New Funding for Pre-settlement Services to Welcome Newcomers

Updated: Feb 19, 2019 | Tags: Canada Visa, Canada eTA, Canada Immigration


The Canadian government has announced new funding for immigrants and refugees waiting to come to Canada, with over $18 million earmarked for this purpose. The funds will help various Canadian bodies to provide learning and support services to newcomers and is part of an already effective Canada immigration program. These funds are allocated within the government's four-year commitment to provide $113 million in aid for pre-arrival Canada immigration services.

The range of services provided to future permanent residents will give them enough information and support to make settling in Canada a success. Also, these services are enabling, allowing individuals to make informed decisions about their new lives and start the process of integration as early as possible.

CICan named as a service provider

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has recently named Colleges and Institutes of Canada (CICan) as one of major service providers to receive funding to support immigrants in the “pre-arrival” phase. CICan will use their allocated funds to deliver services both online and face-to-face, helping individuals to access information and make decisions about settling in Canada. In particular, face-to-face services are being offered in the Philippines, China and India. Also, Morocco has a pilot project in place for face-to-face Francophone services.

Employment information is included in these services to help newcomers to fully integrate into their Canadian communities. In fact, the underlying CICan program has been in place since 2007 and has already helped more than 48,000 individuals to settle in various parts of Canada. Among its services are pre-arrival group sessions delivering key information, and individual planning services for immigrants.

Specific support for Francophone newcomers

Another body to recently benefit from funding is the the Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse (FANE). This organisation is specifically aimed at supporting Francophone newcomers and is set to receive $1.1 million. FANE will deliver specific information to newcomers according to the province they intend to settle in. This is part of the IRCC's bid to reinforce what's known as the 'Francophone Settlement Pathway'. Minister Hussen has recently expressed his satisfaction that the IRCC has selected FANE deliver these crucial services, allowing this organization to support French-speaking newcomers heading to the Atlantic provinces.

Under this funding program, Immigrants who can speak one of Canada's official languages are being helped to settle in Canada and become economic migrants. Underpinning the initiative is a body called La Cité, one of the main contact points for new settlers who speak French. La Cité offers general information and needs assessments for francophile individuals and their families coming to Canada as immigrants.

In May 2018, the IRCC started an expression of interest appeal to gain proposals from service providers to deliver economic, family class and Francophone pre-arrival services. From among the applicants, 16 service providers were chosen with a strong track record. These 16 will be delivering online and face-to-face services to newcomers. Newcomer groups include refugees from various international locations in the pre-arrival phase of immigration to Canada.

The true value of pre-arrival settlement services

Pre-arrival settlement services play an essential role in the country's immigration operations. Indeed, Minister Hussen has acknowledged that these pre-arrival services are key when it comes to helping immigrants to settle in Canada. In particular, programs can put individuals with specific job skills in touch with the right bodies to help them take the necessary steps to finding a job. This can be achieved, for example, through loans to fund licensing examinations and internships for additional support.

The overall aim of pre-arrival settlement services is to facilitate the economic and social success of newcomers by: 

  • Connecting individuals directly with the information and services they need through easily accessible services and processes,
  • Enabling pre-arrival services by means of collaborative partnerships,
  • Providing employment services in general, as well as regional services and those tailored to specific occupations,
  • Supporting immigrants with pre-arrival job licensing where necessary,
  • Linking individuals to both national and regional settlement services.

Long-standing consistent, high-quality support

The IRCC’s pre-arrival incentives are aimed at providing consistent, high‑quality services to individuals from many parts of the world who are intending to settle in Canada. In many cases, individuals come from countries where travel to Canada prior to settling may be difficult. Obtaining a Canada ETA or a Canada Visa are always easy or viable options for these individuals. In fact, some countries are not eligible for a Canada ETA (e.g. India), and so a Canada Visa must be applied for. Therefore, these pre-settlement services are essential to kick-start the immigration process.

It's important to note that, historically, Canada has provided funding for pre-arrival services for just over 20 years. Services were initially only for refugees, but by 2001, non-refugee immigrants were included. This shows the government's longstanding commitment to Canada immigration.