Building Bridges to Success: Empowering Newcomers through Comprehensive Settlement Services

The fundamental basis for the success of newcomers in Canada is the provision of settlement services. They give immigrants the knowledge and assistance they need to decide on their new life in Canada before and after they arrive, facilitating their effective integration into their communities and accelerating their employment rates.

On May 11, Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced $65 Million in Funding Extensions for Settlement Service Providers Nationwide to ensure Continued Delivery of Crucial Settlement Services for Newcomers and also includes Pre-Arrival Support, Assistance for Racialized Newcomer Women, and Language Training in Francophone Minority communities.

According to Parliamentary Secretary Lalonde, the YMCA of the National Capital Region will receive approximately $1.2 million to keep providing crucial pre-arrival assistance to recent immigrants. With the funding extension, service provider organizations will maintain their vital role in delivering essential services to newcomers before they arrive in Canada.

The YMCA, renowned for its diverse range of accessible services online and in-person, stands as an exemplary provider. Pre-arrival service facilitators offer newcomers invaluable resources necessary for a successful transition into their new lives.

These resources include:

  • Equipping them with information on the Canadian workplace
  • Counseling on employment options
  • Soft skills training
  • Helping with citizenship exam preparation
  • Dedicated special services for disabled or refugees.

“Deciding to move to a new country is perhaps one of the biggest decisions a person will make in their life. We are thrilled to see the substantial investment made by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada into pre-arrival services. Investments like these allow the YMCA to continue providing specialized information and orientation about the skilled trades, engineering, and construction sectors, and help individuals ease their transition to Canada.”

– Bob Gallagher, President and CEO of the YMCA of the National Capital Region

To determine how settlement services have impacted immigrant outcomes, IRCC performed research in 2021. According to the report, 95% of immigrants who used settlement assistance thought they were helpful. In addition, 78% of people who got employment services said that such programs helped them develop the contacts, knowledge, and skills necessary to get ready for the Canadian labor market.

Pre-arrival services by the IRCC:

The pre-arrival services program by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in Canada maximizes the social and economic integration of newcomers through the following steps:

  1. Provision of easy access to the service information the clients require through a user-friendly and effective system
  2. Immigrants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, before their arrival, for the acknowledgment of their foreign qualifications, if necessary.
  3. Federal and provincial settlement programs establish effective connections with clients.

How to find access to settlement services?

Compass to Connect is a website funded by the IRCC to assist newcomers in accessing the required resources. The website filters your search by postal code to get to the closest services. Additionally, the tool displays programs specifically for 2SLGBTQi+ people, women, elders, and young people.

For people oblivious of what services they require or what pertains to them, sources such as settlement counseling and referrals are available. Through these services, immigrants can speak with a settlement counselor who can advise them on the services that could be most helpful to them.

The local and provincial settlement service providers are another direct source of information for newcomers. The simplest method for doing this is to look up local settlement services.

Finally, it is essential to remember that only permanent residents, protected people, and a few temporary residents are eligible for settlement assistance in Canada. For refugee support, the government has the Resettlement Assistance Programme, a distinctive refugee settlement program.

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