Services for New Immigrants in Canada (2024): Get Free Assistance

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The Canadian government provides various services and programs designed to help new immigrants successfully integrate into Canadian society.

These services cover many areas, such as language learning, employment support, educational assistance, etc.

In this article, you’ll learn about the services and benefits available to immigrants in Canada, tailored to the specific province or territory you’ll live in.

Newcomer Settlement Services in Canada by Province

Alberta

On top of giving general guidelines about life, work, and culture in Alberta, the provincial government’s website offers free, detailed articles, videos and statistical reports regarding the employment culture in the province.

Microloans are also available for newcomer professionals, making it easier for immigrants to sort out their expenses while applying for jobs.

British Columbia

The settlement services in BC not only aim to help immigrants find jobs but also to assist them in making new friends and learning English.

These services are available even before you arrive in Canada, giving you plenty of time to prepare for the lifestyle change your immigration will bring.

Some of the most notable settlement services of British Columbia include getting in-person assistance upon your arrival at the airport, employment support, and getting English-language training specifically tailored to your job.

Manitoba

Manitoba has plenty of resources and organizations helping new temporary and permanent residents in Canada with their settlement in the province.

From free English lessons that are broadcast on the radio to in-person workshops aimed at assisting newcomers in finding suitable jobs, this province helps immigrants integrate into the local community with ease.

Guides for recreational activities in the province are also readily available, ensuring that newcomers’ mental and emotional well-being are taken into account.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick’s government website covers crucial information that immigrants must take note of to successfully navigate their new lifestyles in the province.

The site contains detailed guidelines on employment, health care, banking and more in New Brunswick, helping newcomers adjust to their new life in the shortest time possible.

Every city in the province also has at least one immigrant settlement agency that immigrants can visit when they need support and information.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Newfoundland and Labrador Settlement and Integration Program (NLSIP) offers support for the economic, social, and cultural inclusion of newcomers to the province.

This program includes in-person counselling for individuals and families, orientations that teach basic life skills, as well as additional training and assessments to help immigrants thrive in the province.

Immigrants in Newfoundland and Labrador are also given the opportunity to work as translators/interpreters, facilitating communication between the government and newcomers.

Northwest Territories

Immigrants who plan to stay in the Northwest Territories are encouraged to visit the province’s Welcome and Integration services as soon as they arrive.

The organization will assess your needs, provide tailored orientations, and guide you throughout the administrative procedures of settling in the province.

Interpretation, translation, and transportation support are also available for free.

Nova Scotia

ISANS, the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, equips newcomers with the practical skills and resources they need to adapt to the social and economic culture of the province.

This association assists immigrants in finding jobs, enhancing their language skills, and joining multicultural and inclusive communities.

Additionally, three different pre-arrival programs are available. This makes it more efficient for immigrants to receive the personalized assistance they need to enter the country as easily and fast as possible.

Nunavut

Nunavut’s provincial government provides language-focused summer camps, online language courses, networking activities and more support for immigrants who wish to reside in the province.

Note, however, that several of these services are limited to individuals with permanent resident status. Hence, it’s best to talk to an official representative about whether you’ll be eligible for the settlement services you’re interested in.

Ontario

Ontario’s provincial government offers extensive in-person support for newcomers through its network of settlement agencies.

These institutions help immigrants find housing, access programs for language learning, join skills training, and provide information on the social services and financial support available for newcomers in Canada.

Through Ontario’s government’s website, you can find the agencies that provide newcomer services near you and learn more about their specific programs.

Prince Edward Island

As a province that welcomes approximately a thousand newcomers annually, Prince Edward Island offers plenty of settlement services for immigrants.

Some of its programs include temporary job opportunities for qualified newcomers, diversity events and language training for both English and French.

Free online sources that help immigrants search for employment, start a business, and adapt to Canadian schools are also accessible through the website of the official Immigration & Refugee Services Association (IRSA).

Quebec

Accompagnement Québec provides personalized and free settlement services for newcomers in the province. This organization will assess your immediate and future needs for living in Quebec, then offer the assistance you need to integrate well into the province’s lifestyle.

At no charge, you can learn French, obtain recognition for your skills, and receive assistance to get employed in the province from the industry experts themselves.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s provincial government offers one-on-one support for newcomers through the help of settlement advisors.

These experts offer valuable advice and guide you through the appropriate services you’ll need to navigate the challenges of transitioning to your new life in Saskatchewan.

You can expect to receive support for your health and wellness, employment concerns, and housing. Additionally, pre-arrival services are available online through email and other virtual platforms.

Yukon

The Multicultural Centre of the Yukon (MCY) offers direct settlement services to immigrants, including referral services, counselling, and employment support.

Newcomers have the option to either access these services individually to get personalized assistance or with a group to broaden their social connections from the get-go.

Plenty of orientation and information workshops are also accessible online. Moreover, for those who may face challenges with the documentation and paperwork, in-person assistance for filling out government forms such as SIN and health care cards is available.

New Immigrants to Canada Benefits

These are the primary benefits available for newcomers to Canada.

Canada Child Benefit (CCB)

The Canada Child Benefit is a tax-free monthly financial aid that helps out Canadians and immigrants with the cost of raising children. All residents of Canada, for tax purposes, are eligible for this benefit as long as they’re considered the primary guardians of a child who’s younger than 18 years old.

How much you receive from the CCB will depend on several factors, including your marital status, number of children, and adjusted family net income. The maximum amount you can get for each child who’s younger than 6 years old is $619.75 a month and $522.91 monthly for those who are 5 to 17 years old.

In events where the child is already supported by the Children’s Special Allowances (CSA), the CCB will not apply.

GST/HST credit

The goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit is a tax-free financial aid that low to moderate-income immigrants can receive every quarter of the year to help offset the tax they pay on the goods and services they purchase.

Immigrants are eligible for this benefit as long as they meet one of the following criteria:

  • They are at least 19 years old.
  • They have/had a spouse or common-law partner.
  • They are/were a parent who lives/lived with a child.

The Canada immigration official website goes into detail about the family net income thresholds that are eligible for receiving the GST/HST credit payments.

As how much you’ll receive depends on many factors, you may use this benefits calculator to estimate your GST/HST credit payments.

Climate Action Incentive Payment (CAIP)

The Climate Action Incentive Payment is only available for residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

This helps offset the cost of federal pollution pricing and is paid to eligible individuals and families quarterly. To be eligible for this benefit, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be at least 19 years old.
  • Be a parent who lives/lived with a child.
  • Have/had a spouse or common-law partner.

The CAIP is not subject to reduction based on income. However, how much you’ll receive will depend on your family situation and your province/territory of residence.

Pre-Arrival Services for New Immigrants to Canada

As an immigrant, you’ll be eligible for newcomer services even before you arrive in Canada.

Also referred to as pre-arrival services, these programs assist you in integrating into the Canadian culture, obtaining recognition for your work and educational credentials, and potentially connecting you with employers through the help of professionals.

All pre-arrival services are free for those who are currently outside of Canada but already have approved permanent residence applications. Note that temporary residents, including those working or studying in Canada on a permit or visa, don’t qualify for these services.

Free Courses For New Immigrants in Canada

Many free courses for new immigrants in Canada can be accessed both online and in person. The most common ones include taking language classes and training programs related to your employment. So let’s discuss how you can access courses in these areas.

Language Classes

Taking language classes funded by the Canadian government is easy. First, you need to take an online self-assessment language test for either English or French. Then, visit an organization that assists immigrants in obtaining a formal language assessment.

From this point, the organization providing language assessment services will help you register and start taking your language classes.

Immigrants have access to diverse training programs specifically designed to assist them in their employment journey.

The main sources for these programs are provincial governments, which tend to offer pre-arrival as well as industry-focused employment support for new immigrants.

Other institutions, including community organizations, public libraries and post-secondary schools, also provide employment support if you’re enrolled in or a member of their respective organizations.

Services for New International Students in Canada

Most major universities in Canada offer services that are specifically tailored to international students and new immigrants.

These services often include free appointments with licensed immigration consultants, webinars, orientations, and access to exclusive clubs and organizations.

Some universities that offer plenty of support for international students are McGill University, the University of Alberta, the University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia.

Simplify Your Banking as a Newcomer

There are many newcomer programs that help newcomers access banking services and promotions like no-fee chequing accounts for a year, easy access to credit cards without a Canadian credit history, and more.

Check out these newcomer bank programs to get started.

FAQs

What are 3 things that new immigrants should do upon arriving in Canada?

The three things you must do immediately as a new immigrant arriving in Canada include obtaining your SIN, setting up a bank account, and making the most of the free services available for new immigrants. These three ensure you’ll be equipped with the necessary documents and information to begin applying for jobs, be eligible for benefits, and navigate Canadian society with confidence.

What opportunities do immigrants have in Canada?

Immigrants in Canada have a lot of opportunities, including access to quality education, free health care and diverse career paths. This multicultural country is also very inclusive, making it easy for anyone, regardless of their nationality, to transition into the Canadian culture.

What money do immigrants get in Canada?

Immigrants can receive many of the financial assistance aids available to Canadian citizens as long as they meet the criteria. Some of the most common financial benefits you can enjoy as a newcomer include the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), GST/HST credit, and other financial help your province or territory may provide.

How do I get my Welcome to Canada money?

The recommended way to receive your financial aid and benefits from the Canadian government is through direct deposit. However, you’ll still have the option to receive your money by cheque through the mail if you prefer to do so.

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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