Free help for newcomers in Canada
Immigrants in Canada can get very good help, but statistically, most don't use it because they don't know.
The Canadian government offers free services to immigrants, and many charities in Canada help those who have recently moved. These services include help with housing, employment, filling out paperwork, and even free food. It helps to save money and quickly adapt to the new country.
In Canada, there’re special food banks where groceries are handed out to those who are in need. Don't think of the needy as homeless, any immigrant can be considered needy by Canadian standards.
I think there's nothing bad with taking food from foodbanks, because when you don't have a job yet, but you have a lot of expenses for housing, furniture, and so on, saving money on groceries helps a lot. People often arrive in foodbanks in expensive cars, wearing expensive clothes, so it's not just the needy who take advantage of it.
To get help, you have to apply directly to one of the food banks. The food package depends on how many people there are in your family. Some immigrants register with several food banks and don’t buy groceries at all. But once you start working and paying taxes, you can't do that anymore.
Help with housing
Next is free housing. You can get it for 30 to 90 days, but it's not a freebie, it helps in an emergency, for example, when a person's situation is very bad and they found themselves on the street.
But let's not talk about such situations, not only those who have lost their homes can get help. For example, we have an interview with a girl, Lena, who moved from Russia to the province of Manitoba several years ago. Her family was helped by the provincial government, so they paid only $500 CAD for rent. It's not free, of course, but it's very cheap for Canada.
Many provinces have such support programs, you just have to go to the official website and find the section with immigrant services.
Adaptation and employment
The third, very important service is help in adapting and finding a job. There are organizations all over Canada that do this for free. Depending on the province, the help can be different. For example, an adaptation plan, job search seminars, help in filling out various forms, preparation for employment, mentoring, and so on.
Note that you can only get help in finding a job in Canada for free; it is forbidden to take money for it. That is why people who offer to employ you for a fee are working illegally.
The help from the government does not end there, because you can still claim benefits such as child benefits. You can get very impressive amounts, for example, $10,000 or even $25,000 CAD per year.
How to get help as an immigrant
To get support, you need to apply for permanent residency under one of the more than 100 immigration programs, get an invitation and apply to the organization you need. The documents you need are an invitation from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, proof of permanent resident status, or an immigrant visa. I have already told you about government agencies, the information is available on the website of each province.
Book a consultation on immigration to Canada.
If you are coming to Canada on a work or study visa, or if you are just planning to immigrate, unfortunately, you cannot get help because you are not a Canadian resident. However, if you came as a refugee and your asylum application was approved, then you also get permanent residency and can qualify for all the services.
Examples of organizations that help immigrants
- search for immigrant services by location;
- support before arrival in Canada;
- Canadian employment network;
- immigrant integration program;
- Canadian initiative for refugees abroad;
- assistance for francophones before moving to Canada;
- IT talent program.