Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just Landed - FINDING HELP

Settlement Agencies

Settlement agencies can help you start your life in Ontario. These agencies are community organizations that help new immigrants they are FREE.

As soon as you arrive in Ontario, find a settlement agency near you to help you settle into your new city.

Settlement agencies can help you find your first place to live and also help you learn about your new community.

You may hear people call these organizations ISAP agencies, multicultural centres, or immigrant-serving agencies. Again these settlement services are free and always confidential. Here are some of the services you can get at a settlement agency:

  1. Interpretation and translation of documents that helps -for example- you in your licensing process if you are an engineer or a doctors
  2. Help finding a place to live, English classes, a job, training programs or places to buy food, clothes or furniture at low cost
  3. Help filling out forms and applications
  4. Information about other helpful resources in the community

Newcomer Information Centres (NIC)
If you are in Toronto, Peel Region (Brampton, Caledonia, and Mississauga) or Ottawa, you can go to a Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) when you first arrive. NICs will refer you to the community agencies that can help you to settle in these areas. Actually you can’t join any courses in the community centers without a referral of NIC. And for English courses NIC is responsible for your language assessment.

This is the address of NIC in Mississauga:

Newcomer Information Centre, 2 Robert Speck Parkway, Suite 800
Mississauga, Ontario, L4Z 1H8
905 279 0024 ext. 1266

But be careful it happened to me that in Mississauga NIC, the agent gave me wrong information! I know that sounds weird, but when I first come I was asking them about if I run out of money can I get any assistant from the government? The answer was NO, not before 6 months of landing! However, after 2 months I called Ontario Works (welfare in Ontario) and they said If you have less than $1000 you are eligible for financial assistant!

Community Information Centres
If you are looking for information about community, social, health or government services, call your local Community Information Centre. The centre can help you find a free service in your area. This service is free and confidential. You do not need to give any personal information to use this service.

To find the nearest Community Information Centre, look in the blue pages of the phone book. Look up “Community Information.” The phone book will show the phone number and street address of the centre. If you are not sure how to use the phone book, read the Using the Telephone Book section in the Consumer Information section of this guide.

In many areas you can dial 211 on your telephone to get community information.

If you have questions about your immigration status after you arrive in Canada, call the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100.

You can get information from the recorded message, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you want to speak to a person, call from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. The Call Centre has service only in English and French.

Hope that was useful and good luck.


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