Frequently Asked Questions

Employment

I am new in Canada and need to find a paid job very quickly. What can you do for me?

Depending on how soon you need to secure employment, there are Employment Coaches who can meet with you to discuss about your employment goals, coach you on how to search for employment in Canada, and customize an individualized action plan to help you work towards obtaining your goal.
Note: Our employment program (called the Employment Access Program or EAP) is not an employment agency that staffs job ready seekers to partnered employers.

I have an interview for a job, but I need a resume. How can you help me?

Our employment program (called the Employment Access Program or EAP) offers a comprehensive job search training program that will enable you to conduct targeted job search in your field which includes writing a professional resume. Resume writing is a component of the training and now offered on an ad-hoc basis. Subject to circumstances an Employment Coach may be able to critique a resume in a one-on-one meeting.
EAP does not accommodate drop-ins.

Are you able to write a resume and a cover letter for me?

Our staff cannot write a resume and cover letter for you, but can critique your resume and cover letter. Critiques are offered after a client has shown initiative in writing and efforts in preparing the resume and/or cover letter or attended a job search training program through our employment program. Subject to the client’s technical capability, various forms of support may be offered.

How do I start my job search in Canada?

Start your job search by determining your employment goal. Different employment goals (occupation/profession) will shape the approach you take towards job search. At the same time, you should conduct thorough research about the job you are trying to obtain and then assess whether it’s a realistic goal (occupation specific skill, labour market, experience and education required, reason for choosing profession, etc.). Once you’ve done the above, you are ready to learn and search.

As a newcomer to Canada, there is vast array of services that can support you at Catholic Crosscultural Services and in the community. Speak with one of our Employment Coaches to learn about what services are available to you.

How do I get a license to practice in my field?

If you are in a non-health related profession, contact Global Experience Ontario (GEO) for information and referral assistance to the regulatory body overseeing your licensed profession in Ontario. GEO can help the following internationally trained professionals:

– Architects

– Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists

– Certified General Accountants

– Certified Management Accountants

– Chartered Accountants

– Early Childhood Educators

– Foresters

– Land Surveyors

– Lawyers and Paralegals

– Professional Engineers

– Professional Geoscientists

– Social Workers and Social Service Workers

– Teachers

– Veterinarians

If you are in a health related profession, contact Health Force Ontario (HFO) for information, advice and support on your path to professional practice in Ontario. HFO serves the following regulated health professions:

– Audiology and Speech Language Pathology

– Chiropody and Podiatry

– Chiropractic

– Dental Hygiene

– Dental Technology

– Denturist

– Dietetics

– Massage Therapy

– Medical Laboratory Technology

– Medical Radiation Technology

– Medicine

– Midwifery

– Nursing

– Occupational Therapy

– Opticianry

– Optometry

– Pharmacy and Pharmacy Technician

– Physiotherapy

– Psychology

– Respiratory Therapy

For further inquiries, speak with an Employment Program Coach for consultation and referral.

How is an ELT program and how can it help me?

ELT or Enhanced Language Training programs provide profession-specific, advanced-level English training to adult newcomers
Similar to a regular English language class, ELT classes will utilize various forms of teaching to help you improve your language for a particular field. Different organizations’ ELT program offer different additions to the class component of the program. Some organizations offer mentoring, site visits, volunteer placement, etc. The purpose of these additions to the classes is to create exposure for the students to learn in a related environment. For example, ELT program offered by CCS secures students a volunteer placement within the health industry to allow them to gain hands-on practice working with health professionals and get acquainted to functions in a healthcare setting. Although volunteer placements may not always be in the exact same profession as the student’s background, i.e. an internationally educated surgeon placed with a practicing surgeon at a hospital, there could be opportunities for the volunteer to be placed at a hospital for other tasks.

Do I need to go to school in Canada in order to get a job? Do I need a Canadian degree or diploma to get a job in Canada?

Re-training in Canada is not always the best option for newcomers. Depending on your profession and previous experience and credentials, you may or may not need to go to school in order to work in a particular occupation. A Canadian degree or diploma is not mandatory to get a job in Canada. For more information about education qualifications for specific jobs, visit www.workingincanada.gc.ca

Will my international experience be recognized by Canadian employers?

Recognition of international experience is subject to the employer. Different employers may view international experience differently. Experience is experience, no matter where its obtained, therefore ‘lack of Canadian experience’ is not a valid reason for not selecting a candidate for the job. That being said, Canadian employers may not view finance experience in Iran to be the same as finance experience in Canada due to differences in regulations, policy, and procedures, a crucial knowledge one must have to carry out the occupation in Canada. The job seeker must be able to identify and translate to the employer how their experience abroad is relevant and/or equivalent to the job in Canada. Telling an employer you can ‘learn’ or ‘adapt’ or ‘get trained’ to do the work is not the same as already knowing how to do the work.

Do I need Canadian work experience?

Canadian work experience is not required for internationally educated professionals to get a job. For example, as an internationally educated information technology professional, getting a part-time job at Tim Horton’s will not land you a job in IT.

Click here to refer to the Ontario Human Rights Commission for more information on the removal of the “Canadian experience” barrier”.

What level does my English need to be in order to find a professional job?

Depending on the industry you work in and/or the employer you work with, language proficiency varies. Canada is a multilingual society where employers themselves are from all around the world.

For example, if you are Chinese, speak Mandarin and work in retail, you may be able to find a job in retail speaking Mandarin in your day-to-day job (no English required).

In another example, if you want to obtain a job as a Legal Assistant, and work with a Lawyer who goes to court, your English language needs to be proficient in all aspects (listening, speaking, reading, writing).

In general, we recommend an overall Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 6 to be somewhat self-efficient in conducting search for professionals jobs. Most bridging programs that lead internationally trained professionals to employers require CLB 7+ (some organizations’ classification as being ‘job ready’).

Financial

What sort of financial assistance can I receive as a newcomer?

Newcomers may qualify for Ontario Works, which is a benefit given to individuals and families to cover basic food, shelter and clothing need for those who are temporarily unable to work or cannot find employment.

Newcomers with disabilities may qualify for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) which provides financial support to cover food and shelter costs. ODSP recipients may also qualify for additional health benefits.

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) assists newcomers who have lived in Ontario for 12 consecutive months, and those who come from low-income families by providing loans to cover tuition fees, shelter and food costs for students while they are enrolled in post-graduate programs.

Please note that those who qualify for the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) may not qualify to apply for social assistance for 12 months upon their arrival to Canada.

What are GST-HST credits?

GST-HST credit is a benefit that is provided to individuals 19 and above with low or modest incomes to fully or partially cover the taxes paid when purchasing good and services. The credit is issued 4 times a year and can be applied for upon arrival to Canada. When applying, new residents to Canada must fill out form RC151, GST-HST Credit Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada

How do I apply for CCTB?

CCTB are benefits that are provided to families in order to help with the cost of raising children under the age of 18. In order to apply, those who are the primary caretakers of the child must fill out forms RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application and RC66SCh, Status in Canada/Statement of Income

Do you charge for your services?

All Catholic Crosscultural Services are offered free of charge.

I am having difficulty paying my rent. What kind of help can I get to make ends meet?

You might be able to apply to subsidized housing.

Subsidized housing is when you get help paying your rent from the government or a private organization. You pay rent based on how much money you make and not on the size or type of housing you live in.Generally, you pay about 30% of your monthly income on rent and the rest of the rent is subsidized by the government or a private organization

What is a SIN number?

SIN stands for Social Insurance Number. It is a unique number that you use to identify yourself. It is a 9-digit number. You need this number to use some government programs and to work in Canada.

An employer cannot pay you if you do not have a SIN. The law in Canada says that your employer has to ask you to show your SIN card, or proof that you have applied for a SIN, within 3 days after you start a job.

What do I need to open a bank account?

To open an account, you have to go to the bank in person and show acceptable identification. You must use original, valid identification (ID). Photocopies will not be accepted.
Acceptable Identification

You have 3 choices:

Show 2 pieces of ID from List A; or
Show 1 piece of ID from List A and 1 piece from List B; or
Show 1 piece of ID from List A and have someone, who the bank knows, confirm that you are who you say you are.

List A

A drivers’ licence issued in Canada;
A Canadian passport;
A Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certification of Naturalization;
A Permanent Resident Card;
Citizenship and Immigration Canada Form IMM 1000 or IMM 1442*;
A birth certificate issued in Canada;
A Social Insurance Number (SIN) card issued by the Government of Canada;
A provincial health insurance card; or

* Some banks may accept the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292) document as acceptable identification. Since this document is not a permissible form of identification under federal law, it is the bank’s decision if they will accept it.
List B

An employee identity card with a photograph from an employer well known in the community;
A signed automated banking machine (ABM) card or client card issued by a member of the Canadian Payments Association;
A signed credit card issued by a member of the Canadian Payments Association;
A signed Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB) client card with a photograph; or
A foreign passport.

You may be able to show other types of ID, call the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada at 1-866-461-3222 for more information.

Settlement

I need to get my documents notarized. Where do I go?

Some banks, law firms or insurance agencies have employees who can assist you with notarizing your documents. Your local city hall may also have a commissioner of oaths who would be able to assist you with notarization. Depending on what kind of documents you have, some local community centres or local agencies may have a commissioner of oath or a notary public who might be able to notarize you documents at a low cost or at no charge.

I would like to sponsor my parents. How do I start the application?

In order to reduce the backlog and wait times for sponsoring parents or grandparents, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is currently not accepting new applications for the sponsorship of parents and grandparents.
Click here to stay updated of current wait times.

How do I invite family members to come to Canada for a visit?

If your friend or family member wants to visit Canada, they must apply to the Canadian visa office responsible for his or her country or region. A visa officer will review the application and decide whether to issue a visa.
You can invite your family member by writing a letter of invitation. It should explain how you will help the person. For example, you may offer to pay for plane tickets or accommodation. A letter of invitation can help, but it does not guarantee the person will get a visa. The letter must be submitted to the Canadian visa office responsible for his or her country or region. A visa officer will review the application. Click here to learn about the invitation letter.

I am a refugee. How do I repay the loan?

If you are a refugee or protected person you may have been offered a loan by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to help you cover costs such as transportation to Canada, medical exams, travel documents and service fees. You will need to start paying back your loan in monthly installments 30 days after your arrival in Canada.
You can pay back your loans by cheque, postal or money order, credit card or online banking payments. Cheques and other items should be made out to “Receiver General for Canada”.
You will receive a letter outlining how much you need to pay back each month.
At any time, people facing hardships can request a review of their repayment arrangement. Click here for more information.

Citizenship

How do I apply for Citizenship? How long will it take?

Make sure you are eligible, i.e. you have fulfilled all the requirements to become a Canadian Citizen before you apply. Get an application package that is also available online, complete it using the instruction guide and attach the required documents. You must pay the application fees online. You can then mail your completed application to the Case Processing Centre. Click here for more information.
Processing times for Citizenship applications are difficult to predict. They vary depending on the type of application you submit and the number of applications currently being processed. According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website the processing time from receipt of application to final decision for 80% of cases processed on or after April 1, 2015 is 12 months.

I received my Canadian citizenship application back from IRCC (formerly called CIC). What do I do?

You can make an appointment with one of our settlement counsellors so they can help you to review your application and send it again with the missing information.

Do you offer Citizenship classes?

Yes, we offer in-person citizenship classes at different locations. In these sessions you will learn about the citizenship application process, have the opportunity to prepare for the citizenship test and learn how to become engaged Citizens of Canada.

Education

I need to enrol my children in school. Where do I start?

We can help you registering your child for school and finding an interpreter if you need one.

You need all of the following information to register your child for school:

Proof of your child’s age – A birth certificate or passport.
Proof of address – A copy of a bank statement, telephone or electrical bill or apartment lease with your name and address.
Proof of student’s immigration status* – One of:
Birth certificate
Passport
Permanent Resident Card
Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292) or Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
Immunization record – Proof that your son or daughter has been immunized.

*All children aged 6-18 can attend school, regardless of their immigration status or the immigration status of their parents.

Learning English

I would like to learn and/or improve my English. What should I do?

There are different options to access English instruction depending mainly on your immigration status and your age. There are free language classes available to eligible adult learners funded by the Government of Canada called LINC (Language Instructions for Newcomers to Canada). Please meet with one of our settlement counselors to discuss your options and get a customized solution.

Do you provide child care for LINC classes?

Yes, we provide childcare services for children 8 months to 6 years old at our Mississauga location and from 6 months to 6 years at our Toronto location.

I was told I need to get an assessment.

All potential students are required to contact TCET testing centre to book an English test before they enrol in classes. Your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills will be examined.

How do I enroll in English classes?

Once you have been assessed by the testing centre, they will give you a list of schools that fit your needs. If you have been referred to a school, then you can go to the school right away. If you are on the waitlist, the school will call you about your start date. If you are neither referred to or on the waitlist at any school, you can call the list of schools and choose one that best fit your needs. If spaces are available in the school, you can start classes right away.

Where are the assessment centres?

TCET has many locations. It is best to check their website to see which testing location is closest to you. If you need assistance with finding the testing centre or making an appointment, you can always visit any LINC school to help you with the process.

Do you provide bus tickets?

Only eligible clients are provided bus tickets. You can always ask the school for an application form to see if you qualify.

What is the schedule of the classes?

It is best to call our LINC school locations to find out more about the various class levels and schedules. Call 905-272-1703 for our Mississauga location or 416-759-8800 for our Toronto location.

Do you offer computer classes?

We offer basic computer training which covers topics including computer basics, Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Publisher, File Manager, Internet browsing, Emailing. We have computers to assist in your English Learning. You can also access computers at some of our locations. Contact our offices to find out more.

Do you have a summer program for school-aged children?

We offer a summer activities in July and August free of charge for children through many programs in Toronto including our Summer Enrichment Program for newcomer students aged 7-12 years through 7 weeks of academic, arts, sports and reading activities; Newcomer Orientation Week for newly-arrived high school students; an interactive day of activities for students entering middle school through our WIN program; and other activities in various community locations.

Health

How do I get health care coverage?

To get health care coverage in Ontario you need a Health (OHIP) Card. OHIP stands for Ontario Health Insurance Plan. OHIP is a government-run health plan that pays for many health care services.
To get an OHIP card you have to fill out an application. You also need to collect some documents to submit with your application. Please note that you can apply as soon as you have the documents that you need but you will not get a Health Card until you are eligible: there is a 3-month waiting period.

How do I find a family doctor?

A Family doctor is the one who will diagnose and treat most of your medical problems. If you need to see a specialist doctor, you need a family doctor to refer you. To find a family doctor, you can:

a. Get an appointment with one of our settlement counselors. They will assist you finding doctors who are accepting new patients and/or who speak your language.

b. Ask a friend or family member if their doctor is accepting new patients.

c. Register withHealth Care Connect. This program refers you to a local doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients. You need to have OHIP to use this service. It is run by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. To register, call 1-800-445-1822.

d. Use the Doctor Search service. It is run by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. You can also call 1-800-268-7096 ext. 626. If you are in Toronto, call 416-967-2626.