What is COA?
The Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) program is a pre-arrival orientation initiative offered to refugees, economic immigrants and family class immigrants, including spouses and dependents. COA currently operates 20 permanent training sites overseas, operating in over 40 countries and 60 locations every year. COA also works with an extensive number of partners providing services to newcomers in Canada.
Orientation to refugees consists of a three-day program (or a five-day program for camp-based refugees), while orientation to immigrants consists of a one-day program with individualized support and referrals. Training materials encompass essential topics such as employment, education, housing, health, life in Canada, access to citizenship and settlement services. Training to non-refugee participants is delivered in English or French while refugees are provided with orientation in their mother tongue. Support services, including child-minding and travel reimbursement, are also provided for refugee participants in need.
Since its inception in 1998, COA has provided support to over 200,000 refugees and immigrants preparing for their new life in Canada.