Programs and Services
JIAS Toronto offers a comprehensive continuum of welcome, settlement and integration programs and services to help newcomers get on their feet and become part of the community.
We know how difficult it is to get started in a new country and we will be with you every step of the way. Our goal is your goal – to turn your new home into a true home.
To learn about the many programs and services we offer you and your family, please click on the boxes below to learn more about each area of service:
Please note that programs are subject to change without notice in order to meet evolving needs. For up to date information, please contact our office.
The top things you need to know before immigrating to Canada:
- Make sure you bring all your important documents for all family members: birth certificates, passports, family records (such as, marriage certificate or divorce papers), medical records (immunization for kids, etc.), official school records for children, diplomas, degrees and transcripts, reference letters from previous and current employers, up-to-date resume or summary of work experience, valid driver’s license and your driving record confirmation from Ministry of Transportation (you will need this driving record to get a Canadian driver’s license).
- Please ensure you bring sufficient settlement funds/money because it may take a few months or longer to find a job.
- Ensure you find out all the costs of renting an apartment, condo or house and know what is included or additional. Make sure you have somewhere to stay when you first arrive, whether you book a hotel, find a temporary place to rent, or stay with relatives or friends. Some of the sites where you can find temporary accommodations are: Kijiji, craigslist, and Airbnb. When finding a place to rent, it is the norm to pay first and last month’s rent. Many landlords will ask for someone to sign as a guarantor. If you do not have anyone, the landlord may ask you to pay for several months in advance (some landlords may ask for more).
- As a PR, please note that in Ontario you will be eligible for free medical coverage (OHIP- Ontario Health Insurance Plan) only after 3 months of your residency in Ontario. Therefore, it is very important to buy- BEFORE YOU TRAVEL- private insurance for all family members for the first 3 months.
- Your successful integration into Canadian society largely depends on your knowledge of one of the official languages in Canada: English or French. Although, permanent residents are eligible for free language courses, we strongly suggest improving your language proficiency prior to arrival.
For more details and helpful hints, please read the following:
Before arriving in Canada, you may have questions about immigration requirements and other basic issues related to moving to a new country. JIAS Toronto handles phone (416-630-6481) and email (email@example.com) inquiries regarding the Canadian immigration process, our services, and concerns ranging from school registration to professional accreditation. You can also contact us via Skype (Skype ID: jias.toronto). We recommend setting up a skype appointment by email first. At this early stage of the process, we are here to assist and welcome you as you begin your journey.
Immigrating to Canada is a complex and involved process, which requires understanding of specific information.
It is possible to immigrate to Canada through a number of federal or provincial immigration categories, such as Skilled Immigrant, Family Sponsorship, Provincial Nominee, or Refugee. In order to ensure that you qualify for any of these programs, we recommend that you visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website, which will guide you through the initial steps of the process: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/index.asp
Citizens of some countries are required to get a visa to be admitted to Canada for a visit. For further information please refer to the Government of Canada website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp
Visitors to Canada are not covered for medical services. Please ensure that you purchase medical insurance prior to departure or immediately upon arrival.
If you are interested in studying in Canada, you will need to obtain a Student Visa. For more information, please visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/index.asp
If you are interested in working in Canada, you will need to obtain a Work Visa. For more information, please visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/index.asp
Many people seek the help of immigration lawyers or consultants in their application process. To ensure that you receive services from reputable and legitimate professionals, and in order to avoid fraudulent situations, we recommend that you consult an immigration representative who is authorized by the Government of Canada.
Please visit the following sites:
Many professions, such as doctors, engineers, accountants, teachers and others, require Canadian accreditation in order to practise. For more information please visit the Government of Canada website: http://www.credentials.gc.ca/
Travelling on any new road, you look for guidance – the signs that say you’re not lost. Every year JIAS Toronto helps thousands of immigrants to find their way in their new community.
When you arrive, JIAS Toronto will welcome you and help you get connected. We hold weekly group information sessions for newcomers, as well as one-on-one meetings to assess your needs. Together, we will develop an integration plan to help meet your needs and guide you to a successful start.
Welcome Centre Activities
In Toronto and York Region we offer weekly group information meetings on all matters of immigration. Free computer access and community and government resource information is also available in print and electronically in multiple languages.
Navigating the Culture Workshops
We offer a series of workshops on everything from the school system to banking – a great way to learn about the Canadian way of life and meet other newcomers who are sharing the same experiences.
We work with a variety of community and government funded organizations to help newcomers get on their feet quickly. Our intake and settlement workers are available to assist with immigration procedures, eligibility criteria, housing, schooling, employment, English language training, child care, schools, community integration, and much more.
Language skills development is one of the keys to unlocking opportunities in a new country. JIAS Toronto helps newcomers to strengthen their English language skills in order to work, learn, socialize, and function day-to-day. The more you develop these skills, the more you will be able to participate more fully in community life.
For eligible newcomers, we offer Free English programs in both Toronto and York Region. Child minding is also available at two of our locations for our adult English Language Learners with pre-school age children.
To help people upgrade their written and conversational English, JIAS Toronto offers the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, at several locations in Toronto and York Region.
JIAS Toronto has also partnered with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in Toronto and the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) in York Region to offer English as a Second Language (ESL) in these respective regions.
We offer full-time, part-time, and evening classes. For more information about our English classes and eligibility requirements, please contact us:
- In Toronto: 416.635.7044 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In York Region: 905.761.5116 or email@example.com.
JIAS Toronto offers an intensive two-week English language summer program for newly arrived youth entering grades 1-12 to immerse them in an English language learning environment and help prepare them for the school year ahead.
The Conversation Café program helps newcomers practice their English skills in an informal, friendly and supportive setting with other newcomers. Supported by volunteers, topics range from daily news, conversational English to issues of concern. Several Conversation Cafes run throughout the week at different settings. Join one or help us create a new one specific to your age group, profession or other shared interests.
Telephone Language Companion (TLC)
A long standing JIAS Toronto program to practice, enhance and build confidence in English conversational skills. With JIAS Toronto’s TLC program, newcomers speak to a volunteer on the telephone once or twice a week. Sign up and feel your comfort level in English improve.
Employment is the key to the successful integration of every newcomer family.
JIAS Toronto believes that every newcomer has the right to meaningful employment and economic self-reliance. To this end, we have many programs to assist you through the transition period and help you find an opportunity that is right for you. We also work closely with employment service agencies and will help you access programs most appropriate for your specific needs.
Please contact JIAS Toronto about eligibility requirements for the programs listed below.Financial Assistance Program
Community funded, short term financial assistance to help newcomers in their first months of settlement.
Through volunteer, mentorship, coaching and networking opportunities, our JumpStart program helps newcomers connect to the people and resources of our community towards employment.
For those who are eligible, this donor-funded opportunity provides significant help for new immigrants to pursue post-secondary education, obtain professional training, or re-certify and upgrade their skills. Eligibility criteria is available upon request.
Angel Guarantor Program
JIAS Toronto helps find angel guarantors for Jewish newcomers to secure business and educational loans.
Levelling the Playing Field
For youths and adults to join community programs, mark lifecycle events, or return to school, money is often an issue. With funds to offset some of these costs, newcomers can participate on a level playing field.
Newcomer Venture Centre Activities
If you are an entrepreneur and have a business idea, or if you are looking to advance your career, JIAS Toronto can help you get started.
JIAS Toronto helps newcomers become full and active participants in the community. In providing opportunities for connections – to people, organizations, city and Jewish life – JIAS Toronto helps children, youth, adults and seniors to feel welcome and become engaged in all aspects of the community. We firmly believe that you and your family are an important part of the fabric that strengthens and shapes our community’s future. Here are some of the ways JIAS Toronto helps facilitate integration for newcomer families:
Family to Family
Newcomer and Host families come together to share holiday celebrations and life-cycle events. Host families also act as guides in navigating Toronto and sharing their experiences and resources, all to help new Canadians become part of the community.
Youth to Youth
Newcomer teens enjoy a safe and comfortable setting where they can make friends, participate in our city’s uniquely Canadian attractions, and explore opportunities to get involved.
Jewish Holiday Celebrations
We help newcomers find welcoming spaces in local synagogues and/or with local families for the High Holidays and to celebrate the Passover Seder together. We can also help facilitate synagogue memberships for those families who wish to be connected to a synagogue year long.
Jewish Lifecycle Events
Whether it is to celebrate a joyous occasion like a Bar or Bat Mitzvah or a wedding or to plan for a burial, JIAS Toronto can help connect you to a community organization that will help you mark the occasion in a way that is culturally sensitive and appropriate for you.
B’Yachad: Together in Toronto
B’Yachad promotes newcomer student enrolment and success in Jewish day and supplemental school programs. We enjoy a reciprocal referral and support system with Jewish Toronto’s Day and Supplemental Schools. By identifying the right education program and providing support through the transition, B’Yachad serves newcomer students and their families across the school system.
We offer several program targeted specifically to seniors, including full and part-time English classes.
Children from 2 ½ to 15 years of age have the chance to attend Jewish summer camp at a subsidized cost (based on eligibility).
JIAS Toronto offers additional programs to enhance the social integration of newcomers. Please discuss program eligibility requirements with your settlement worker.
Are you eligible for Canadian Citizenship?
You are eligible for Canadian citizenship if you:
- Have Permanent Resident (PR) status
- Do not have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status
Time in Canada:
- You must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days during the five years right before the date you sign your application
- Each day spent physically in Canada as a temporary resident (visitor/ student/ worker/ temporary resident permit holder) or protected person before becoming a permanent resident within the last 5 years will count as one half day, with a maximum of 365 days, towards your physical presence.
- You cannot meet the physical presence requirement without a minimum of two (2) years as a permanent resident.
Income Tax Filing:
- You must meet your personal income tax filing obligations in three tax years that are fully or partially within the five years right before the date you apply.
- You must be able to speak and understand English or French and be able to pass the Language Citizenship Test (for applicants ages 18-54). For more information, please refer to the website below.
- If you have committed a crime in or outside Canada, you may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a period of time.
For complete information and guide re: citizenship application, please go to www.cic.gc.ca
Newcomers often need important documents (birth certificates, degrees, etc) translated. JIAS Toronto can facilitate the translation of your documents. If your documents need to be certified, we have a notary public on site.