulatory care, medicine and surgery, psychiatry, maternity and pediatrics.

Interior Health also provides several other health services within the community, including mental health and addictions services, public health nursing, Aboriginal health, home and community care programs, residential and assisted living facilities as well as laboratory and diagnostic services.

Interior Health facilities in Vernon are enhanced by private walk-in clinics, doctors’ offices, dentists, optometrists, and other health professionals who can be found through any online directory services.  To find a doctor who is taking new patients, search through the College of Physicians website.

If you are moving to BC from another province or country, you will want to learn more about BC’s publicly-funded health care system that ensures all eligible BC residents have access to medically necessary health care services through the Medical Services Plan and to eligible prescription medications, medical supplies, and pharmacy services through the PharmaCare program.

To apply for a Medical Service Plan card, visit the Service BC centre in downtown Vernon. The Service BC centre offers many services in addition to the medical services plan, including driver’s licenses and childcare subsidy forms.

Immigration

The Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society is an important resource for new immigrants, providing settlement services, English language classes, employment services, and more.

This non-profit society offers many services for newcomers, immigrants, refugees, visible minorities and first-generation Canadians, helping with their settlement and integration into Vernon.

The organization offers services in a multitude of languages, and they can make recommendations to link newcomers to community services. Staff and volunteers provide assistance with citizenship and immigration applications, accreditation of diplomas and degrees, coaching for certificates and licenses as well as translation and interpretation.

English as a second language and employment service programs are available. Newcomers are encouraged to use the resource centre providing Internet access, a job-posting board and labour market information. There are a number of workshops offered and staff can help with foreign credential recognition, career planning and provide information on self-employment.

Development

The community of Vernon is poised for growth and development. The City of Vernon’s Official Community Plan defines the vision for the community including a commitment to economic development. Continued growth and diversification of Vernon’s economy are important in order to meet the goals of the Official Community Plan, as more employment opportunities not only attract new residents but also allow more residents, particularly youth and young families, to stay in Vernon and make it their home.

Fun facts!

  • Vernon is home to the only outdoor water park in the valley, Atlantis Water Slides, or Atlantis Water Park, which is one of the main family-friendly attractions.
  • Explore the early ranching history at the O’Keefe Ranch.
  • Agri-tourism is a large part of the North Okanagan, and here you can find some of the best farmers markets!
  • Silver Star Mountain is a great place to explore for everyone and has been voted the best family ski resort in all of Canada.


Doha Hanno Publicist, Parsai Immigration Services

If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licensed practitioner. Disclaimer: This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

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Doha Hanno