by Jessica Marcotte; Director, Build ON pre-arrival services
You might have a lot of questions and uncertainties as you prepare for immigration. In this January blog article, you will learn  what we mean by saying “Pre-Arrival Services”, what we mean by “Post-Arrival Services”, and how these services can help you.
These services can help you immigrate with ease, and start your new life in Canada with confidence. To help you successfully settle in Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers free pre-arrival services.
Let’s begin by defining pre-arrival services.
Pre-Arrival Services are programs offering assistance for those approved to immigrate to Canada and who are still overseas. Pre-arrival services are offered in-person and online. You can access some pre-arrival services in person, depending on the service provider and country. Most online pre-arrival services are offered through IRCC; these are free and cost no money if you meet specific eligibility requirements.
Pre-arrival services generally help you with questions you might have about settlement and employment. They help you have clear expectations of the Canadian job market and any professional licensing. You can find help with things like job search methods, resume writing, networking, foreign accreditation equivalency, and other career specific information. There are also resources for finding housing, transportation and more.
Pre-arrival services are tailored to an individual’s needs. Pre-arrival services will help you better prepare for your move to Canada and help with some of the challenges from moving from another country. There are also many online resources, webinars, and guides that will help you with your move. Some pre-arrival services, like Build ON, can also connect you with a mentor who will be able to answer specific questions about your profession and guide you in your career in Canada. A mentor can help you create a clear plan or vision for your short and long term goals and make moving to Canada feel less intimidating.
You can register with more than one pre-arrival service at a time, and remember that the pre-arrival services listed on the IRCC website are free. Most services are available online, so you can do it at your own pace and participate online from anywhere in the world. You can use pre-arrival services right up to the time you arrive in Canada, so the sooner you register, the longer you can access these resources ahead of time.
Please make sure to contact any pre-arrival service and follow the steps to start receiving support as soon as possible. If you do not and you arrive to Canada, pre-arrival services will not be able to help.
Now let’s talk about post-arrival services.
As the name implies, post-arrival services are meant for after you arrive in Canada as an immigrant. Post-arrival services are provided by settlement agencies found all over Canada who specialize in helping new immigrants with job searches, employment counseling, obtaining a driver’s license, Social Insurance Number (or SIN), accessing childcare, finding career specific programs and training, interpretation or language needs, and even using a computer. Women, youth, seniors, members of the disability community, refugees, and members of the LGBTQ2S community can also find post-arrival services for specific needs.
Some of the pre-arrival and post-arrival services are similar, but pre-arrival services provide you with an idea of what to expect before arriving in Canada and post arrival services can go more in depth with specific needs that might arise after you arrive in Canada. Depending on your arrival date, pre-arrival services may not be able to help you with everything you need to know about living and working in Canada; this is where accessing post-arrival services can help you.
As a summary, in this article, you learned about pre-arrival services, post-arrival services and the differences between the two.
Receiving services from the above will ensure a smooth integration into your city of settlement. Please do not delay seeking all the support you can find to begin your new life in Canada!