A Vancouver organization has developed an app to help newcomers settle in B.C.
PeaceGeeks, non-profit that makes digital tools, created Arrival Advisor, a free phone app meant to help immigrants and refugees access the information and services they need.
Users simply download the app and answer a questionnaire about their personal circumstances. The app then provides a tailored step-by-step guide to B.C.’s Medical Services Plan, schools, employment, social insurance numbers, child tax credits and other government programs.
The users’ personal information remains confidential.
The app is currently available in English, French and Arabic, with plans to add both simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean, Punjabi and Tagalog.
“This is one stop for newcomers to British Columbia in their own language so they know the steps necessary to establish themselves and their families as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Jean Parlina, PeaceGeeks community outreach and engagement coordinator, said in a statement. “It fast tracks newcomers by providing services specifically tailored to their needs while bridging gaps in accessibility to information.”
The app came out of a partnership between PeaceGeeks and various settlement organizations, data service provider BC211, community representatives and an advisory group of immigrants and refugees.
PeaceGeeks won a $750,000 grant from Google’s Impact Challenge Canada in 2017 to build Arrival Advisor.
The app is available for free in Apple App Store and Google Play Store.