Starting out as an immigrant, refugee or international student in Niagara

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The Niagara Community Information Database lists 18 service providers in Niagara working in ‘Settlement Services’, including newcomers’ centres; immigrant services and citizenship supports; multi-cultural organizations; community legal supports; and healthcare services.

These agencies help to support immigrants (including refugees) who enter Canada through one of the 3 international bridge border crossings in Niagara, and wish to stay in our region, or travel on to larger urban centres in Canada.

Source: INCommunities (formerly Information Niagara)
Retrieved from: http://niagara.cioc.ca/

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Statistics
The CIC Quarterly Administrative Data Release provides up-to-date portraits of the immigration process, including both permanent and temporary streams, as well as an overview of the citizenship process.

Source: Government of Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Retrieved From: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/data-release/2014-Q1/index.asp

International Students in Niagara
Information about International Students is also highlighted as a measure of the Indicator “School enrolment trends and presence of International Students” in the Learning and Education Sector of the Living in Niagara-2014 report.

In 2008, a policy change was made to the Canadian Post Graduation Work Permit that made it more accessible to graduating international students. Additional information on this can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Retrieved From: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/index.asp

In 2012, Canada ranked as the world’s 7th most popular destination for international students.
Of the 265,377 international students in Canada, 42% are in Ontario.

Source: Canadian Bureau for International Education
Retrieved From: http://www.cbie.ca/about-ie/facts-and-figures/

Specific to the Niagara Region, international students have significant cultural and economic impacts on our community. They not only culturally enrich our neighbourhoods but also bring millions into the local economy each year. The presence of international students adds value to the educational experiences of domestic students and helps them to gain a “world-ready” perspective as they prepare for entering today’s globally-connected world of work.

Brock University’s total student population as of September 2014 is 18,825, and its International Student population as of September, 2014 is 2,408, including ESL (English as a Second Language), Undergraduate and Graduate students.

Source: Brock University
Retrieved From: http://www.brocku.ca/about/why/brock-facts
http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/international-students-at-brock-university/

Niagara College has an annual enrollment of more than 9,000 full-time students and more than 15,000 Continuing Education registrants. The college’s International Student population is 2,350, including ESL and English for Academic Preparation (EAP).

International Students at Niagara College, by Country of Citizenship (top 5 countries)

Country of Citizenship (Top 5)

Enrolment, Fall 2014

(Full Time)

% of Enrolment, Fall 2014

(Full Time)

China

395

29 %

India

337

25 %

South Korea

107

8 %

Russian Federation

  80

6 %

Saudi Arabia

  79

6 %

All Other Countries

359

26 %

From Niagara College at a Glance, 2014/2015

Source: Niagara College
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaracollege.ca/content/CorporateInformation/AboutNiagaraCollege.aspx and
http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/niagara-college-at-a-glance/

School Boards in Niagara are entering into global partnerships for exchanging learning. A November, 2013 DSBN finance report showed that international students pay a total of over $1 million annually to attend DSBN schools. In 2013-14, there were 61 foreign students enrolled full-time at DSBN schools; in 2012-13, there were 48. In 2012-13, revenue for the DSBN from students here on visas and eLearning courses for Grade 12 students totaled $1.3 million, with net revenue of $468,000; in 2011-2012 total revenue from this source was $925,000.

Source: DSBN
Retrieved From: www.dsbn.edu.on.ca

Agencies Providing Settlement Services for Newcomers to Canada in Niagara

Fort Erie Multicultural Centre
The Fort Erie Multicultural Centre (FEMC) helps newcomers to Fort Erie through programs such as Community Connections, computer training, youth programs, language learning, job search skills, and more. The FEMC also operates the Peace Bridge Newcomers’ Centre near the Peace Bridge crossing between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.

Visit the Fort Erie Multicultural Centre website.

The 2012 FEMC Border Report shows that 1,907 immigrants entered Canada at the Fort Erie Peace bridge point of entry in 2012, to reunite with their families and/or seek new opportunities.

Many immigrants face barriers to non-recognition of their education and credentials, language barriers and challenges to finding meaningful and secure employment that matches their skills. 3.6% of immigrants crossing at the Fort Erie point of entry have a University degree.

The 3.6% of immigrants crossing into Niagara at the Fort Erie border crossing who have University degrees are supported in matching their credentials to Canadian standards by one of the International Credential Assessment Services organizations that can be accessed through any local multicultural centre.

In 2012 the main countries of origin of immigrants crossing into Canada at Fort Erie were Columbia, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, El Salvador and Turkey. The main languages spoken were Spanish, Urdu, Tamil, Arabic and English.

Source: Fort Erie Multicultural Centre Border Report, January to December, 2012
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/fort-erie-multi-cultural-centre-peace-bridge-report-january-to-december-2012/

Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre
The Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre (NFAMC) is a community based non-profit charitable organization whose team of professional staff and volunteers provide vital settlement services to newcomers as they strive to create a rewarding new life in Canada. In 2013-2014, NFAMC’s settlement services program served 1,329 clients from 107 countries of origin, representing 56 mother tongues.

top 10 countries of origins of our clients

Top 10 Countries of Origin of Clients of Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, 2013-2014

Visit the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre website

Source: NFAMC Annual Report 2013-2014
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/niagara-folk-arts-multicultural-centre-annual-report-2013-2014/

Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre
The Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre (WHCMC) provides immigrants in Welland and the surrounding area with expert assistance to navigate the immigration process. The Centre provides settlement counselling and referrals to services. They also provide English language learning, youth and childcare services. The WHCMC “Employment Solutions” program provides assistance for everyone in the community with job search, skill building workshops with certification, education assistance and more.

Employers benefit from the Centre’s workshops and training funds to assist business owners with the costs of training. Specialized services for professional newcomers and access to evaluation of International Credentials can be accessed through WHCMC. The Centre also has an emergency shelter and access to other basic needs through community partnerships.

In 2013, 28 immigrant and francophone women in Niagara participated in the inaugural year of the eight-week Women’s Entrepreneurship Development program. Offered through the Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre with funding from the Ontario Women’s Directorate, the program prepares participants to start their own businesses.

Visit the Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre website

Centre de sante communautaire Hamilton/Niagara (Welland)
The Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara (CSC H/N) is a Francophone Community Health Centre established in 1992. CSC H/N is a multi-service agency providing health and social services to French-speaking clients.

The CSC H/N in Welland provides information and support in areas such as immigration, needed medical services, and registering children for school. Referrals are also provided for services such as housing help, legal assistance, job search and education and training. Interpretation and accompaniment services are available, if necessary.

Club de l’amitié offers newcomers an opportunity to meet others who are new to Canada, while participating in a variety of educational and social activities. The CSC H/N also hosts a soccer team for newcomers from the Hamilton area.

Visit the Centre de sante communautaire Hamilton/Niagara website.

YMCA Niagara
YMCA Niagara offers two programs to support settlement. The Newcomer Information Centres (NIC), located in Niagara Falls and St. Catharines have friendly multilingual staff that provide up-to-date information and can refer newcomers to various programs throughout the Niagara Region. Both sites offer a variety of workshops related to settlement and all visitors receive an orientation to YMCA services. Their team of trained information specialists are here to listen and provide people with information and opportunities.

The Settlement Workers in Schools Programs (SWIS Program) is funded through Citizenship and Immigration Canada and is delivered in partnership with the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board. Schools are one of the first services that newcomer families connect with in the community. Working in cooperation with the schools, YMCA SWIS workers are able to connect newcomer families to orient them to school, community resources and to refer them to specific services. The role of the SWIS Worker is to create awareness and acceptance with both the newcomer and their new school community in Canada.

Source: YMCA of Niagara
Retrieved From: http://www.ymcaofniagara.org/employment__newcomer_servicesnewcomer_services.php

The Niagara Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) provides support to newcomer service agencies within Niagara, with funding received from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). They work in partnership with the CIC-funded Niagara Immigrant Employment Council. CIC is a federal government department that works with people wishing to move to Canada or who have recently moved here.

The Niagara LIP was created with the goal of assisting immigrants with successful settlement into communities while improving access and coordination of services to Newcomers. Niagara was one of the first communities in Canada to receive LIP funding from CIC.

The Niagara LIP August, 2014 newsletter states:
“One out of five people in Canada’s population is foreign-born. According to the 2011 National Household Survey (Statistics Canada) this represents 20.6% of the total population, compared with 19.8% in 2006.

In 2011, one out of 5 individuals in Canada (19.1%) in Canada’s total population identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group in comparison to 16.2% in 2006.”

The newsletter highlights the work and priorities of the LIP Council as:
“……. focusing on key elements necessary for an inclusive community emphasizing health and safety, education and development, economic growth and prosperity and community and inclusivity. Various activities currently in development include:

  • Activities and awareness that help to support healthy living for immigrants and newcomers.
  • Determining supports for newcomers in promoting public awareness of immigrant issues through various community events.
  • Increase knowledge sharing with stakeholders and agencies to engage immigrants and newcomers within the community.
  • Increasing opportunities to work with local economic development officers, as well as business and post-secondary communities to increase awareness of LIP goals and objectives.”

….. and that target outcomes for the 2014-2015 “include the following upcoming activities and goals:

  • Overseeing research on the needs of newcomers within the community through the development of a community report outlining the health care needs of newcomers. Also part of this research is identification of community assets and gaps as it pertains to service for newcomer youth.
  • Improving coordination of services at the community level to meet the needs of newcomers and communities.
  • Engaging the business community and increase public awareness of newcomers and their contribution to economic growth by participating in local economic development networks to inform decisions and priorities as well as distributing information about LIP at business events such as the Small Business Trade show.
  • Raise awareness of LIP goals and objectives by organizing a Niagara LIP Public Forum based upon community need.
  • Provide opportunity for community presentations to build capacity to collectively address the needs of newcomers by coordinating and delivering information at the Migrant Worker Health Fair. Supporting Post-Secondary institutions with retention strategies for International students.
  • Lastly, to engage stakeholders in improving access to legal information and services for newcomers by identifying and securing funds for a newcomer tenant school as well as generating and distributing community wide information on legal services for newcomers.”

Source: Niagara Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaraimmigration.ca/Immigration/Local-Immigration-Partnership

In 2012, the LIP released a report summarizing a 2011 review of existing services for immigrants in Niagara. The purpose of the review was to understand what services exist, the role that they play in assisting newcomers, and make recommendations for change that would be beneficial for both newcomers and service providers.

Source: Niagara Local Immigration Partnership – Niagara’s Collaborative Approach: Building on Existing Services for Newcomers, 2011
Retrieved From: https://niec.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/lipreport-shortversion-web.pdf

In 2013, the LIP released a Community Report Card in partnership with Niagara Region Community Services. The report card highlights data and information related to the landscape for services for Newcomers in Niagara.

Source: Community Report Card 2013, Niagara Local Immigration Partnership
Retrieved From: www.niec.ca

In 2014 the LIP released “A Newcomer Guide to Services in Niagara”, a 51-page document listing services in Niagara, by local municipality. It includes information about:

  • Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS)
  • Health Services (mental health, dietary health, health and wellness)
  • Counseling (mental health, family, violence or employment)
  • Learning (high school, post-secondary or international programs)
  • Bridging Programs (mentoring or job preparedness)

Source: Niagara Local Immigration Partnership
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/a-newcomer-guide-to-services-in-niagara/

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
From 1996 – 2006, 12,880 new immigrants to Canada called Niagara their home and in 2006 specifically, 20.43% of Niagara’s population was made up of immigrants. This and other information is summarized in Making Ontario Home 2012 – a study of settlement and integration services for immigrants and refugees. This study was commissioned by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) with financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

canadian immigrants

On page 89 of this report, Table VI: The annual intake of permanent residents (note: does not include refugees) in cities and towns by top source country (sorted by total number), shows that between 1999 and 2008, the main source countries for the St. Catharines-Niagara CMA (which excludes Grimsby and West Lincoln) were the USA, China, UK, India, Phillippines and ‘other countries’.

Source: Making Ontario Home 2012 – a study of settlement and integration services for immigrants and refugees, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
Retrieved Fromhttp://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/making-ontario-home-2012/

Recent Immigrants to St. Catharines – Niagara CMA by selected place of birth, 2011
(note: St. Catharines-Niagara CMA does not include municipalities of Grimsby and West Lincoln)

Recent Immigrants by Selected Place of Birth
St. Catharines – Niagara CMA (Census metropolitan area) Ontario
National Household Survey, 2011, Statistics Canada*
*Global Non-Response Rate = 29.2%

Total

Male

Female

Total recent immigrant population in private households by selected places of birthNational Household Survey data footnote20

5,650

2,515

3,135

Americas

2,205

1,045

1,160

United States

755

325

430

Mexico

70

25

50

Cuba

100

45

55

Haiti

225

95

130

Jamaica

190

100

95

Brazil

20

0

20

Colombia

465

210

250

Guyana

0

0

0

Peru

0

0

0

VenezuelaNational Household Survey data footnote21

35

0

25

Other places of birth in Americas

335

225

105

Europe

835

395

440

France

0

0

0

Germany

65

30

30

Poland

35

0

30

Romania

0

0

0

MoldovaNational Household Survey data footnote22

0

0

0

Russian Federation

35

30

0

Ukraine

75

0

60

United KingdomNational Household Survey data footnote12

230

140

90

Other places of birth in Europe

370

165

205

Africa

610

205

410

Nigeria

0

0

0

Ethiopia

0

0

0

Mauritius

0

0

0

Somalia

15

0

0

Algeria

0

0

0

Egypt

10

10

0

Morocco

0

0

0

Tunisia

0

0

0

Cameroon

0

0

0

Congo, The Democratic Republic of the

85

30

55

South Africa, Republic of

0

0

0

Other places of birth in Africa

455

145

315

Asia

1,955

845

1,105

Philippines

550

195

355

ChinaNational Household Survey data footnote13

260

110

155

India

175

80

95

Pakistan

105

35

70

IranNational Household Survey data footnote15

30

25

0

South KoreaNational Household Survey data footnote16

220

125

100

Sri Lanka

10

10

10

Iraq

30

25

10

Bangladesh

0

0

0

Lebanon

35

0

20

Viet NamNational Household Survey data footnote14

35

0

30

Taiwan

40

0

0

Afghanistan

125

75

55

Japan

70

0

65

Turkey

65

55

0

Israel

0

0

0

Nepal

0

0

0

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

0

0

0

United Arab Emirates

0

0

0

Saudi Arabia

20

0

0

SyriaNational Household Survey data footnote23

50

25

0

Other places of birth in Asia

115

55

65

Oceania and otherNational Household Survey data footnote17

40

25

15

Recent immigrants are immigrants who landed in Canada between January 01, 2006 and May 10, 2011. Immigrant refers to a person who is or has ever been a landed immigrant/permanent resident. This person has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Some immigrants have resided in Canada for a number of years, while others have arrived recently. Some immigrants are Canadian citizens, while others are not. Most immigrants are born outside Canada, but a small number are born in Canada. The places of birth selected are the most frequently reported by recent immigrants at the Canada level.

Source: Statistics Canada National Household Survey, 2011
Retrieved From: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/dp-pd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CMA&Code1=539&Data=Count&SearchText=St.%20Catharines%20-%20Niagara&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&A1=All&B1=All&GeoLevel=PR&GeoCode=539&TABID=1

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