Visible Minority Newcomer Women Pilot Initiative funding guidelines

(i) Deadline extension– the funding process has been extended to January 4, 2019 from December 19th, 2018. Letters of interest will be accepted until 5 pm PST on January 4, 2019.

A. Foreword

In line with the Government of Canada’s objectives identified in the Canadian Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is committed to ensuring vulnerable client groups have access to, and advancement within, the Canadian labour market.

Many newcomer women – and visible minority women particularly – face multiple barriers, including gender and race-based discrimination, lack of community and social supports, lengthy absence from the labour market and resulting lack of self-confidence.

With this commitment in mind, IRCC is launching the Visible Minority Newcomer Women (VMNW) Expression of Interest (EOI) funding process, with the aim of engaging new partners on projects that specifically address the multiple barriers to labour market entry and career advancement faced by visible minority newcomer women in Canada.

These Funding Guidelines are intended to help applicants understand the two-stage EOI process and guide them through the completion of a Letter of Interest and subsequent proposal (if applicable). The amount of funding and scope of activities that will be supported by IRCC will be contingent on the successful negotiation of a contribution agreement (CA). Any expenditure incurred prior to the signing of a CA by IRCC and IRCC’s approved project start date, or any costs related to the preparation of a proposal, will not be reimbursed.

This EOI process, under the Settlement Program, is intended to:

  • Develop innovative approaches to increase VMNW’s contribution to/participation in the Canadian labour market;
  • Support the capacity-building of small organizations that already work with VMNW to address their labour market needs; and/or
  • Support organizations to provide activities that increase the digital literacy of VMNW; and
  • Support organizations that are not currently funded by IRCC.

    Note: If you are an existing service provider organization receiving funding from IRCC, or have received IRCC funding within the last three fiscal years, you are not considered eligible under this process.

B. Eligibility

Please refer to the Settlement Program’s Terms and Conditions for additional details on recipient and client eligibility.

1. Eligible applicants

  • Applicant must be a new service provider (that is, cannot have received IRCC funding within the last three fiscal years).
  • Not for profit organizations including non-governmental organizations, non-profit corporations, community groups, umbrella organizations, regulatory bodies and apprenticeship authorities;
  • Businesses, including those that provide indirect services (for example, employers hiring newcomers, private language schools, conference organizers, web or production firms for tool development);
  • Provincial, territorial or municipal governments;
  • Educational institutions (including school boards, districts and divisions);
  • International organizations; and
  • Individuals.

Applicants applying under the capacity-building priority must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Organization’s annual revenue is currently less than $1M.

Note: Under the Canada-Québec Accord, Québec is responsible for the delivery of resettlement and settlement services in this province. Please note, however, that applicants located in the Province of Québec are eligible to apply to this funding process if proposed services will be provided outside of the province.

2. Eligible clients

IRCC settlement funding is intended to support the delivery of services to the following clients:

  • Permanent residents of Canada;
  • Protected persons as defined in section 95 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  • Individuals who have been selected, inside or outside Canada, to become permanent residents (pending verifications) and who have been informed by a letter from IRCC;
  • Convention refugees and protected persons outside Canada who have been selected for resettlement to Canada by IRCC; and
  • Temporary foreign workers who hold or received approval of a work permit under section 112 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), or received initial approval for permanent residence under section 113 of the IRPR.
  • Note: Only womenFootnote 1 who are also members of a visible minorityFootnote 2 group, and their dependents that meet the client criteria above, are eligible to receive settlement services under this funding process.

C. Project Specifications

1. Submission deadline

The deadline to apply is January 4, 2019 at 5 pm PST.

(i) Deadline extension - the funding process has been extended to January 4, 2019 from December 19th, 2018

2. Process timeline

The anticipated start date for projects solicited under this process will not be before April 2019 and projects can last up to March 31, 2021.

Most recommended projects will be approximately one year in duration and will occur between April 2019 and March 2020. Some projects may be two years in length – April 2019 to March 2021. Below is the available funding amount for this intake process per fiscal year.

Contribution Funding 2019-20 2020-21 Total
Visible Minority Women Newcomers’ Pilot - New Partners Funding 5 million dollars 2 million dollars 7 million dollars

Note: The above amount is the amount available for all considered projects, and is not an individual project funding limit.

3. Themes

All funded activities submitted for this call must fall under one or both of the following Settlement Program themes:

  • Theme #1: Provision of employment-related services: Improving employment outcomes, access to and progress within the labour market for VMNW through new or previously demonstrated interventions. This includes, but is not limited to the following activities:
    • Networking opportunities
    • Mentoring
    • Employment counselling
    • Resume matching/screening
    • Preparation for licensure
    • Workplace communication
    • Work placements (paid)
  • Theme #2: Indirect services: Establishing and/or enhancing the capacity of currently non-IRCC funded organizations to deliver services specific to the needs of the VMNW population. This includes, but is not limited to the following activities:
    • Tool development
    • Competency development training
    • Conferences
    • Best practice activities
    • Outcome measurement capacity

4. Priorities

Applicants must select one or more of the following priorities to address in their respective proposals:

  1. Innovation - Activities that test new models to deliver employment-related settlement services to VMNW. Innovative activities could include (but are not limited to):
    • Career mapping;
    • Customized support with extensive follow-up (for example, VMNW peer-to-peer mentoring);
    • Opportunities for work placements with continued support during employment.
  2. Capacity building - Activities that build capacity for organizations to: provide employment-related support or services to VMNW; or to partner with VMNW-serving organization or VMNW-run organizations for related activities. Priority will be given to VMNW-managed and VMNW-focusedFootnote 3 organizations. Activities may include:
    • Research to inform best practices in supporting VMNW to access the labour market;
    • Knowledge sharing between organizations and/or regions and/or sectors;
    • Expanding/enhancing service delivery models for specific needs within the target client group for example, high-skilled VMNW vs. low-skilled VMNW

      Note: Specific documentation will be required to demonstrate status as VMNW-managed or focused. See ‘Section D - Submission Process and Instructions’ for requirements details.

  3. Digital literacyFootnote 4 - Activities that increase the digital literacy of VMNW, enabling clients to access and advance within the Canadian labour market, or respond to general barriers to the technology sector. Digital literacy activities could include:
    • Individualized support to strengthen digital literacy with a focus on practical skills and how to use them in the Canadian workplace;
    • Hands-on learning experiences to provide necessary skills to understand and use digital systems, tools and applications, and to process digital information;
    • Opportunities for work placements in the technology sector with continued support during employment.

Note: Applying against multiple or all priorities will not negatively impact or enhance the assessment of your proposal (see Proposal Assessment section for details).

5. Outcomes

Your project must demonstrate alignment with the following outcomes of IRCC’s Settlement Program as listed below:

  • Theme #1: Provision of employment-related service.
    • Immediate outcome: Clients acquire knowledge, skills, and connections to prepare for the Canadian labour market.
    • Intermediate outcome: Clients participate in the Canadian labour market.
    • Ultimate integration outcome: Successfully integrated and settled clients benefit Canada.
  • Theme #2: Indirect services
    • Immediate outcome: Partners deliver responsive and coordinated settlement and community services.
    • Intermediate outcome: Communities foster welcoming environment for immigrants.
    • Ultimate integration outcome: Successfully integrated and settled clients benefit Canada.

D. Submission process and instructions

1. What is an Expression of Interest?

The EOI process is intended to minimize the time and effort required to apply by requesting preliminary information via a Letter of Interest (LOI) before requesting the submission of a full proposal.

Only applicants whose submissions pass the LOI assessment will be invited to submit a full proposal, in which they will be asked to describe in detail the proposed activities, timelines, costs, project feasibility, evaluation methods and how the project meets the specific criteria outlined in these funding guidelines.

Note: Successful applicants will be required to comply with Canadian privacy laws such as the applicable federal/provincial/territorial privacy and access to information legislation and/or Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Applicants will also need to adhere to all physical and electronic security requirements as stipulated in a CA.

2. Instructions on submitting a Letter of Interest (LOI) for stage 1

Once you have read through and understood these Funding Guidelines, you are ready to submit your Letter of Interest. The application process involves two systems – the Grants and Contributions (GCS) Partner Portal and Fluid Review.

To submit an LOI, all applicants must create a Fluid Review account; this is the system applicants will use to view and submit a Letter of Interest. For previous applicants: Your GCS Partner Portal account will not work to login to the Fluid Review system. Submitting your Letter of Interest is a three steps process:

  1. Obtain your GCS Organization ID

    A Grants and Contributions System (GCS) Organization ID (for example, 1-12A345) is required to access the Fluid Review portal in which the Letter of Interest must be completed.

    If you do not yet have a GCS Organization ID, click on the “Create an Account” option to obtain your Organization ID.

  2. Create a Fluid Review account

    Letters of Interest for this funding process can only be submitted online through the Fluid Review portal.

  3. Submit your Letter of Interest by December 19, 2018 5 pm PST

    You can submit your Letter of Interest through Fluid Review from December 5 to 19, 2018 5 pm PST. After submitting, you will not be able to resubmit or modify your Letter of Interest.

Upon submission, IRCC will send you an automatic notification that your Letter of Interest has been received.

3. Instructions on submitting a full proposal for stage 2

Within 25 calendar days of the close of stage 1, you will receive notification via email advising whether your Letter of Interest has passed the screening process. If you are successful in stage 1, you will be provided with stage 2 submission deadline details and instructions on how to complete a full proposal.

Mandatory documents are also requested for applicants invited to apply to stage 2, these will be specific to the type of applicant as listed below.

  • Public institutions (such as a school board) and any non-federal levels of government:
    • Letter of support from each financial partner
  • Other organizations:
    • Most recent annual report;
    • Full financial statements including comparative information for the last two fiscal years (audited preferred);
    • Names of persons on your board of directors;
    • At least one of the following: constitution, by-law, letter of incorporation or similar instrument of governance; and
    • Letter of support from each financial partner.
  • Individuals:
    • Your curriculum vitae; and
    • Your proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status;
    • Letter of support from each financial partner.

In addition to the mandatory documents listed above, all applicants must submit evidence that they are led by, and/or serve VMNW in Canada. This may include:

  • Organizational mission statements, operational plans, and other corporate documents;
  • Current and previous project work; and/or Substantive organizational leadership by VMNW (for example, Board governance, staff leadership). In order to be eligible for funding, projects must be led by, or developed in close collaboration with, VMNW community groups or not-for-profit organizations.

E. Assessment criteria and guidance

1. How your Letter of Interest will be assessed in stage 1

Your Letter of Interest will pass through a screening process to assess:

  • The project’s alignment with the identified outcomes (listed above);
  • The applicant’s overall organizational ability to deliver services;
  • The feasibility of implementing the project within the given timelines; and
  • The appropriateness of techniques and methodology described.

2. How your full proposal will be assessed in stage 2

Stage 2 applications will be scored based on their relevance to this funding process, their potential for success and their cost-effectiveness using the following assessment criteria:

Project relevance: 40% of project score

  • The need for the project is clear and supported by evidence.
  • The project clearly aligns with one or more priorities.
  • Project effectively addresses the settlement theme for this funding process.
  • Project activities address all aspects of the project, showing no major gaps, and activities are all relevant to the successful completion of the project.
  • Project outcomes align with the outcomes under IRCC’s Settlement Program employment-related services and/or indirect services.

Potential for success: 35% of project score

  • Applicant has the capacity, experience, contextual knowledge and appropriate partners (if applicable) to carry out the project.
  • Strategy to engage target clients is sufficient and appropriate.
  • Each outcome is measurable and supported by an effective performance measurement plan.

Project cost-effectiveness: 25% of project score

  • Proposed budget is balanced. All costs as well as revenues related to the project have been itemized and explained.
  • Project costs are in line with average costs for similar activities. The applicant demonstrates proper and responsible use of funds related to both administration and program delivery.

Upon submission of a full proposal, IRCC will send you an automatic notification confirming that your application has been received.

Within 110 calendar days from the close of stage 2, IRCC will send you a written notification advising whether the Department is or is not interested in entering into negotiations, or whether IRCC needs more time before issuing a final decision.

F. Communicating with IRCC

Please be informed that IRCC communicates with applicants exclusively through email, unless notified otherwise.

Decision notice: IRCC will send a written notification by April 2019 advising whether or not the Department is interested in entering into negotiations, or whether IRCC needs more time before issuing a positive or negative decision.

Contact: Should you have questions or require further clarification about this funding process, please contact IRCC at however note that the inbox cannot provide guidance on proposal content. For questions relating to GCS, please contact

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