Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides funding to more than 500 service provider organizations across Canada (outside of Quebec) to deliver pre- and post-arrival settlement and resettlement services. These organizations provide free information to eligible newcomers about life in Canada and the community in which they will settle, as well as language training, help finding a job, and help setting up connections with established immigrants and Canadians. The needs of refugees are addressed by resettlement service providers.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, IRCC is taking measures to ensure the well-being, safety and security of newcomers and the people working for service provider organizations. To mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, IRCC has asked organizations across the country to follow public health and provincial guidelines. This means that these organizations have been resuming in-person services at different times, depending on their location. Until service providers have clear guidelines for safely reopening their offices, they will focus their efforts on delivering critical services. This includes providing income support and immediate and essential services to government-assisted refugees, as well as interpretation services and short-term counselling.
Service providers have also quickly adapted to provide many non-critical services by telephone, by email or online. Many language classes, for example, are now being delivered entirely online.