2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.3 What information and resources are provided to refugees prior to their arrival in their resettlement country?
(iv) How is pre-departure information provided to refugees prior to arrival in their resettlement country?
How Canada Does It
Canada is responsible for administering pre-departure information sessions to refugees and all other economic classes prior to their departure. These sessions seek to provide newcomers with the information necessary to make informed settlement decisions and access settlement services, and to promote an understanding of cultural life in Canada. Implementation is subcontracted to the International Organization for Migration via the “Canadian Orientation Abroad” program. Sponsorship Agreement Holders and other sponsors may also provide additional pre-resettlement orientation.
The Canadian Orientation Abroad program is a three to five day in-person courses which covers topics such as:
- Important things to do before you arrive in Canada;
- Canada: A brief overview;
- A refugee’s rights and freedoms in Canada;
- Canadian law and justice;
- Canadian culture and customs;
- Cost of living;
- Important documents;
- Improving English and/or French language skills;
- Employment and income;
- Health care in Canada;
- Managing expectations about Canada;
- Money and finances;
- Communication and media;
- Community connections; and
- Becoming a Canadian citizen.
Sponsorship Agreement Holders may provide supplementary information on topics like:
- Travelling Abroad;
- Adaptation and culture shock; and
- Program-specific information (e.g. overview of life in higher academics).
For more information about how sponsors support refugees prior to their arrival in Canada, see 2.A.5.