New immigration pilot for rural communities
Communities can now apply to be part of the new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
It’s common knowledge that many immigrants are attracted to the big cities, with Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal still the most desirable, and smaller centers like Calgary and Winnipeg coming up close behind. But it’s actually often the smaller, rural communities that are in most need of newcomers to fill out labor gaps and grow their population.
A new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will hopefully help. The five-year federal immigration pilot aims to help to participate communities gain access to a range of support to help newcomers settle in as part of the local community.
Building on the success of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which was launched in March 2017 to help drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now seeking applications from communities in in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the three territories that are interested in participating in the pilot.
“The economic and social benefits of immigration are apparent in communities across Canada,” says Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussein. “By creating an immigration pilot aimed at rural and northern communities, we’re looking to ensure that the benefits of immigration are shared across the country.”
Interested communities must work with a local economic development organization to submit an application by March 1, 2019, demonstrating how immigration will promote economic development in their community.
Is your community eligible?
Eligible communities must have open job opportunities, an economic development plan and relationships with immigrant-serving organizations to help newcomers settle in and integrate.
They can be small communities of 50,000 people or less if located at least 75 kilometres from the core of a Census Metropolitan Area. Populations can be up to 200,000 people if they are considered “remote” from other large cities, using Statistics Canada’s index of remoteness.
Parent sponsorship program opens January 28
Want to sponsor your parents or grandparents to Canada? The 2019 Parents and Grandparents Program “interest to sponsor” form will be available starting at noon EST on January 28, 2019.
This year’s program brings some changes, namely a new and improved intake process that provides a first-in-first-served approach for 2019.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept interest to sponsor submissions for a limited time and then invite potential sponsors to submit a complete application, in the order their submissions were received. The cap for 2019 will be 20,000 completed applications.
“Family reunification supports Canada’s economic prosperity and it further strengthens our communities. Parents and grandparents often help care for children, increasing the parents’ ability to work and study, and to make meaningful contributions to their communities,” said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussein.
If you’re planning on submitting an interest to sponsor submission, note the other changes that have been made to the intake process. For one, as the sponsor, you will have to upload a copy of status in Canada document when submitting your form.
The interest to sponsor form has also been enhanced from previous years to include features that will help IRCC detect duplicate submissions and potential fraud.
Potential sponsors should submit interest to sponsor form as soon as possible once it’s available online on January 28. But, before you do, make sure you’re in fact, eligible and meet the necessary minimum income requirements. The onus is on you to ensure you are eligible before submitting an interest to sponsor form.
As a sponsor, you must be at least 18 years of age, live in Canada, and be a permanent resident or citizen. You must commit to providing financial support for your sponsored family members for 20 years, starting when they become permanent residents.
If you’re then invited to formally apply, you will have 60 calendar days from the date of the invitation to ensure IRCC receives your complete application for sponsorship.
WELCOME TO YOUR NEW LIFE IN CANADA
10 Tips for first week, month & year
Canada has many wonderful opportunities for newcomers. However, the first few weeks after you arrive can be overwhelming, with many forms to fill out and appointments to make.
Here are 10 of the most important things to do in order to establish yourself in Canada.
Within your first week
1. Apply for your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
To work in Canada, open a savings account or access government programs and benefits, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). The fastest and easiest way to apply is to visit your nearest Service Canada Centre and fill out an application form.
Make sure you bring the appropriate documents. For example, as a permanent resident, you need your permanent resident card or confirmation of permanent residence and visa attached to a foreign passport/travel document. For more information, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca.
2. Protect yourself with medical care
All Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for public health insurance that covers medical care. Each family member needs his or her own Health Card, issued by the provincial or territorial government. For details on how to apply, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/subjects/cards/health_card.shtml.
Some provinces and territories have a waiting period before newcomers are eligible for public health insurance. Until you become eligible, you may want to apply for temporary private health insurance. Visit www.clhia.ca for more information.
If you are a refugee, you will be covered under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which provides limited, temporary, taxpayer-funded coverage of health- care benefits to resettled refugees who are not eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance: The IFHP does not cover services or products that a person may claim under a private insurance plan. Find out more here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/outside/summary-ifhp.asp.
3. Set up your finances
A bank account keeps your money safe and accessible and makes it convenient to buy the things you need and pay for bills. You may also want to rent a safety deposit box or “locker” in your bank branch for valuable documents and personal items.
For easy access to your money, choose a bank with convenient locations and hours, a wide network of automated bank machines (ABMs), and products that meet your needs.
Within your first month
4. Learn your way around
Canada is proudly multicultural and has many organizations dedicated to helping newcomers feel a home. You can find government-run services for newcomers in your community at www.servicesfornewcomers.cic.gc.ca.
Public libraries are excellent places to find community and government resources — and often free access to the Internet. Community centers and ethnic associations are great sources of information, activities, and friendships.
5. Explore job opportunities
Government services for newcomers are a good place to start your job search. Look for job listings on the internet, but before you start applying for jobs, it’s best to get some advice from a settlement agency or employment counselor, as job hunting is likely different in Canada than in your country.
If you are a foreign-trained professional and need to get your credentials recognized, upgrade your skills or become familiar with your industry in Canada, you can get more information on your industry on the federal Job Bank website (www.jobbank.gc.ca) or the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (www.cicic.ca).
6. Register your children for school and/or childcare
Every child in Canada can attend public elementary and high school free of charge. By law, “school age” children must stay in school. “School age” varies by province or territory.
You can register your children at your local school or school board office. Bring your permanent resident card, a record of landing or confirmation of permanent residence, and your child’s birth certificate and vaccination certificate.
If you plan to work full-time or go to school and need child care, newcomer service organizations can tell you how to find appropriate childcare in your area.
7. Find a doctor and dentist
Family doctors are in demand in Canada, and it may take time to find one. Ask friends and neighbors to recommend someone, or visit the website of your provincial or territorial College of Physicians and Surgeons (www.fmrac.ca/members/index.html).
Until you find a family doctor, you can visit a walk-in clinic or hospital if you need urgent medical care.
Ask around about dentists in your area, too. Usually, it’s not hard to find a variety of dentists in your local neighborhood, often even in shopping malls. Just walk in and ask if they are accepting new dental patients.
8. Find a permanent home
When you arrive in Canada, you may be staying with relatives or friends or in a hotel. You will probably won't find a home of your own as soon as you can. Listings for apartments, houses, and condominiums can be found on the Internet, in local newspapers, and at real estate agencies.
Within your first year
9. Get a driver’s licence
To drive a car in Canada, you need a valid driver’s licence and car insurance. A driver’s licence from another country may be valid for a few months, but to stay licensed you will need to pass a practical test on the road and a written test of your knowledge of Canadian driving rules.
For more information on requirements specific to where you live, look up the motor vehicle licensing agency in your province or territory.
10. Enhance your language skills
If English or French isn’t your first language, ask about Government of Canada programs for newcomers to help you improve your language skills. For example, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) is a federal government program available free of charge. Check with your local settlement agency about the free English courses they offer.
While in some cultures, students tend to devote all of their time to their studies, in Canada it is very common for students to work part time while they are attending school. This allows you to gain experience while also meeting people who might eventually be part of your network and act as references for future work.
It can also help you support yourself and pay for school. For immigrant and international students, it has the added advantage of providing you with the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience.
If you choose to work, you might consider taking fewer courses or going to school part time. If studying part time is not an option, you may want to tread carefully before committing to too many work hours so you have a sense of the workload. It is usually better to start with a smaller number of courses or fewer hours of work until you know what you can handle.
Where to work while going to college or university
One of the better places to look for work is at school. Many colleges and universities hire students part time. Although the salary may not be very high, it means that travel time is eliminated and you may be able to fit in work hours between classes.
You will also gain more contacts at school, which can be helpful. In addition to the career or employment centre, your school’s libraries, bookstores, academic departments, student services and student government are among places you might find work.
Some professors have grants for their research and are looking for temporary staff. They also may have contacts in industry and be able to make suggestions on where to look for work outside of school. Many schools maintain an online employment service for their students. Have your resumé ready and attempt to meet possible employers directly. Look for help-wanted signs on notice boards, in school newspapers and online.
Get field experience
Many schools, particularly colleges, require some work experience to complete academic credits. This is often called a placement, a co-op or an internship and is an opportunity to learn on the job. Some field work is remunerated, but it is most often unpaid. In some cases, the school arranges these placements and sometimes students need to find their own. Field experience provides an opportunity to try out new skills, see if you like the work and meet potential employers.
Learning on the job may require extra time and effort. Be prepared to work hard and to challenge yourself but also expect some disappointments since more routine work is often given to interns. Do not underestimate the importance of having a positive attitude and making a good impression. Some field placements may turn into part-time or even full-time work later on.
Optimize your experience juggling work and school
There are many benefits to getting work experience while studying. There is the opportunity to try out new skills, meet people, earn money, get a reference letter and determine how you feel about the work, and sometimes even the possibility of getting hired there.
As a newcomer to Canada, work experience exposes you to Canadian practices and regulations. It is a place for perfecting language and communication skills and learning about work culture and legalities. It is possible that you may advance your position on the job, take on challenges, work on projects and learn from your mistakes.
These are all things that you can highlight in future job interviews as you discuss your assets to a potential future employer. Working while studying may enrich your academic experience while also facilitating your transition to the workforce later on.
TIPS FOR WORKING WHILE STUDYING
The Advantages Of Studying In Canada
At the time of writing, the number of international students studying in Canada is over 250,000, a figure that is constantly growing. Many of these students are choosing Canada over other potential destinations, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and France, because of certain advantages that studying in Canada can bring.
With quality and more affordable tuition, safe cities, employment options (both during and after the study period), and as a pathway to Canadian permanent residence, the decision to study in Canada can be one of the most important, and best, decisions made by young people from around the world.
World-class universities and colleges
Canadian universities and colleges located across the country are renowned for their research and innovation. Canada’s higher education institutions are diverse — varying in size, scope, character and breadth of programs.
Lower tuition costs
Canada is often the preferred choice for students who may also have the option of studying in countries such as the United States or United Kingdom because of the lower tuition costs.
Work while you study
Students in Canada have the advantage of being able to work while studying. Among other benefits, this allows them to manage their finances without incurring enormous debt.
Post-graduate work permit
A typical path from student to permanent resident status in Canada is through taking advantage of something Canada offers that is not available, or more difficult to obtain, in other countries — a post-graduate work permit.
A pathway to Canadian permanent residence
Skilled Canadian work experience gained through the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program helps graduates to qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).