Canadian Immigration News

Why Are Immigrants Missing Out on Free Settlement Services?

4.5 minute read
"The Canadian government provides settlement and integration services for newcomer immigrants. However, it has been observed that many immigrants miss out on the benefits of these services since they have no idea that such services are available."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Sep 27, 2021
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The Canadian government provides settlement and integration services for newcomer immigrants. However, it has been observed that many immigrants miss out on the benefits of these services since they have no idea that such services are available. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers settlement services to immigrants all across Canada, and the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) offers these services to new immigrants in Quebec. 

How Does Settlement and Integration Service Help New Immigrants? 

The IRCC’s first-ever Settlement Outcome Report surveyed a total of 120,897 newcomer immigrants who arrived between 2018-2019. Out of the total, 55,370 accessed the settlement services while the remaining 65,527 did not access these services. 

All newcomers who accessed these services found them helpful while a majority of them agreed that these services impacted their settlement journey in Canada. The success of settlement and integration services depends upon the timing. For example, you can not offer pre-arrival services to someone who is already residing in Canada. 

Why Did a Majority of Newcomers Between 2018-19, Not Access Settlement Services?

According to the Settlement Outcome Report, around 70% of the new immigrants surveyed did not know that such services were available. Among the ones who did know about such services, a quarter said that they did not know how to access or use such services. 

It was also noted that a majority of people who accessed these services with no difficulty were connected by federally-funded referral services. Around 23% of the newcomers used these services in the first year of their arrival and found them useful in their journey. 

What Are Settlement Services in Canada?

The settlement services are offered by multiple levels of government at different steps of your immigration journey. For example, you can even get help before you arrive in Canada. The IRCC has listed around 1,259 such services on its website. However, it must be noted that pre-arrival services are only available for potential immigrants and not temporary residents. 

The IRCC offers services to help newcomers settle in Canada. There are certain offices in different countries, including China, India, and the Philippines, who have currently moved their operations online due to the pandemic. These offices used to offer pre-arrival services to immigrants. 

These services will give you access to certain information about life in Canada including things such as finding a house, employment, accessing healthcare, transportation, etc. They may also refer you to certain communities based on your eligibility. 

The IRCC also offers settlement services to help new immigrants find work in Canada. These services help newcomers make a Canadian resume and get their education credentials recognized. They also meet certain industry requirements important for their occupation, for example, specific certification or license for architects, engineers, skilled tradespeople, finance, tech, construction, nursing, etc.  

You can find detailed information on province-specific settlement services on the federal website. 

What Kind of Settlement Services Are Available in Canada?

There are 6 types of settlement services offered by the IRCC: 

Support Services: 

These include providing certain services to newcomers such as childcare, transportation, etc. You can find this service under the IRCC Settlement Programs.

Assessment Services: 

This includes helping new immigrants identify what services they will need to support their settlement in the new community. According to the report, only 23% of the new immigrants are currently using this service. However, if more new immigrants were to use these services, it would give the IRCC much needed understanding of what a newcomer immigrant requires.

Information Services: 

This includes providing information to newcomers to help them settle. The main source of information for new immigrants is usually their friends. The second source is settlement service providers. While everyone has access to the internet, the report found that it was least used by newcomers to get information.

Language Training: 

This includes helping newcomers learn and develop their language skills. The IRCC invests the majority of its budget in improving its language assistance programs. Language training is very important for new immigrants to get a job and connect with the locals. Also, to be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you need English or French language proficiency.

Employment Services: 

These services help new immigrants find a job in Canada. These services may be either long-term or short-term. This includes finding work placements, providing mentorship, employment counseling, and improving job searching and matching skills. Around 78% of immigrants who accessed these services found them helpful in preparing for the Canadian labor market. However, this remains the lowest used service by new immigrants.

Community Services: 

These services help new immigrants get involved with their local community. These are the second-lowest used services by new immigrants. However, around 60% of the newcomers who used these services found them helpful in creating close relationships and friendships within the community.

Where to Find Settlement Services in Canada?

The IRCC’s website has a tool that can help you find various settlement services in Canada to address your specific needs. As long as you are not moving to Quebec, you can find all settlement services on the IRCC’s website. Since Quebec has its immigration system, you will find settlement services and other resources on Quebec’s government website. However, there are province-specific pages that will give you all the information on the number of settlement services available in a province.

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