CIIP and COA: Partnering for the benefits of Economic Immigrants

08 Jul CIIP and COA: Partnering for the benefits of Economic Immigrants

By: Canadian Orientation Abroad & Canadian Immigrant Integration Program

The Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) project and the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) are developing a joint initiative that builds on years of experience providing pre-arrival settlement support to Economic Immigrants.

When Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) launched a Call for proposals for the provision of pre-arrival settlement support in August 2014, COA and CIIP had already been discussing the possibility of a partnership for almost a year. “Both our organizations were committed to working together” says Cynthia Murphy, director of CIIP, a program implemented by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).

COA and CIIP have helped newcomers make informed decisions and prepare for their new lives in Canada for 14 years and 7 years respectively. “It just made so much sense to work together” adds Louise Bélanger, COA Global Project Manager, a project implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

IOM and CICan build on well-established structures and networks to provide newcomers to Canada with an extensive set of pre-arrival settlement services. CICan offers a comprehensive program with partners across Canada while IOM’s infrastructure allows for expanded and cost-effective programming overseas. Together, CICan and IOM are committed to delivering a program that maximizes newcomers’ outcomes.

After months of design, planning and preparation for the implementation of the new phase, CIIP and COA are proud to announce the upcoming launch a new joint initiative that consists of group orientation, personal planning, and referrals to partners in Canada.

With 10 permanent training sites abroad[1] and the capacity to deliver mobile and online programs to Economic Immigrants everywhere in the world, CIIP and COA are well positioned to act on CIC’s priority to provide newcomers with greater access to information and services before they leave their countries of origin.

[1] Colombia, China, India, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ukraine.

COA and CIIP trainers and management at the workshop in Manila.

Serving an estimated 15,000 Economic Immigrants every year – including Provincial Nominees (PNs), Federal Skilled Workers (FSWs), and Federal Skilled Trades (FSTs) – CIIP and COA also facilitate outreach for other immigrant integration initiatives and services.  CIIP and COA have consolidated an extended network of partners to provide a seamless transition from overseas to domestic immigrant support services.

The partnership between CIIP and COA is a response to major policy and process changes regarding the selection of Economic Immigrants, including the new Express Entry system. It is a reflection of CIC’s objective to increase newcomers’ job readiness and an example of how service provider organizations can partner to go above and beyond their own program’s objectives.  

The new joint initiative will be launched in October 2015.