What settlement services can newcomers access when they arrive in Canada?

Canada has created a functional system of immigration and integration of newcomers—in order to meet the nation’s social, economic, cultural and humanitarian needs.

One of the key factors in the country’s success has been its settlement services for newcomers. These free services are managed at the municipal, provincial, and federal level. Covering everything from needs assessments, information and orientation services to language training, employment help, and community connection services—these programs exist to ensure newcomers are enabled to live their best lives in the country, while also aiding their ability to contribute economically, socially and culturally.

Settlement services in Canada are only available to permanent residents, protected persons, and some temporary residents of Canada.

What services Newcomers are eligible for, as new Canadian permanent residents?

All settlement services can broadly be broken down into:

  • Help with daily life
  • Help to find a job
  • Help prepare for the citizenship test
  • Finding a mentor as a newcomer / Becoming a mentor for a newcomer
  • Language assessments and general language training
  • Job-specific language training
  • Specific services for refugees, women, seniors, youth, and 2SLGBTQi+ individuals; and
  • Other services.

How to access settlement services as a newcomer?

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has compiled these services into a useful tool, with a filtered search by postal code to find the closest available services. The tool also covers specific settlement programs for women, seniors, youth, and 2SLBTQi+ individuals.

In addition, IRCC funded websites like Compass to Connect also provides easy-to-search directories of settlement services, also delivering announcements on upcoming events and workshops for newcomers.

Newcomers can also directly contact their municipal or provincial settlement service providers to inquire about available services. One of the easiest ways to do so is simply to search for settlement services in your province or neighbourhood.