2021-11-09T12:22:46-05:00May 6th, 2021|

Pre-arrival settlement services for newcomers to Canada: How they can help

Moving to Canada and starting a new chapter of your life is an exciting prospect. As you plan your move, you may have many questions and concerns about settling in. To make this transition seamless, the Canadian government funds various settlement agencies so they can help newcomers, like yourself, adapt to life in Canada. These agencies provide free settlement services to newcomers from all countries, both in pre- and post-arrival, making them excellent resources to tap into.


In this article:


What are pre-arrival settlement services?

All newcomers and their family members who are approved to come to Canada can register for free in-person and online services to prepare for and adjust to life in Canada – these programs or sessions are referred to as pre-arrival settlement services. 

Pre-arrival services can help you to:

All of these services are provided by the Canadian government and are available for free to approved newcomers. 

Pre-arrival organizations help you get information on how to move to, live and work in Canada. They assess your needs and create a personalized plan to help you settle in Canada. They’ll also connect you with any other pre-arrival and post-arrival services you need.

Eligibility criteria to register for pre-arrival settlement services

You can register for a free in-person or virtual pre-arrival settlement services, if: 

  • Your permanent residence (PR) application has been approved;
  • You currently are residing/living outside Canada;
  • You have one of these documents: 
    • A letter from the IRCC mentioning that you are eligible for pre-arrival services; OR
    • A Confirmation of PR (CoPR) letter; OR
    • A passport request letter that indicates PR visa issuance; OR
    • A letter from IRCC asking for your medical exam results; OR 
    • A single-entry PR visa; OR
    • A letter from IRCC letting you know that you can pick up your PR visa.

Note Icon  Note
You cannot register for pre-arrival services if you’re coming to Canada as a visitor/tourist, international student or temporary foreign worker.



List of pre-arrival settlement services

Prearrival settlement agencies can help newcomers in different capacities, from finding work in Canada to settling in and adapting to life in Canada. The lists below will help you identify how each organization will be able to help you.

Key agencies and organizations that help with settling in and adapting to life in Canada

Organization Services Overview Service Location Languages
Active Engagement and Integration Project (AEIP)
  • General information about living in Canada;
  • Orientation to education, health care, housing and transportation in Canada;
  • Needs assessment; and
  • Referrals to community services.
In-person: China.

Virtual sessions for global audiences.

English, French, Cantonese and Mandarin
Planning for Canada [previously known as the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP)]
  • General information about living in Canada;
  • Orientation to education, health care, housing and transportation in Canada;
  • Needs assessment; and
  • Referrals to community services.
In-person: India and the Philippines.

Virtual sessions for global audiences.

English, French and other local languages.
Next Stop Canada
  • General information about living in Canada;
  • Orientation to education, health care, housing and transportation in Canada;
  • Needs assessment;
  • Referrals to community services;
  • Specialized programming for youth between 12 to 19 years old, such as connections to youth mentors.
Virtual only; offered globally. English, French, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Farsi, Hindi, Kurdish, Mandarin, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Urdu.
Connexions Francophones If you want to live in a Francophone community in Canada, they can help you with:

  • Information and orientation;
  • Connections with Francophone local organizations;
  • Needs assessment;
  • A personalized settlement plan with other links to in-Canada resources.
In-person: Morocco.

Virtual sessions for global audiences.

French, English and Arabic.
Achēv NIC (Newcomer Information Centre) Online [previously known as PrepCan] Specifically serves those residing or planning to reside in Ontario. Provides live webinars, newsletters, articles, self-directed virtual resource centre, insider information from industry experts, and much more.

Settlement Support: Education and training, banking, housing, healthcare, Government programs, legal and social services, Canadian citizenship.

Virtual only; offered globally. English and French.

Tips Icon  Tip:
In-person or one-on-one pre-arrival services are scheduled on specific days throughout the year. These sessions are very popular and space may be limited. Therefore, to reserve a spot, do reach out to relevant organizations as soon as you’re approved to come to Canada.

Agencies and organization that help with career and job search in pre-arrival

There are many Government-funded organizations that can help you prepare for the job market in Canada. They can provide assistance with job search and finding employment, crafting a Canadian-style resume, learning about Canadian workplace culture, finding a mentor, and preparing to get your credentials recognized.

Organization Services Overview Languages
Active Engagement and Integration Project (AEIP) Offers general employment services through virtual information orientations, workshops and webinars. 

AEIP can help you:

  • Write your resume;
  • Prepare to work in Canada;
  • Get your credentials recognized; and
  • Attend online job fairs to learn about potential employers.
English, French, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Canada InfoNet Services provided:

  • Preparing for work;
  • Employer-interactive webinars;
  • Job matching platforms;
  • Find a mentor with experience in your sector;
  • Learn about Canadian workplace culture.
English and French.
Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA)
  • Online courses, including “Job Search Strategies” and “Working in Canada;”
  • Webinars; and
  • Help for preparing to work in Canada.
English and French (coming soon).
Connexions Francophones Employment services for French-speaking newcomers wishing to settle in Francophone communities. 

Services include:

  • Virtual job fairs in real time with potential employers seeking French-speaking employees;
  • How to prepare to work in Canada and get your credentials recognized;
  • Webinars about mentoring, writing a resume and Canadian workplace culture.
English, French and Arabic.
Achēv NIC (Newcomer Information Centre) Online [previously known as PrepCan] Specifically serves those residing or planning to reside in Ontario. Provides live webinars, newsletters, articles, self-directed virtual resource centre, insider information from industry experts, and much more.

Employment Support: Orientation to the job market, understanding of Canadian workplace culture, assistance with resume preparation, and on-demand and live webinars related to job search.

English and French.
BCCA Integrating Newcomers

The British Columbia Construction Association Integrating Newcomers (BCCA-IN) program provides free one-on-one pre-arrival services to newcomers with a construction background and those interested in learning how their education and experience can apply to construction work.

Services provided by BCCA-IN include skills assessment, job leads, accreditation advice, and settlement services referrals.

BCCA-IN supports architects, designers, project managers, estimators, engineers, tradespeople, and those in strategic business support groups (like human resources, finance, analytics, information technology and others).

English.
BuildON If you plan on living in Ontario, BuildOn offers services that focus on construction, skilled trades, and engineering. English and French.
ACCES Employment: Canadian Employment Connections and Entrepreneurship Connections Pre-Arrival (CEC-ECP) Offers industry-specific job services, including one-on-one coaching, to help you prepare to look for jobs, prepare to work in Canada, and learn about workplace culture.

Consult this organization if you want to work in the fields of engineering, entrepreneurship, finance, leadership, human resources, sales and marketing, or supply chain management.

English.
Global Onboarding of Talent Initiative (GO Talent) They support newcomers from the IT sector with sector-specific help, career events, job search, and getting credentials recognized. English and French.
Integrating Newcomers Offers services to prepare newcomers for jobs in the construction industry. English, French, Tagalog, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Pre-Arrival Supports and Services Program (PASS) This program helps nurses prepare to work in Canada’s health-care field. It offers information about the nursing registration process and the Canadian health-care system.

PASS provides connections to sector-specific information including:

  • Workplace practices in health care;
  • Mentoring with Canadian nurses;
  • Schools;
  • The nursing registration process; and
  • Regulatory bodies.
English.

Government-funded settlement services have a wealth of information, tools and resources that provide immense value to all newcomers. It can help you successfully and smoothly transition to life in Canada.