IRCC announced on May 11th, 2023, that it would extend funding totaling over $65 million to service provider organizations across the country. Among the New investments in settlement services offered are pre-arrival services, cultural training for newcomers who come from racialized communities, and language instruction for newcomers who come from Francophone minority communities.
Settlement services play a significant role in helping immigrants succeed in Canada, according to the declaration. Newcomers can receive information and support from these agencies before and after their arrival in Canada so that they can make informed decisions about their new life in Canada.
Newcomers need services before they enter Canada to achieve good integration. At the announcement, Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, stated that Canada’s investment would help it continue to meet the needs of immigrants from around the world.
A study was conducted by IRCC in 2021 to examine the impact of settlement services on newcomer outcomes. The report found that 95% of newcomers who used settlement assistance were satisfied with the help they received. Moreover, 78% of those who received employment services reported being able to develop the contacts, knowledge, and skills they needed for the Canadian labor market.
In order to ensure that immigrants integrate socially and economically as quickly as possible, the IRCC provides pre-arrival services that include:
- Facilitating seamless access to necessary information and services for clients through a user-friendly and efficient system.
- Promoting early application for recognition of foreign credentials by newcomers, if required, prior to their arrival.
- Establishing effective connections between clients and both federal and provincial settlement services in Canada.
YMCA Empowers Newcomers with Pre-Arrival Services for Successful Transition to Canada
Newcomers will continue to benefit from essential pre-arrival programs thanks to a grant of more than $1.2 million from the YMCA of the National Capital Region, says Lalonde. As the president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of the National Capital Region, Bob Gallagher, said, “Investments like these allow the YMCA to continue to provide specialized information and orientation about the skilled trades, engineering, and construction sectors while assisting people in adjusting to Canada.”
Both in-person and online services are available through the YMCA overseas. Before arriving in Canada, new immigrants have access to services through pre-arrival service providers that are geared towards soft skill development, employment guidance, and knowledge of the Canadian workplace.
New investments in settlement services – How to access them?
A local, provincial, and federal government oversees the settlement process and provides free settlement services. In addition to the numerous settlement services offered, the following are also available:
- Assistance in living in Canada on a daily basis.
- Job placement assistance.
- Citizenship test preparation help.
- Assessments and training in languages.
- Training in language specific to the job.
- Refugees, women, etc., receive special services.
- Newcomers finding mentors or becoming mentors.
In order to assist newcomers in identifying the resources they are most in need of, the IRCC has developed Compass to Connect, a resource that combines these services into one tool with a postal code search feature. Also displayed are programs for women, elders, and young people, as well as programs specific to 2SLGBTQi+ people.
Compass to Connect is an IRCC-funded website that provides a listing of settlement services that can easily be searched. Settlement counseling and referral service are available to people who are unsure what services they need. A settlement counselor can provide advice to newcomers about which services would be most helpful to them through these services.
Providing information directly to newcomers is another function of local and provincial settlement service providers. Searching for local settlement services is the simplest way to accomplish this.
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that in Canada settlement services are only available to individuals who are permanent residents or protected persons, as well as some temporary residents. As part of the Canadian government’s Resettlement Assistance Program, refugee settlements are supported.