Settlement Program in Canada – Funds, Plans and Services
A settlement can be defined as an act or the state of being settled as an immigrant or refugee in other countries. People immigrate for various reasons, such as employment opportunities, career prospects, environmental factors, etc. However, settlements can be classified based on their shapes and patterns. It can be further broken down as urban and rural settlements, wherein urban settlements involve towns and cities, while rural areas imply villages and small settlements.
Settlement Program in Canada
Why do people migrate to Canada?
Canada has always been an escape for immigrants from different parts of the world. People wish to immigrate to the second largest country, Canada, for three main purposes: settling as a family, economic gains, and as refugees. Initially, the immigration process may seem complicated, but the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) keeps a record of all the immigrants. According to the immigrant population list collated by the CIC, major countries like China, the Philippines, India, the United States, and Pakistan top the list. Besides, there are immigrants from other countries like Japan, Mexico, France, and Jamaica.
Ontario, the second largest province of Canada and one of the most populous Canadian provinces, has always been the topmost preference of the immigrant population, followed by British Columbia and Quebec. Ontario is also Canada’s wealthiest province. However, Immigration to a new place is never easy. Therefore, during the period of settlement, the Canadian government tends to provide as much support and services to the immigrants and refugees so that they get used to the new people, culture and adapt to their new lifestyle in Canada.
What is a settlement program?
For the immigrant community and refugees to participate in the social, cultural, economic, and civic life in Canada, the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) settlement program is of great help. It assists them in overcoming particular barriers such as language skills and limited knowledge about the cultural diversity in Canada. The CIC settlement program recognizes the immigrant’s mutual obligations and contributes to their successful amalgamation. It is the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that establishes the immigration policy and it is the responsibility of IRCC to decide who will enter Canada. Thus, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) has the authority for the settlement program.
Objectives and Purpose of settlement program
The immigrants should understand the economic, social, and cultural nature of Canadian society so that they can unite successfully as newcomers. The CIC has compiled a list of the problems faced by immigrants and the refugee population in Canada, including settlement, employment, language, education, and countless other issues. Therefore, the main objective of the CIC settlement program is to assist the immigrants and refugees to overcome the challenges and obstacles faced by them so that they undertake longer-term integration as Canadian citizens.
Furthermore, the CIC Settlement program aims to provide immigrants with the information necessary to make informed decisions and ensure that their language skills are adequate to the settlement and integration goals. With the help of the CIC Settlement program, the newcomers can build new networks within the new communities.
The settlement program has outcomes articulated in the program logic model, which consists of outcomes at the immediate, intermediate, ultimate, and strategic levels. Overall, the settlement program supports the aim of CIC and fulfills the strategic objectives of the department, which is where an immigrant and a Canadian citizen participate in promoting an integrated society in Canada.
Performance Measurement Strategy (PM Strategy)
One of the primary responsibilities for the performance measurement of the settlement program is the Performance Measurement Strategy (PM Strategy). It ultimately represents the objectives, purpose of the settlement program along with the CIC roles and responsibilities and other contributors for the provision of settlement services and the immigrants’ results to Canada.
The performance measurement strategy provides information on the objectives, funding, and backgrounds of the settlement program, the illustration of the settlement program theory, its components, and related outputs and expected outcomes, the performance measurement framework for the measurement and collection of data, and the comprehensive evaluation strategy and the reporting requirements and schedules.
The Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) funds the delivery of settlement programming inside and outside of Canada and offers support for initiatives, which contribute to the recipient organization’s capacity enhancement. In other words, the indirect and direct settlement services across the country and outside Canada are funded by the CIC, which takes care of the settlement-related issues and needs of the immigrant community and refugees. The CIC leads a regional and national planning and priorities exercise to coordinate the types of services provided to the clients and in order to ensure that the direct and indirect services get combined and align with the CIC priorities and Canadians.
Basically, settlement funds are the recommended amount of money that is readily available with an immigrant to support themselves when they arrive and adjust to life in Canada.
Economic immigration applicants who wish to apply for Canada PR (Permanent Residency) must produce a document of proof stating that they are financially independent and capable of supporting their resettlement in Canada. However, married sponsorship applicants and refugees claimants are exempted from this requirement.
A settlement plan is a plan explaining what an individual or relative will do to settle and support the immigrant or refugee during the sponsorship. The settlement plan consists of a basic framework for working through the information, such as who will what, when, and how. Moreover, it may contain details on what resources can be used and where they will be coming from. Therefore, a settlement plan can be primarily used as a guide, which will assist the immigrants with useful resources and contacts to feel comfortable in the new community. A settlement plan can be filled when the immigrant gets a job offer from the designated employer. The immigrant is required to provide truthful information about their intention and reasons to settle in Canada in the settlement plans form. For a successful settlement experience, the co-sponsor and immigrant should go through the settlement plan in a detailed manner.
There are a number of settlement services providers and agencies in the region that will provide free and confidential services to the immigrants in Canada. An immigrant can find the settlement service provider with the help or recommendations of his designated employer (if he has got a job offer). Therefore, a settlement service provider organization can greatly assist both sponsored immigrants and the sponsoring group during their settlement process. However, sometimes, the settlement services are provided by local community organizations.
Most settlement service provider organizations have eligibility requirements that must be satisfied by the newcomer in order to access their services. These eligibility requirements may vary depending on the need of the immigrant and the kind of assistance they require. Thus, an immigrant can visit the service provider organization’s website to contact them and learn more about the eligibility requirements and the kind of support they provide during the settlement process.