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Services for Newcomers to Ontario

Welcome to Ontario

Welcome to Ontario, the most diverse province in Canada, where half of all new immigrants make their home.

Many immigrants come to Ontario because of the opportunities offered here. Our people are our greatest asset, and we welcome the talent and energy that you bring to our province. Your contribution to Ontario’s rich cultural diversity enriches our social and economic lives and enhances our province’s creativity, innovation and connection to global networks. 

This fact sheet will describe the many programs and services available from the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade to help you get settled and begin your new life in our province.

Newcomer Settlement Program and Refugee Resettlement Services

Ontario’s Newcomer Settlement Program provides you with services to help you get settled, learn about life in Ontario and develop social connections. Settlement services are available in many languages to provide you with the information, tools, resources and community supports to integrate successfully. It is important to know that these settlement services are available in many communities across Ontario and offered free of charge.

Settlement services include:

The Newcomer Settlement Program also provides specialized assistance to resettled refugees, including privately-sponsored and government-assisted refugees, through a network of agencies that provide resettlement assistance in six Ontario communities: Toronto and Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Hamilton, Windsor, Kitchener and London.

These agencies can work with you to develop and implement an individualized plan for meeting your needs and reaching your goals for your new life in Ontario. They can also provide or facilitate access to a range of other services such as housing, employment and mental health, as well as targeted programming for children, women and youth.

Adult Non-Credit Language Training

Canada has two official languages, English and French. It is important that you have the skills to communicate in the language of your community, and the language used at work.

You can take beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of English and French as a Second Language (ESL/FSL) training courses at no cost. These are general programs for speaking, listening, reading and writing. You can also get job-specific language training to prepare you for work in Ontario. You will first need to get your current language skills assessed at a local Coordinated Language Assessment and Referral Service (CLARS) Centre in order to identify the courses that would meet your needs.

Bridge Training Programs

Bridge Training Programs help qualified internationally trained individuals move quickly into the labour market in Ontario. These programs assess your skills and competencies, compared to Ontario employer expectations, and provide training and Canadian workplace experience.

Bridge Training provides a range of training and customized services such as academic and technical training including licensure exam preparation, workplace skills, mentorship, workplace experience and professional networking.

Global Experience Ontario

Global Experience Ontario (GEO) helps immigrants get their foreign credentials recognized and become licensed to work in Ontario’s non-health regulated professions and skilled trades.

This centre provides information and referrals on:

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care offers similar services for internationally educated health professionals through the HealthForce Ontario Access Centre.

Language Interpreter Services

The Language Interpreter Services program helps victims of domestic or sexual violence with language barriers access community supports such as social, healthcare and legal services.

If you are a victim of domestic and sexual violence, you are eligible for these services free of charge and available throughout Ontario 24 hours a day.