About this Website

The Welcome Ontario - Refugee Assistance Information website was created to bring together trustworthy information for those helping refugees settle in Ontario. This site was created and is maintained by OCASI, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, whose mission is to achieve equality, access and full participation for immigrants and refugees in every aspect of Canadian life.

If you are looking to volunteer your time or make donations please connect with a local settlement agency.

About the Refugee Settlement Support Project

The Refugee Settlement Support Project aims to address gaps and challenges faced by service providers and refugee sponsors in relation to working together to better meet the needs of sponsored refugees through research, outreach, resource development and training.

Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and carried out by OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, the first phase of the project identified challenges and opportunities related to the resettlement of refugees to Ontario.

Based on findings and recommendations from focus groups, interviews and surveys with service providers, OCASI set out to address some of the identified gaps by developing a resource library for service providers, organizing webinars and holding roundtable discussions on collaborating with service providers and refugee sponsorship groups across Ontario.

What are settlement services?

Settlement services are for newcomers to Canada. These services will help them settle and adjust to their new life in Canada.

Settlement services include:

  • Interpretation and translation of documents, or help to arrange these services
  • Help filling out forms and applications
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
  • Help finding a job or training
  • Information about other community services, schools and health care

These services are often free. They are always confidential.

Many settlement agencies have staff who can speak languages other than English. If newcomers go to a settlement agency and they do not have the service or language they need, settlement workers will help find another agency that does.

Settlement agencies can also be called immigrant- or refugee-serving agencies, or newcomer services. Some schools and libraries have settlement services too.

Many agencies have eligibility requirements that you have to meet to use their services. For example, you might have to live in a certain area, or have a certain immigration status.