Moving to a new country requires that one has the right support system. This can come from families and friends. And for those without family and friends, settlement organizations becomes useful. These organizations provide pre-arrival services or settlement services. Some organizations provide both types of services. If your destination is Ontario, you have come to the right place. This article focuses on settlement organizations in Ontario and available pre-arrival services.
Pre-arrival services are free programs for people who have been approved to immigrate to Canada. You can attend them online or in-person at selected locations. Pre-arrival services offer information to better understand life in Canada. This can include how to find a job and how to access other settlement services. This will become useful when you arrive in Canada. In addition, some programs offer information according to your profession and destination. Such information are language training and essential skills training in the workplace.
Eligibility for Settlement Services
You can access most pre-arrival services if you meet these requirements:
- firstly, you have received a Confirmation of Permanent Residence letter (COPR), or
- have been contacted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with a positive decision on the eligibility of your application
After that, you currently live outside of Canada. Moreover, some programs may have additional eligibility criteria.
Pre-arrival Settlement Services in Ontario
The pre-arrival services include:
- Active Engagement and Integration Project (AEIP) . They offer overseas services such as community engagement programs and job training.
- Build ON. These are online services for newcomers who want to work in the Skilled Trades.
- Canadian Employment Connections. This program provides sector-specific training and job search services to newcomers.
- CanPrep. They connect you with careers that match your specific education background and experience.
- ConnexionsFrancophones.ca. Offers employment services to Francophone newcomers. This is provided in partnership with La Cité.
- Go Talent Initiative ICTC. They connect employers with internationally educated professionals (IEPs) with an IT background.
- International Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA). This is provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
- Next Stop Canada. They offer essential and updated orientation on topics such as settlement, employment, housing, health, and language.
- Orientation to Ontario. They offer online webinars, resources and a settlement plan personalized to your needs.
- Planning for Canada. They offer In-person and online orientation sessions.
- Pre-arrival Supports and Services (PASS). This is for internationally trained nurses who want to start their career in Canada. The service is provided by the CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses.
- PrepCan. They offer online employment services and is provided by the Centre for Education and Training.
- Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA). They provide support for new immigrants focusing on job search, job readiness and job retention.
While most of the services are free, some services may change or become unavailable from time to time. So, please check the list below for the most up-to-date list of services.
- How to Get Help Before You Arrive – Find a full updated list of pre-arrival services to meet your needs.
- How to Prepare for Life in Canada – You will find Information to help you find a job, learn English or French, get your credentials assessed, and more.
- My First Days – This is a guide to your first two weeks in Ontario.
The services help new immigrants to settle and adjust to the new life in Canada. And their services are available in some schools and libraries also. Their services include:
- Interpretation and translation of documents
- Help in filling out forms and applications
- English classes (ESL or LINC)
- Help in finding a job or training
- Information about other community services, schools and health care
Many settlement agencies have staff who can speak other languages aside English. However, if the settlement agency do not have the service or language you need, they will find another agency that does.
For some of the agencies, you have to meet certain eligibility requirements to use their services. More so, you may have to live in a certain area, or have a certain immigration status.
For more information on the available settlement services, see below