YMCA of Greater Toronto Selected to Provide Pre-Arrival Services

News release

Organization will deliver settlement services to newcomers before they arrive in Canada

January 14, 2019 — Toronto, (ON) — Pre-arrival settlement services are a key element of Canada’s immigration program. They provide newcomers, including refugees, with the information and settlement support they need to make informed decisions about their new life in Canada before they arrive, such as how to prepare for finding a job. To help deliver these important services, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be providing funding of $5.6 million to the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is 1 of 4 intake service providers that will offer online, national-level information; orientation; and onward referrals to pre- and post-arrival settlement-related service provider organizations for economic and family class pre-arrival clients. As an organization with nationwide reach and extensive experience in national service coordination, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has also been chosen to work with IRCC and pre-arrival service provider organizations to coordinate service delivery, foster learning and innovation, and share best practices and alignment of programing.

Today’s funding announcement is part of IRCC’s renewed pre-arrival services program, which will maximize the social integration of newcomers, set them up to contribute to the economy and help grow the middle class by:

  • directly connecting clients with the information and services they need through a streamlined, easy-to-navigate process
  • providing pre-arrival services to Francophones through a collaborative partnership model
  • offering general, regional and occupation-specific employment services to boost job prospects
  • encouraging newcomers to apply for job licensure before they arrive, if needed
  • linking clients to federal and provincial settlement services in Canada


“Pre-arrival services provide permanent residents with information and settlement support so they can make informed decisions about their new life in Canada and begin the integration process before they arrive. IRCC’s renewed pre-arrival program will deliver consistent, high‑quality client-centered services to people around the world.”

– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Newcomers are at the heart of our Toronto community, contributing a great deal to our economy and our culture. This renewed pre-arrival program, in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Toronto, will help inform and support the newest members of our community before they arrive.”

– The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre

“We’re thrilled to continue working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to make the transition to life in Canada easier for immigrants by providing support before they arrive. The YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Next Stop Canada Program has already helped more than 6,500 pre-arrival immigrants since its launch in 2016. We welcome the opportunity to help more people and to take on a coordinating role, working with other national providers to deliver more coordinated pre-arrival services.”

Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto

Quick facts

  • In May 2018, IRCC launched an expression of interest process to solicit proposals for economic/family class and Francophone pre-arrival services. Sixteen experienced service provider organizations (SPOs) with proven results and strong partnerships were selected to deliver virtual and in-person services to newcomers, including refugees, around the world before they arrive in Canada. These pre-arrival services began on January 1, 2019.

  • Funding for these 16 SPOs to 2023 totals approximately $113 million.

  • Canada has funded pre-arrival services since 1998. While initially only provided to refugees, services were expanded to include non-refugee immigrants in 2001.

  • In-person services will be offered in China, India, and the Philippines, along with a pilot project for in-person Francophone services in Morocco.


Contacts for media only

Mathieu Genest
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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