Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Settlement and resettlement service providers

To keep everyone safe, we’re asking service providers to deliver critical services only and to take steps to protect their employees and newcomer clients.

Last updated: May 28, 2020

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Providing services to your clients

Focus on critical services

Until further notice, focus on providing critical settlement and resettlement services.

Critical services are

Whenever possible, provide these services by telephone, email or online.

Offer language training classes and other services remotely

You shouldn’t provide non-critical services in person until further notice. However, you can still provide other services remotely if you have that option.

For example, offer language classes online if you can. If students who’ve registered for language training with you can’t attend online classes, follow your existing attendance policy. When you need to remove a student from one of your classes, enter the reason in iCARE.

When in-person classes restart, we recommend first offering seats to students who were enrolled but couldn’t take your online classes.

Protect your clients’ information

While your employees are working from home, you’ll need to take extra security measures to protect your clients’ personal information. Make sure you and your employees follow all reasonable security practices.

Learn more about protecting your organization and employees online in your iCARE account

Be flexible when verifying your clients’ identity

When delivering services online, it can be harder to verify client identity. Try to offer more than 1 option to your clients, like calling them at their registered phone number(s), to make it easier for them to verify their identity to you. You can confirm your services were delivered to the right people when in-person service restarts.

If you must provide critical services in person

Our priority is the well-being, safety and security of your clients and employees. While we support adjusting your processes to reduce social contact with clients, it’s not always possible. You may need to offer some critical services on an in-person basis.

Increase pay for staff providing critical services in person

We’ll support requests from service providers to increase pay by up to 15% for front-line employees delivering critical services in person. This increase will apply for the period between April 1 and June 30, 2020. We may extend the increase depending on the situation at the end of June.

These pay increases should be funded within your existing budget. If you can’t fund them in your existing budget, contact your program officer right away.

Use protective equipment and supplies

Keep your employees and clients safe. If you have to buy protective equipment and supplies to provide services in person, contact your program officer. The cost may be an eligible claim in your contribution agreement.

If you can’t provide services

We won’t penalize you if you can’t provide the services outlined in your agreement because you’re following

If your service delivery is affected, contact your program officer to discuss your situation.

Share COVID-19 information in multiple languages with your clients

You can help newcomers understand COVID-19 by sharing the resources in multiple languages offered on the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website. These include

You can find the languages of each resource under its description.

Get PHAC COVID-19 resources

Share financial assistance information in multiple languages with your clients

You can help newcomers understand what financial assistance may be available to them by referring to information from Employment and Social Development Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency, some of which is now available in multiple languages. This includes details about the Canada Child Benefit and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Get financial assistance information

Managing your agreement with us

To help manage the impact of COVID-19 on your organization, we’ve made some temporary changes that may help you support your employees and clients during these disruptions.

Ask to rearrange your funding to help with administrative costs

If you haven’t spent as much money as you normally would on program delivery this year because of COVID-19, you can ask to separate your program delivery funds from your administrative funds. This will help you pay for your administrative costs.

To make a request to separate your administrative and program delivery funding, contact your program officer.

Take more time to submit your annual reports

We’ve extended the deadline to submit your 2 annual reports to August 31, 2020. The reports are

Expenses and processes that are staying the same

While we’re making some changes to support providers during these disruptions, many processes are the same.

Don’t pay out accrued vacation time

Paying out accrued vacation is not an eligible expense under your contribution agreement. At this time, we’re not changing this.

Pay supply teachers from existing funds

You should keep paying supply teachers using the unused funds you have available. This process has not been affected by COVID-19.

Contact us

Service provider organizations with questions about service delivery during COVID-19 service disruptions can contact us at IRCC.COVID19SPOQuestions-FSQuestionsCOVID19.IRCC@cic.gc.ca for guidance.

If you have questions about your contribution agreement, contact your program officer.

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