New investment in the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia to provide pre-arrival services for newcomers

News release

June 27, 2023—Halifax, NS—Pre-arrival settlement services are key to setting newcomers up for success in Canada. They provide newcomers with the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their new lives in Canada before they arrive, which helps them successfully transition to their communities and find work faster.

On behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Citizenship, Refugees and Immigration, Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, today announced an investment of nearly $6.8 million in the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) to help deliver important pre-arrival services to new immigrants. This is part of overall settlement funding extensions that were announced on May 11, 2023.

This organization offers programs to help newcomers make informed decisions and begin their settlement process, including employment preparation, to arrive better prepared to integrate into their new community.

Investments in pre-arrival services and organizations like ISANS are investments in the newcomers and families joining Canada’s diverse communities, and help them grow while strengthening Canada’s economy. 


“Immigrants to Canada deserve to have access to high-quality and accurate information to better prepare them for and facilitate their transition to a new life in Canada. This new funding will allow Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) to continue providing high­quality client services to those who need it most. With this new investment, ISANS will be able to better continue in their work, ensuring the various needs and concerns of newcomers are addressed.”

– Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“Providing services to newcomers before they arrive in Canada is critical to successful integration. These services help newcomers make decisions about the life they want to live in Canada as early as possible in their immigration journey, and help them contribute to the economy more quickly. The success of newcomers in Canada is down to the hard work and efforts of groups like Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS). Ensuring that early success is critical to our economy and ensuring long-term prosperity for Canada and its people.

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

"Through its Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) program, ISANS has been providing innovative, online pre-arrival services for newcomers to Canada for the last 7 years. This Canada-wide program leverages strong coast-to-coast partnerships within the settlement sector and provides immigrants with a national program that allows regional partners to provide localized, community-specific services. Best said by SOPA client Clara from Brazil: 'SOPA was my guiding light, offering a wealth of resources tailored to immigrants like me.'”

– Daren Okafo, Manager, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

Quick facts

  • As announced on May 11, 2023, the Minister approved a two-year extension of pre­arrival contribution agreements from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2025. Through these agreements, funding for 15 service provider organizations totals over $60 million until 2025. 

  • Today’s funding announcement is part of over $60 million in pre-arrival settlement funding invested across Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s pre-arrival services program maximizes the economic and social integration of newcomers by

    • directly connecting clients with the information and services they need through a streamlined, easy-to-navigate process
    • encouraging newcomers to apply for recognition of their foreign credentials before they arrive, if needed
    • linking clients to federal and provincial settlement services in Canada
  • In total, 15 service provider organizations will receive additional funding to support pre-arrival services. These organizations serve clients in the country of origin and are based in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and internationally.

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

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Contacts for media only:

Bahoz Dara Aziz
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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