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Toolkit Resource

Settlement Terms and Definitions

  • Periodic report prepared by funding recipient to detail progress towards achieving goals and outputs/outcomes. It also describes the intended activities for the remainder of the fiscal year/life of agreement aimed at successful achievement of same.
    Source: Glossary Of Terms:Grants & Contributions

  • AAISA is an umbrella organization recognized regionally and nationally as a leader in the settlement and integration sector. It represents the immigrantservice agencies and organizations that work with the newcomers across the province. It is also the only organization that offers a certification program for Settlement Practitioners in Canada.
    Source: AAISA

  • A person who seeks safety from persecution or serious harm in a country other than their own and awaits a decision on the application for refugee status under relevant international and national instruments.
    Source: Key Migration Terms

  • A program for private sponsorship of refugees identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in which the Government of Canada provides up to six months of income support, and the private sponsors provide six more months of income support as well as up to a year of social and emotional support.
    Visit IRCC BVOR Program for more information.

  • A process undertaken by funders, through which agencies can submit proposals for funding.
    Visit the IRCC CFP page for more information on IRCC funding.

  • The branch of the Government of Canada responsible for monitoring and controlling access to the country through its borders. CBSA officers have the legal authority to decide who can enter and remain in Canada.
    Source: CBSA

  • A person described as a citizen under the Citizenship Act. This means a person who either is Canadian by birth (born in Canada) or born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen who was themselves either born in Canada or granted citizenship), or who has applied for and received a grant of Canadian citizenship.
    Source: Canadian Citizenship Act

  • Time spent in a Canadian workplace, when an employee gains an understanding and knowledge of social, cultural, and professional expectations here. This is considered a barrier and generally discriminatory when employers have included “Canadian experience” in their hiring policies.

    Source: Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario Glossary of Terms

  • The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) standard is a descriptive scale of language ability in English as a Second Language (ESL) written as 12 benchmarks or reference points along a continuum from basic to advanced. The CLB standard reflects the progression of the knowledge and skills that underlie basic, intermediate and advanced ability among adult ESL learners.
    Source: Canadian Language Benchmarks, English as Second Language for Adults Oct. 2012 Ed. by Center for Canadian Language Benchmarks

  • Career Counsellors (i.e., those who provide Career Counselling services) have a unique scope of practice and specialized counselling competencies _ they are fully competent career development practitioners and fully competent counsellors.
    Source: Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners Glossary

  • Case Management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services to meet individual’s and family’s comprehensive health needs through communication and available resources to promote patient safety, quality of care, and cost-effective outcomes.

    Source: CMSA

  • A Case Worker is a social worker who is employed by the government, non-profit organization, or other institutions to take on the cases of individuals and provide them with advocacy, information, or other services and to provide aid and counselling to at-risk populations.
    Source: Adapted from Wikipedia

  • The part of the Canadian constitution that guarantees certain political rights to Canadian citizens and civil rights to everyone in Canada, regardless of status.
    Source: Canadian Constitution Act

  • Options for child care are varied in Canada. It ranges from nannies, home daycares, daycare centres, preschool programs, service centre child care programs, and before and after school services.
    Source: Statistics Canada

  • Long-term or short-term care for children of eligible clients provided during the delivery of direct [IRCC] funded programming (e.g. language assessment, language classes). This care is different from licensed daycare because the parents are on-site with their children and the SPOs must follow the Care for Newcomer Children model.
    Sources: CMAS

  • Government-recognized status as a member of a nation, and the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and duties that come with that membership.
    Source: Canadian Citizenship Act

  • A person seeking or receiving services from an agency or organization.

  • Community Capacity Building refers to the processes and procedures whereby long-term strategies are developed and implemented which connect community, career, and economic development in the interests of unemployment reduction and economic growth at the community level.
    Source: Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners Glossary

  • Aimed at building social capital for newcomers, facilitating connections between newcomers and public services and structures, and contribute to strengthening municipalities as welcoming communities for newcomers. Initiatives such as Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) are included within this stream.
    Source: AAISA Refugee Map of Services

  • An organization that sponsors refugees but has not signed a formal agreement with IRCC. A community sponsor would normally sponsor fewer refugees than a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH).
    Source: IRCC Glossary of Key Terms

  • A group authorized in writing by a sponsorship agreement holder (SAH) to sponsor refugees under the SAH’s sponsorship agreement. An example of a Constituent Group is a local congregation or chapter of a national church or organization that is a SAH.

    Source: IRCC Glossary of Key Terms

  • A person who is outside of their home country or country where they normally live and fears returning to that country because of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

  • Provide information and support to address general settlement needs outside of language training and employment needs (i.e. basic needs, knowledge and skills for life in Canada and access to community resources).
    Source: AAISA Refugee Map of Services

  • CLIC is a free French language program for adult immigrants and refugees to Canada. This program funded by the federal government and delivered by school boards, colleges, and local organizations that provide services to newcomers.
    Source: IRCC

  • A country that the Canadian government believes to be safe, respectful of human rights, and unlikely to produce refugees. Refugee claims by people from these countries are handled differently.
    Visit the IRCC Designated Countries of Origin policy for more information

  • A classification by IRCC of a person who has entered Canada irregularly as part of a group and the Minister of Public Safety decides that there is human smuggling or trafficking involved, or the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) cannot interview members of the group about their identities or admissibility “in a timely manner.”

    Source: Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario Glossary of Terms

  • Projects or services which involve a direct intervention (generally in-person or face-to-face) with an eligible newcomer client.
    Source: Negotiating Your Contribution Agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada

  • An entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air. It allows Canada to screen travellers before they arrive. The authorization is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
    Source: IRCC

  • Provide information and support to newcomers to acquire knowledge, skills, and connections to the Canadian work environment. Examples of programs include: mentorship, bridging, CORE skills, upgrading and certification, employer hubs and forums, low literacy modular employment, office administration program, sharing circles, and food industry projects.
    Source: AAISA Refugee Map of Services

  • ESL programs are designed to improve English language skills of unemployed or marginally employed adult Albertans. By improving their English language skills, Albertans will enhance their employment prospects and opportunities. By gaining required English language skills, immigrants to Alberta will integrate faster into their communities and be able to obtain adequate employment.
    Source: Alberta Human Services

  • English Language Learners is the term used to describe a diverse group of students, with different language, academic, and social-emotional needs, who come from non-English speaking homes and require modified instruction in both the English language and in other academic courses.
    Source: The Glossary of Education Reform

  • An electronic system to manage applications for permanent residence submitted as a skilled worker under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the provincial nominee program.
    Source: IRCC

  • The process of verifying that education and job experience obtained in another country are equivalent to the standards established for Canadian professionals. Credential recognition for regulated occupations is mainly a provincial responsibility that has been delegated in legislation to regulatory bodies.
    Source: Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario Glossary of Terms

  • A person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This includes people who are stateless.
    Source: Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

  • GBV is an umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between females and males. The nature and extent of specific types of GBV vary across cultures, countries, and regions. Examples include sexual violence, including sexual exploitation/abuse and forced prostitution; domestic violence; trafficking; forced/early marriage; harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation; honour killings; and widow inheritance.
    Source: UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, UN Women “Gender Equality, UN Coherence and You”

  • The Government of Canada covers initial resettlement costs for UNHCR referred refugees for a maximum of one year. Resettlement supports are administered through Service Provider Organizations (SPOs) through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP).
    Visit the IRCC GAR Program for more information.

  • A group of five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents, each of whom is at least 18 years of age, who agree to work together to sponsor a refugee.

  • The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.
    Source: UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

  • An individual who choose to settle in another country permanently.
    Source: UNESCO

  • An independent administrative tribunal with the authority to review refugee claims made from inside Canada and decide who needs the protection provided to refugees.
    Source: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

  • The federal law passed by the Parliament of Canada in 2001 as the main legislation to regulate immigration to Canada. It replaced the Immigration Act passed in 1976, and it was amended by the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act in 2012.

    Source: Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

  • ICARE is a new platform designed to support the delivery of settlement services and the measurement of service activities and outcomes. It is expected to allow for the expansion of IRCC’s reporting capabilities and the refinement of statistical reporting measures.
    Source: IRCC

  • IRCC is a federal mandated organization that facilitates the arrival of immigrants, provides protection for refugees, and offers programming to help newcomers settle in Canada. It also grants citizenship and issues travel documents to Canadians.
    Source: IRCC

  • Activities undertaken by organizations to strengthen the settlement sector and improve and/or enhance settlement or resettlement assistance program-related services.
    Sources: Negotiating Your Contribution Agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada

  • The Interim Federal Health Program provides all resettled refugees with coverage until provincial health insurance is available, for the following: essential and emergency health services for the treatment and prevention of serious medical conditions; the treatment of emergency dental conditions; contraception, prenatal and obstetrical care; eye wear; and approved prescription medications.
    Source: Government of Canada

  • An individual who has been forcibly relocated within the country to leave their habitual residence due to life threatening factors but has not crossed the border internationally.
    Source: UNCHR

  • Under the JAS program, refugees receive support from the government and a private sponsor for up to 24 months, depending on the case. In a few cases, the private sponsor may provide support for up to 36 months. These refugees get income support from the Government of Canada for food, shelter, clothing, and basic household goods. They are also matched with a private sponsorship group. The sponsorship group helps refugees adjust to life in Canada by providing settlement help and emotional support.
    Source: IRCC Glossary of Key Terms

  • Right of familial citizenship.

  • Birthright citizenship.

  • The labour force comprises the total of the employed (those in work) plus the unemployed (those seeking work).

  • A Labour Market Impact Assessment is a document that an employer in Canada needs to get before hiring a foreign worker. A LMIA shows that there is a need for a foreign worker and that the employer has been unable to find qualified Canadians for the same position.
    Source: IRCC

  • Language assessment services determine the current level of English proficiency and first language literacy, educational background, work experience,and career goals of newcomers. It refers newcomers to the most suitable LINC/ESL programs and links them with bridging programs, skills training, employment programs and services, as well as accreditation bodies.
    Source: Immigrant Services Calgary

  • LINC is a free English language training program for adult immigrants and refugees to Canada. This program is funded by the federal government and delivered by school boards, colleges, and local organizations that provide services to newcomers. Temporary foreign workers, refugee claimants, and Canadian citizens are not eligible for LINC classes.
    Source: IRCC Glossary

  • A Language Instructor is a certified language professional who is accredited to teach a languageprogram to students.

  • Provide language and literacy assessment and training in official languages for settlement, education, and employment purposes. Examples of programs include: ESL Programs, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), Learning support services, conversation cafes, and home instruction.
    Source: AAISA Refugee Map of Services

  • LIP is an initiative established by the Government of Canada across the country, to support the settlement and integration of newcomers to Canada by fostering welcoming and inclusive spaces, organizations, business, and communities through collective actions.
    Source: City Calgary Website

  • The income below which a family is likely to spend 20 percentage points more of its income on food, shelter and clothing than the average family. A family must be above the cut-off in order to sponsor a family member to immigrate to Canada, or host parents or grandparents for an extended stay.
    Source: Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario Glossary of Terms

  • The Matching Centre determines the destination for government-assisted refugees. It works with IRCCvisa offices abroad and with IRCC’s regional and local offices to determine which city will best suit each refugee’s needs, based on the language they speak; where family and friends live in Canada; ethnic, cultural,and religious communities in the area; medical needs; and availability of settlement services. Once a city has been chosen, the Matching Centre informs the visa office, travel arrangements for the refugee are made, and arrival details are shared with local IRCC offices, ports of entry, service-providing organizations,and sponsoring groups (if applicable) to help officials prepare for the refugee’s arrival.
    Source: IRCC Glossary of Key Terms

  • Any person who lives temporarily or permanently in a country where he or she was not born and has acquired some significant social ties to this country.
    Source: Amnesty International

  • A list of all the occupations in the Canadian labour market, describing each job according to skill type and skill level. The NOC is used to collect and organize job statistics and to provide labour market information. It is also used as a basis for certain immigration requirements.
    Visit NOC 2016 for more information

  • The formal process by which a person who is not a Canadian citizen can become a Canadian citizen.
    Source: IRCC Glossary

  • ‘Needs assessment’ is a formal review of newcomer needs across a broad spectrum of settlement areas (language, employment, housing, etc.).
    Source: Glossary of Terms for Frontline Settlement Workers

  • Networking is a common practice through which people are helped by friends or contacts to get a job or a position in Canada. The candidate for a position, who already has a connection with an organization, is more likely to receive ‘serious’ consideration for the job. People are often hired based on whom they know instead of what they know.
    Source: The Canadian Magazine of Immigration

  • Publicly funded not-for-profit agencies whose mandate is to primarily serve newcomers.

  • mbrella term used to refer to all recently arrived individuals, regardless of immigration path or journey (inclusive of all immigrants and refugees).

  • A process that evaluates whether a person would face persecution, torture, risk to life, or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, if they were returned to their country of origin.
    Visit IRCC for more information

  • An immigration status in Canada that is temporary and does not entitle the person to full legal rights, protections, and services. Examples of people with precarious status are temporary workers, visitors, students, refugee claimants, and people who have entered without documentation or overstayed their visas.
    Source: Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario Glossary of Terms

  • Prior Learning Assessment is a systematic process that involves the identification, documentation, assessment and recognition of competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) that have been developed through many formal and informal means (e.g., work experience, training, independent study, volunteer activities, travelling, and hobbies). The recognition can be used toward the requirements of an academic or training program, occupational certification, or labour market entry.
    Source: Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners Glossary

  • Privately Sponsored Refugees are refugees who receive help to settle in Canada through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, Canadian citizens, and permanent residents. PSRs are eligible to access the same settlement support services as other permanent residents.
    Visit IRCC for more information

  • A person admitted to Canada on a temporary resident permit because a Canadian visa officer abroad has determined that they face an immediate threat to their life, liberty, or physical safety.
    Source: IRCC Glossary of Key Terms

  • An immigration class for people willing to move to Canada and do not have to meet the usual selection criteria, but they must pass health and security requirements. Provinces have different rules of PNPthat allows them to select potential immigrants to fill specific provincial labour market needs.
    Source: The Canadian Magazine of Immigration
    Visit IRCC Provincial Nominee Program for more information

  • The term racialization can be used to understand how the history of the idea of “race” is still with us and impacts us all, though differentially. The termemphasizes the ideological and systemic, often unconscious processes at work. It also emphasizes how racial categories are socially constructed,including whiteness, but are socially and culturally very real (Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre).
    The process through which groups come to be socially constructed as races, based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, language, economicsreligions, culture, politics, etc. That is, treated outside the norm and receiving unequal treatment based upon phenotypical features (Canadian Race RelationsFoundation).

  • An individual who was forced to flee their country due to persecution. An individual is sometimes referred to as ‘convention refugee’ when he/she meets the 1951 Convention relating to Status of Refugee. Refugee and convention refugee are used interchangeably.
    Source: CCR

  • The division of the IRB that decides appeals of decisions of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) to allow or reject claims for refugee protection.
    Source: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

  • An individual who has made a claim for protection in Canada. See asylum-seeker.
    Source: CCR

  • The division of the IRB that hears claims made in Canada for refugee protection and decides whether or not to accept them.
    Source: RPD Decisions

  • RIFs are a networking organization that enlist the expertise and resources of a variety of actors and sectors to better support immigrants, their families, and the communities that welcome them. Members and partners of the RIFs include school boards, economic development organizations, colleges and universities, health care services, cultural centres, employment services, provincial and territorial governments, municipal administrations and more.
    Source: L’ immigration francophone

  • A person who has fled their country, has stayed temporarily in a second country and is offered a permanent home in a third country. Refugees resettled to Canada are selected abroad and become PRs as soon as they arrive in Canada.
    Source: Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario Glossary of Terms

  • Funded by the Government of Canada to Convention Refugees Abroad and, in some instances, to members of the Country of Asylum Class who have been identified as refugees with special needs and who have been admitted to Canada as government-assisted refugees (GARs). Refugee claimants are not eligible for this program.
    Visit the RAP Service Provider Handbook for more information

  • A country, other than Canada and the country of alleged persecution, where an individual may make a claim for refugee protection. If a refugee claimant arrives in a safe country (as established in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) before arriving in Canada, they must make their claim in that country, not Canada.
    Source: Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario Glossary of Terms

  • A software tool that acts as an evaluation platform to provide support for agencies to manage their own data and create reports that are useful for themselves, as well as for funders.
    Source: Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario Glossary of Terms

  • SPOs are agencies that provide services and programs to successfully integrate newcomers in Canada. It provides resources for newcomers to access wide variety of social services and access to basic day-to-day needs. Their programs can also help refugees who often have a difficult time with day-to-day tasks like finding an apartment, taking public transportation, or making a doctor’s appointment etc.
    Source: IRCC Glossary of Key Terms

  • Primarily composed of newcomer-serving agencies, as well as those agencies whose mandate may not be to serve primarily newcomers but who have specialized programming to suit the needs of newcomers.

  • Settlement Practitioner is an accredited settlement professional who has core skills (e.g. cross-cultural competencies, awareness of settlement and immigration policy, non-clinical, and needs assessment) to provide services to clients with an increased degree of professionalism and intentionality.
    Source: IRCC

  • The Settlement Program assists immigrants, including refugees, to overcome barriers specific to the newcomer experience, such as a lack of official language skills and employment skills. With a limited knowledge of Canada, newcomers may also experience some barriers in participating in social, cultural, civic, and economic life in Canada. To help newcomers overcome these barriers, services such as language training, community, and employment bridging, settlement information and support services are offered to facilitate their settlement.

  • SWIS is a program that aims to provide a smooth transition for students as they enter into the Canadian school system, while empowering immigrant and refugee families to actively contribute and integrate into their child’s school community. In-school workers provide orientation, information, cultural interpretation, support and referrals, while acting as the liaison between families and educators.

  • Immigration class for foreign professionals. Applicants are subject to a point system, which considers age, education, ability to speak English and/or French, skills, and work experience needed in Canada’s labour market.
    Source: The Canadian Magazine of Immigration
    Visit IRCC Federal Skilled Worker for more information

  • An incorporated organization that signs an agreement with IRCC to sponsor refugees abroad. A SAH can authorize other groups in the community to sponsor refugees under its agreement. These groups are known as ‘constituent groups.’
    Source: IRCC Glossary of Key Terms

  • An individual who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law.
    Source: UNHCR

  • A foreign national who is in Canada legally for a short period. Temporary residents include students, foreign workers, and visitors, such as tourists.
    Source: IRCC Glossary

  • The situation where workers cannot obtain full-time employment or who are working at jobs for which they are overqualified. It includes ‘involuntary part-time’ employment, or employment of a person on a part-time basis when full-time work is desired.
    Source: The Canadian Magazine of Immigration

  • A client number found on every official document about an individual person, issued by an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada office, Case Processing Centre, or Canadian visa office outside Canada. A Client ID consists of up to ten digits and may contain a hyphen. People who have never dealt with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) do not have a Client Identification Number.
    Source: IRCC

  • The United Nations agency that aids and protects people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. The UNHCR, also known as the United Nations Refugee Agency, provides shelter, food, water, and medical care, and works with national governments to find opportunities for refugees to resettle in a new country if they cannot return home.
    Source: UNHCR

  • An official document issued by a visa office abroad and placed in a person’s passport to show that they have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (a visitor, student, or worker). Canadian visas include temporary resident visas (sometimes called visitor visas) and permanent resident visas. Temporary visitor visas can be for a single entry or multiple entries to Canada.
    Source: IRCC Glossary

  • The Women-at-Risk Program is designed to offer resettlement opportunities to women in perilous or permanently unstable situations, and in situations where urgent or expedited processing is necessary.
    Source: IRCC Glossary of Key Terms