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Free help and support to help you get settled in Canada.

YMCA Immigrant Services will help you connect with a wide range of services you and your family need as newcomers to Canada, such as health care, education, and language help. The YMCA is an entrance to many resources that will help you settle in your new community.

YMCA staff speak a variety of languages. Contact us to find answers to your questions, discover programs for immigrant youth, and learn how to navigate unfamiliar processes.

Here are just some of the ways we can help you:

  • Completing forms and documents
  • Personal and family settlement process
  • Immigration and legal issues
  • Canadian life and culture
  • Employment and education
  • Licensing and accreditation
  • Interpretation and translation
  • Information, advisement and support
  • Access to programs and services

Who are programs available to?

  • Permanent residents
  • Canadian citizens
  • Convention refugees and refugee claimants
  • Newcomers admitted under Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver Program
  • Minister's permit holders

Select Your Language

To change the language on our website, click on the "Select Language" button on the top right corner of your screen.

The YMCA has three locations to serve you.

Hamilton

25 Main Street West
P: 905-526-8452

Brantford

100 Water Street, Brantford
P: 519-752-4568

Stoney Creek

211 Centennial Parkway, Stoney Creek
P: 905-662-9400

Programs for All Newcomers

Help to Start Your New Life in Canada

Information and Orientation Services provide newcomers with comprehensive information, orientation, needs assessments and referrals to government programs, social services, and community resources. These services help newcomers make information decisions about life in Canada.

Our Services:

  • One-on-one and group information and orientation sessions  
  • One-on-one needs assessments and referrals to more specialized programs, services, and resources in the community (housing, health, employment, education, recreation, childcare etc.) 
  • Orientation to Ontario (020) Group Sessions 

Who is eligible for Newcomer Information and Orientation Services?

  • Permanent Residents of Canada
  • Convention Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection   
  • Individuals whose Permanent Resident application has been approved in principle   
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program 

These services are available in Hamilton and Grand Erie regions.

Find a Location

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

Program funding provided by the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade.

 

Learn or improve your English.

The YMCA offers FREE, in-person and online, English language assessments and referrals to eligible newcomers interested in learning or improving English language skills. Completing a standardized language assessment test is the first step to accessing government funded language training programs or classes.  

Our Services:

  • Language Assessment based on the Canada Language Benchmark
  • Information and referrals to language programs and classes and community resources

Who is eligible for Language Assessment and Referral Services?

  • Permanent Residents of Canada
  • Convention Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection
  • Individuals whose Permanent Resident application has been approved in principle
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program
  • Naturalized Canadian Citizens
  • Refugee Claimants
  • 18 years of age or older

For more information or to book an appointment, please contact us:

YMCA Immigrant Services - Hamilton
25 Main Street West, Hamilton
P: 905-526-8452

YMCA Immigrant Services - Stoney Creek
211 Centennial Parkway North, Hamilton
P: 905-662-9400

E: immigrant.settlement@ymcahbb.ca

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

Program funding provided by Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. 

Be a Mentor. Make a Difference.

We bring together adult newcomers with established community members in Hamilton.

The Newcomer Mentoring program brings internationally-trained professionals together with established professionals for a series of in-person and online meetings to discuss their profession. These strategic mentoring matches allow newcomer mentees to learn about Canadian workplace culture, make critical network connections, and learn how to increase their marketability by leveraging their skills and previous international experience. By the end of the mentoring journey, newcomer mentees have developed a more relevant and strategic career plan. 

Our Services:

  • Individualized needs assessment focused on career and professional development
  • One-on-one matches between newcomer participants (mentee) and program volunteers (mentors)

Who is eligible for the Mentorship Program?

  • Permanent Residents of Canada
  • Convention Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection
  • Individuals whose Permanent Resident application has been approved in principle
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program

Mentees

Mentors

These services are available in the Hamilton region. For more information or to book an appointment, please contact:

Shondra Costie
P: 289-244-3009
E: shondra.costie@ymcahbb.ca

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

Program funding provided by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada.

Gain a better understanding of life in Canada.

The Canada Connects program creates meaningful connections between newcomers, long-time Canadians, and established immigrants. Newcomer participants gain a better understanding of Canadian customs, culture, social, political and economic life.

Program volunteers develop better cross-cultural awareness, communication and sensitivity, and a sense of fulfillment from helping newcomers settlem more effectively in our communities. 

Our Services:

  • One-on-one social & cultural matches between newcomer participants and program volunteers 
  • Family matches between newcomer participants and program volunteers  
  • English Conversation Groups to help newcomers improve their language skills, enhance social networks by making local connections, and cultivate a sense of belonging. 
  • Information, Orientation and Referrals to programs and support services in the community 

Who is eligible for Canada Connects?

  • Permanent Residents of Canada 
  • Convention Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection  
  • Individuals whose Permanent Resident application has been approved in principle   
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program 

Newcomers

Volunteers

These services are available in Hamilton and Grand Erie regions. 

For more information or to book an appointment, please contact:

Hamilton Region
Abir Alsaid
P: 905-531-3953
E: abir.alsaid@ymcahbb.ca

Grand Erie Region
Azra Chaudry
P: 519-752-4568
E: azra.chaudry@ymcahbb.ca

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

Program funding provided by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada.

Improve your spoken English in a group.

English conversation circles are a helpful resource for newcomers wanting to improve their spoken English.

They also provide newcomers with an opportunity to meet other newcomers and to make new friends.

English Conversation Circles are offered in Hamilton, Brantford, Simcoe, Dunnville and Port Dover.

For information, please call or visit one of our three Immigrant Service locations in Hamilton, Stoney Creek or Brantford.

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

Program funding provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

 

Explore a Career in Child Care

The Bridge to Work Program is a FREE program offered to Internationally trained teachers looking for employment in child care. This 16-week program consists of 4 weeks of workplace preparation training, that includes First Aid CPR Level C and Food Handlers certifications. After successful completion of the training, participants gain hands on work experience through a 16-week work placement in a childcare setting. 

Our Services:

  • Intake and eligibility assessment
  • Training and Resources to explore a career in child care
  • Employment support during and after completion of program

Who is eligible for the Bridge to Work program? 

  • Permanent Residents of Canada 
  • Convention Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection  
  • Individuals whose Permanent Resident application has been approved in principle   
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program 
  • Have a Canadian Language Benchmark of 6 or higher 
  • Internationally trained with experience teaching or working in a child care setting. 

For information, please call or visit one of our Immigrant Service locations.

Find a Location

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

Program funding provided by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada.

NSP Program supports the successful settlement and integration of newcomers through the provisions of early settlement and longer-term integration support. NSP services provide newcomers with appropriate and timely information and referrals to government programs and community services and, enables them to make informed decisions about their integration process in Ontario.   

Our Services:

  • One-on-one and group information and orientation sessions (housing, health, financial assistance, employment, training and education, licensing and accreditation, language services etc.)  
  • Needs assessments, service planning and referrals to more specialized programs and services in the community 
  • Facilitate newcomer access to government and community services through support with interpretation, translations, advocacy, certain application forms etc.

Who is eligible for Newcomer Settlement Program?

  • Permanent Residents of Canada 
  • Convention Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection  
  • Individuals whose Permanent Resident application has been approved in principle   
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program 
  • Refugee Claimants 
  • Naturalized Canadian Citizens 
  • International Students  
  • Temporary Foreign Workers 
  • Approved Ontario Provincial Nominees  \

These services are available in Hamilton and Grand Erie regions.

For information, please call or visit one of our three YMCA Immigrant Service locations.

Find a Location

 

 

Program funding provided by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Programs for Newcomer Youth

A Safe and Supportive Space for Newcomer Youth

Newcomer Youth Centres (NYC) provide a safe space and nurturing environment where newcomer youth receive ongoing support that enhances their settlement and integration experiences. Through their participation in the NYC, newcomer youth receive information and support in accessing other social services, and community resources. Youth are also provided the opportunity to participate in activities, which enables them to meet their Canadian peers, develop new social connections and friendship, and get involved in the community through volunteering. 

Our Services:

  • Information, orientation, and referral to services in the community (transportation, health, housing etc.)  
  • Support with homework and other school work  
  • Support with employment and career development  
  • Support with volunteering  
  • Sport and recreation activities  
  • Coaching and mentoring  
  • Place to hang out with old friends and meet new ones  
  • Listen to music, play games, read, watch movies & TV  

Who is Eligible for Newcomer Youth Centre Services?  

  • Newcomer youth ages 12 to 24 
  • Permanent Residents of Canada 
  • Convention Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection  
  • Individuals whose Permanent Resident application has been approved in principle   
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program 
  • Refugee Claimants 
  • Naturalized Canadian Citizens 

We have centres located in Hamilton, Stoney Creek and Brantford. For more information, please call or visit.

Find a Location

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

Program funding provided by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Helping Newcomers Settle in School

The SWIS Program provides settlement support to newcomer families in designated schools during the school year (September to June). Settlement Workers connect with newcomer families, one-to-one and in group settings and provide important settlement related information to facilitate their adjustment in Canada  

Our Services:

  • Contact newcomer parents and students to assist them with their settlement needs 
  • Collaborate with school staff in supporting newcomer students and parents adjust to the Ontario School System 
  • Provide supportive one-one-to-one settlement support to newcomer youth and parents 
  • Connect newcomer families to more specialised community resource base on their needs 
  • Provide group information sessions on settlement topics for newcomer youth and parents, often in partnership with school staff 
  • Provide orientation about the settlement needs of newcomers for school staff

Who is eligible for SWIS Services?

  • Permanent Residents of Canada 
  • Convention Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection   
  • Individuals whose Permanent Resident application has been approved in principle   
  • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program 
  • Refugee Claimants 
  • Naturalized Canadian Citizens 
  • International Students  

For more information, please contact a YMCA Immigrant Services location.

Find a Location

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

Program funded provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.