Settlement Agencies: An Essential Part Of Integration For Newcomers to Canada

Updated on:
November 4, 2021
Settlement Agencies: An Essential Part Of Integration For Newcomers to Canada

When you immigrate to Canada, having a strong support network is crucial to settling and integrating into society. For newcomers who can’t depend on family connections or friends already living in Canada, settlement service provider organizations (SPOs) fill that gap. 

Settlement Service Provider Organization’s Role In Canada

Settlement Agencies have a long entrenched history in Canada. Right now, there are estimated to be about 500 settlement service provider organizations from coast to coast. 

  • Immigrant, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides funding to these agencies to deliver pre and post arrival settlement services. In most cases funding for agencies are shared between the federal, municipal and from private donations 
  • On April 1, 2020 IRCC entered into a five year funding agreement with agencies across Canada. During this time 79 new organizations were formed. Forty of these were francophone.  The focus for recent funding centered around ensuring services were available in rural and remote communities, mental health supports and supports for LGBTQ. 
  • A report compiled in 2018-2019 found that about 520,000 clients used a settlement service, which is a 20 percent increase in two years.

Immigration Consultants Support Them

ImmiSearch Immigration Consultant Abdallah Khalifa supports the idea of having a strong circle of support when newcomers arrive in Canada. He also believes making an appointment with a settlement agency is a way of finding that support or connection to make the transition into becoming a Canadian that much easier. 

“You should know what resources are available. I mean there are so many settlement agencies. They don’t do everything for you but they guide you through government programs like child tax benefits, your child’s school registration, health benefits. You know, just getting to know what to expect,” said Khalifa 


MOSAIC is considered one of the largest settlement service providers in Canada and one that serves most of British Columbia including Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley. The not-for-profit started in 1976 and serves immigrants, refugees, migrants and mainstream communities. 

Mosaic’s commitment is really to offer something for everyone. The first step advised for most immigrants when they contact a settlement agency is to meet with a settlement worker to find out what your needs are, usually in a one-on-one meeting. 

Mosaic’s settlement program is broken down into a variety of groups and workshops, which include:

  • Conversation Circles - are designed to help newcomers improve on their English skills, make new friends and discuss topics related to living in Canada, understanding community resources, culture and parenting 
  • Youth Groups, Workshops & Activities - provide a chance for youth to share ideas, experiences. In addition to its regular youth meetings, it also offers education, employment workshops and activities geared towards leadership skills, field trips, cooking and painting classes.
  • Educational Workshops - in this group a variety of topics are discussed such as housing information, educational fundamentals such as registering children for school, ESL and graduation, Canadian Citizenship Preparation, Government Benefits, stress management, healthy living taxes
  • Community Connections - is centered on group fun activities such as learning new skills, practicing English and meeting other newcomers. The activities can vary from international cooking, support groups, photo and computer classes. 

International Student Support

For international students, Mosaic offers; community leadership and social connection opportunities, referrals regarding visa status inquiries, housing, health care access, government assistance eligibility and general information sharing about resources and services available for international students as well as English language support. 

As well customized employment services such as job search support, online job application, resume and cover letter guidance, job interview preparation, pathways to permanent residency workshops and seminars led by guest speakers from various fields of work. 

Refugee Support

In light of the recent and ongoing Afghanistan crisis, Mosaic offers support for refugees with PR, claimants, private sponsorship and an Afghan refugee program to address the current crisis. MOSAIC also has an Afghan Response Fund. 


ISSofBC has a well known national and international reputation in the field of migrant issues and services for immigrants and refugees. The agency started in 1972 and helps about 20,000 clients every year to get settled, find careers and learn from resources needed to settle in Canada. 

The agencies newcomer settlement services include:

  • First Language Settlement Support
  • Moving Ahead Program - Settlement Case management program
  • Settlement Orientation Services 
  • Immigrant Women Peer Support Program
  • Multicultural Youth Circle
  • Hippy
  • Connecting Seniors 
  • Community Connections 
  • Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic

Under their employment services ISSofBC offers a lot of quality programs such as:

  • Job Quest
  • Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants
  • Career Compass for immigrants 
  • Global Talent Loans
  • Youth in Tech
  • TechWomen
  • Online Learning for Migrant Workers in BC
  • Respect at Work Legal Clinic 
  • Skills Training for Global Tourism
  • Skills Training for Business Administration 
  • Employer Solutions Job Board
  • IMPACT - Alternative Careers in Technology 

If you want to know more about settlement agencies in Canada, please use the “Find free newcomer services near you” tool. If you are looking for immigration services, please book a consultation with one of ImmiSearch’s Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants.

Settlement Agencies: An Essential Part Of Integration For Newcomers to Canada
James Tarrant
ImmiSearch Content Contributor
November 4, 2021