Getting Prepared: Once You've Arrived

Now that you have arrived in Canada, it's time to find out about the services that can help you adjust to a new country. You also need to know a little bit about finding a job in Ontario.

Settlement Services

One of the first stops you can make when you arrive in Ontario is to a local settlement service for newcomers. These organizations, which may have services in different languages, help newly arrived immigrants and refugees settle in Canada. They can orient you to your new community and help you access government and community services. Staff at settlement services provide information on:

  • Social services
  • Schools
  • Health care
  • Housing
  • Recreational facilities
  • Immigration and citizenship
  • Credential assessment

Settlement workers can also:

  • Help you complete forms
  • Arrange for interpreters and translators
  • Help with your résumé
  • Provide basic employment counselling
  • Offer information about English as a Second Language training

Most settlement agencies and employment resource centres offer free access to computers, the internet, telephones, and fax machines.

211 Ontario

A useful service for newcomers is 211 Ontario, which you can access by phone or online. Call 2-1-1 or visit for information on community, social, health and government services in Ontario. This service is available 24 hours a day and in more than 150 languages. Calls are free, anonymous and confidential.

Social Insurance Number

You are not allowed to get paid for any job in Canada unless you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). You should apply for a SIN as soon as you arrive in Ontario. You can download an application and bring or mail it to a Service Canada Centre.

Employment Service

The agencies that offer employment services, such as Employment Ontario (EO) programs, help newcomers and other Ontario residents find work. EO services provide employment counselling that may include assessing your skills and interests and helping you prepare a résumé or go on an interview. You can also learn about training or simply use the phones, computers or Internet.

Your First Job

Your first job in Ontario or anywhere in Canada may be a temporary or – one you take just to pay the bills. These types of jobs may even be an entry-level position in your field.

You may find it helpful to read the guide  My First Days: A Guide to Your First Two Weeks in Ontario on the Settlement.Org website for more information about things you should do in the first two weeks after you arrive.

Starting a New Business

You may be interested in starting a new business. Resources are available to provide you with support as you start your business.