Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Settlement and resettlement service providers
- How COVID-19 is affecting IRCC
- Travel restrictions and exemptions
- Workers, students and visitors
- Immigration applicants
- Refugees and PRRA applicants
- Canadians and citizenship applicants
- Passports and travel documents
- IRCC offices and VACs
- Permanent residents
- Temporary processing changes
- 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
On this page
- Providing services to your clients
- Focus on critical services
- Offer language training classes and other services remotely
- If you must provide critical services in person
- If you can’t provide services
- Share COVID-19 information in multiple languages with your clients
- Share financial assistance information in multiple languages with your clients
- Managing your agreement with us
- Contact us
- Updates and related links
Providing services to your clients
Focus on critical services
Until further notice, focus on providing critical settlement and resettlement services.
Critical services are
- resettlement assistance program startup services
- initial orientation of government-assisted refugees
- providing new arrivals with 14 days of food and incidentals
- case management services, including
- providing information and orientation
- setting up medical appointments and helping with interpretation
- offering crisis counselling
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.
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
- our guidance
- the guidance of your local health authority
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
- fact sheets
You can find the languages of each resource under its description.
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.
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
- the Annual Project Performance Report
- the Annual Performance Report for Community Partnerships
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.
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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Updates and related links
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update
- Public Health Agency of Canada: COVID-19 information (available in multiple languages)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Financial assistance for newcomers, temporary residents and refugees
- News release: Canada provides update on exemptions to travel restrictions
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