The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration, implementing approximately 2,600 projects in 401 field locations. As of April 2016, IOM has 162 Member States, with a further 9 States holding observer status, as do numerous international and non-governmental organizations. IOM implements a wide range of migration-related projects aimed at maximizing the benefits of migration through the provision of secure, reliable, flexible and cost-effective services for States and migrants requiring assistance.
Canada and the IOM have enjoyed a long and successful history of collaboration. Between 1952 and 1989, IOM coordinated the movements of over 460,000 persons to Canada. Over the past two decades, the IOM has played an ever-increasing role in support of Canada’s international and national migration objectives, initiating a number of activities with Federal, Provincial and Territorial stakeholders. Today, Canada is the 5th largest funder of the organization. As a trusted partner, the IOM currently implements more than 45 projects with Canadian stakeholders, including several federal departments. IOM notably supports Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) through a number of pre- and post- arrival activities, including assistance to irregular migrants, visa application centers, voluntary return programs, transportation, health assessments, and overseas orientation.
Drawing upon its global network, IOM implements over 30 migrant training activities worldwide, resulting in the training of over 40,000 migrants every year. IOM’s migrant training activities are diversified and include pre-arrival travel preparation; cultural orientation; language training; pre-employment briefings and; vocational or skills training. The organization has several flagship orientation programs including the United States Cultural Orientation (USCO), the Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO), the Norwegian Cultural Orientation (NORCO) and the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) program. COA program is the largest pre-arrival program implemented by the IOM.