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General - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are pre-arrival services? 

Pre-arrival services allow people who have already been approved to immigrate to Canada – but have not yet moved to Canada – to get settlement and employment help and advice before moving to Canada.  

  1. Why is it good to use pre-arrival services? / Why should I use pre-arrival services? 

The main advantage of using pre-arrival services is that you can get a head start on getting settled in Canada even before you arrive. This can be especially important for your job search. Since it usually takes time to get your credentials recognized, tweak your resume to Canadian standards, practice interviewing skills, and become familiar with the Canadian job market and job search process, it is very helpful to start this process before arriving so you can more easily land a job. As well, pre-arrival services in settlement can give you the names and contacts of post-arrival services so you can immediately connect with “on-the-ground” services as soon as you arrive. 

  1. What are the eligibility criteria to receive pre-arrival services? 

To receive pre-arrival services, you need to have already been approved to immigrate to Canada (with correct documentation as proof), and you need to be currently still living outside of Canada.   

  1. How can I register for pre-arrival services? 

Please visit, browse all the available pre-arrival service programs and register settlement programs and employment programs which fit your needs.  

  1. What do I need to prepare to register for pre-arrival services? 

Please prepare a valid document as proof of your immigration status. This can be one of the following below:   

  • An IRCC invitation to obtain pre-arrival services 
  • A Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) letter/document 
  • A passport request letter that indicates Permanent Resident visa issuance 
  • An IRCC request that an applicant for permanent residence complete a medical examination 
  • A Single Entry Permanent Resident Visa 
  • A Permanent Resident Visa pick up notification letter  

We will also need your education document(s), a report of language assessment or up-to-date resume for some certain pre-arrival services programs.  

  1. Are Pre-arrival services only for Permanent Residents?  

Yes. You will not be able to get pre-arrival services if you are coming to Canada on a short visit as a temporary resident – such as those with visitor, student, or work visas. These visas/permits don’t qualify for pre-arrival services. For more information on this, please visit the IRCC webpage  

  1. Are pre-arrival services specific to one province? 

Most pre-arrival services serve people who are immigrating to any province or territory in Canada (with the exception of BuildON which is specifically for people immigrating to Ontario). There are a couple pre-arrival services that don’t provide services to those moving to Quebec.   

  1. Are pre-arrival services only offered in English? / What languages are pre-arrival services offered in? 

Most pre-arrival services are offered in English and French. Some organizations provide an even wider range of languages of service. A few pre-arrival services are offered only in English. The languages in which services are offered can be seen on each individual pre-arrival service provider’s page at For people seeking pre-arrival services only in French, visit   

  1. Can pre-arrival services help me apply for colleges/benefits/jobs/ etc.? 

Pre-arrival services can provide useful information on education/benefits/employment/etc. to help newcomers apply for those they need, but unfortunately, they won’t help the newcomers to apply for schools/government benefits/jobs directly.  

  1. What is the difference between settlement services and employment services? 

Settlement services focus on aspects to help you live in Canada. This can include applying for needed documentation (SIN card, driver’s license, health card), registering your children for school, and enrolling in language classes. Employment services help you to get your credentials recognized, prepare a Canadian-style resume, practice interview skills and search for a job.   

  1. Which services should I focus on first, settlement or employment?  

You can choose and access both at the same time and with as many service providers as you would like.  Pre-arrival services comprises a list of organizations who help clients to create settlement plans and goals, some from the perspective of settlement, some from the perspective of employment, and some from both.   

  1. Are there any other services that I can use/access once I arrive in Canada? 

Yes.  There are several organizations who dedicatedly provide newcomers with free settlement services after their arrival; these are called post-arrival services. You can use the services that are in proximity to the city/province you are planning to arrive in. For more information about these post-arrival services, please visit the IRCC website –  

  1. What is the difference between registering directly with the service providers and registering with 

Through our page,, you only have to register once and then you select any of the applicable pre-arrival services you would like to access.  You will not have to worry about registering with each program separately and multiple times. This means that you will only have to upload important personal information and documents once.  

  1. Can my spouse/partner and I access pre-arrival services individually/separately? 

Yes. Anyone who has been approved for permanent residency and has the correct IRCC approved documents (please check our webpage for more information on this) can access pre-arrival services individually.  Some of our service provider partners also assist in providing settlement plans for youth 12-19 years of age.   

Newcomers outside Canada  

  1. How long does it take to access pre-arrival services? 

An intake worker will respond to you within a few days of registering. Once they pass your registration on to the service providers, the service providers will take another few days to initially respond. Often you will be given immediate access to any online content provided by that SPO, but depending on demand and wait times, it may take a bit longer to receive the individualized services.

IMPORTANT:  When registering for pre-arrival programs, it is important to include your documents for upload. Proof of Immigration Status is mandatory. Other documents you may need to upload for your registration include: language document, proof of education, or work experience (for employment programs).

  1. Do I need a certain timeline to be able to access services?/ How close to coming to Canada can I still access pre-arrival services? 

Each pre-arrival service has a different timeline. Some organizations can provide services even up to a few days before arriving in Canada (especially the settlement services). But many employment programs require a few weeks to at least 2 months before arriving in Canada, so they can adequately walk you through all the preparation needed to find a job in Canada. Therefore, it is good to start accessing pre-arrival services well ahead of when you plan to actually move to Canada.   

  1. I’ve done a short landing before, but I haven’t received any pre-arrival services. Am I eligible for pre-arrival services? 

As long as you are currently outside of Canada, you can still access pre-arrival services (with the exception of the SOPA pre-arrival program).

Newcomers inside Canada  


  1. Can I still access pre-arrival services once I’ve moved to Canada? 

Pre-arrival services are only for those who are currently outside of Canada and have not yet moved to Canada. If you are living in Canada, post-arrival services are much better suited to your needs as they are geographically located close to where you live. This means that they can serve you in-person and give you information relevant to the specific city in which you are living.   

Temporary Residents 


  1. I am waiting for my Permanent Resident Visa; can I still apply for Pre-arrival services

You can access pre-arrival services with one of the following documents:  

  • IRCC letter that says you can get pre-arrival services 
  • COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence)
  • A passport request letter that indicates your PR visa issuance
  • IRCC Medical examination request letter 
  • A single-entry permanent resident visa
  • A letter from IRCC to let you know that you can pick up your permanent resident visa  
  1. I will be an international student/worker in Canada. Can I access pre-arrival services? 

Most of these services are available to permanent residents only, but there are other organizations that can provide services for international students/workers. Please check with IRCC for more details (with a related website) 

  1. I’m a Ukranian refugee. Can I access pre-arrival services? 

No. Pre-Arrival Settlement Services are only for clients who have been accepted to come to Canada as permanent residents and who have not yet arrived in Canada.  The Canadian government has enabled Ukrainian refugees to access settlement services under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET).  However, this refers to post-arrival services for refugees once they have landed in Canada, whereas pre-arrival services are for those who have been approved for permanent residency before coming to Canada. Before arriving in Canada, we encourage you to explore the following link to a Government of Canada website that provides some helpful information about how to prepare for your arrival:  

Once you arrive in Canada, we encourage you to contact a settlement agency in your area and they will be able to assist you further with your settlement needs.  

People who want to immigrate to Canada but have not yet been approved as immigrants  

  1. How can I immigrate to Canada? 

Pre-arrival services are for those who have already been approved to immigrate to Canada. If you are looking to immigrate to Canada and so want to start the application process, please visit:

  1. How long does it take to receive a passport request letter/visa after registering for pre-arrival services? 

We do not have any information/update about the status of clients’ immigration applications.  We only provide access to pre-arrival services for people who have already been approved for permanent residency in Canada, have the right documents to access the pre-arrival services, and are outside of Canada.    

  1. Does registering for pre-arrival services guarantee permanent residency in Canada?  

No.  Registering/accessing pre-arrival services does not guarantee the approval of permanent residency in Canada.  In fact, you need to have first been approved by IRCC for permanent residency to then be able to access pre-arrival services. Pre-arrival services are only for people who have already been approved for permanent residency by IRCC. They can in no way help you get permanent residency.