Moving to a new country can be a stressful experience. Fortunately, there are many organizations in Canada that can help you get through the first few months, and help you adjust to your new life. The Government of Canada’s Welcome to Canada is a very useful guide to help you get started.
Immigrant serving organizations
Immigrant serving organizations can help you as soon as you arrive in Canada with everything from immediate settlement questions to long-term career planning and community integration. These organizations can help you find a place to live, a school for your children, a healthcare provider, and help connect you with other people from your home country.
They can help you find a job by giving you advice on how to prepare a professional résumé or how to look for a job in Canada, and by connecting you with bridging (transition) and mentoring programs that can help connect you with potential employers. They also give you advice on banking, shopping, managing a household and other everyday tasks. They can provide you with interpreters or translators and help you find other services that you may need. To locate an organization in your community, please see Key Immigrant Serving Organizations Across Canada.
The Host Program helps new permanent residents, refugees and protected persons adapt to life in Canada by matching them with Canadian volunteers who help them carry out social, commercial, educational and employment activities. For more information on the Host Program in your city, visit Starting a New Life in Canada?
Services for temporary foreign workers
As a temporary foreign worker, you may not be eligible for many of the free services offered by immigrant serving organizations. This is because these agencies are mostly mandated or funded to assist newcomers who have permanent residency status in Canada. As such, it is important to know that these organizations could charge you a fee for some of their services.
You may like to contact the embassy or consulate from your home country to obtain information or assistance while living in Canada. To find the phone number of your home country’s embassy or consulate nearest you, visit the online directory of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
In addition, you may want to visit the public library in your community to obtain a free library card and learn more about the various programs and services offered. You can also become a member of the CTHRC Online Community (free of charge) for a list of organizations that offer language and support services specifically to temporary foreign workers; please note that this is not a complete listing.
Finally, you may wish to obtain information on money transfer providers to identify the most cost-effective way of sending money to your home country. A good start for information on money transfer services is the SendMoneyHome.org website.
If you are a temporary foreign worker or a landed immigrant in Canada, you may like to meet and connect with other newcomers and immigrants from your home country. The Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC) website provides contact information for national ethnocultural umbrella organizations that represent ethnocultural groups and organizations all across Canada.
Radio Canada International (RCI)
Recent and potential immigrants to Canada often have questions or problems about life in Canada. RCI Viva is a web service that deals with these issues. It includes a multi-language web radio service that covers such things as information to help immigrants discover their new home, tools to improve language skills, and discussion boards. To listen to this service over the Internet, visit Radio Canada International.
National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada
Staying in touch with home by meeting with other people from your country and keeping up to date with news can make your move to Canada a lot easier. The National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada website lists many of the community and ethnic newspapers available across the country.