How can I improve my English?
There are many ways. You may have you English level assessed by the Southern Alberta Language Assessement Services (SALAS); they provide English language assessments for immigrants, refugees, private clients and foreign workers. Depending on your level of English when you get to Canada, you could be placed in a Language Instruction for New Canadians program delivered in Lethbridge through Flexibility Learning Systems or Lethbridge College.
Where will I live?
Lethbridge has a wide range of places to live -- apartments, condominiums, houses, both for rent and to purchase. We work closely with the Lethbridge Housing Authority to find affordable accomodations for newcomers. Another source of information on local rental property is Homefinders. Local real estate agents can help you find rental accomodations or purchase a home.
How do I find a job?
There are many employment agencies in Lethbridge who will work with newcomers. Flexibility Learning Systems and Lethbridge College offer employment services to ESL students. Employment agencies in Alberta may charge fees for some services, but they cannot charge a fee for finding you a job. Other employment services include:
How can I get my foreign training assessed?
Your foreign training will need to be assessed. The International Qualification Assessement Services (IQAS) compares educational qualifications from other countries with Alberta's educational standards. There are other assessment services located across Canada and the US, but IQAS is the only one officially connected with the Government of Alberta.
How do I register my children in school?
There several options for parents in Lethbridge: Lethbridge School District #51 and Holy Spirit Roman Catholic School Division #4 cover most school. Immanuel Christian Schools and Ecole la Verendrye (francophone school) may provide some other choices.
How do I find a doctor?
Basic information about your medical coverage is available here. Call us at 403-320-1589 to arrange for Alberta Health Care Insurance coverage. The Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons has a current list of doctors who are accepting new patients. The Alberta Dental Association and College has a similar listing for dentists in the area.
What Canadian laws do I need to know?
We offer You and the Law information sessions almost every month, call 403-320-1589 to find out about the next session. These sessions go over Canadian laws, policing and your rights and responsibilities. The Lethbridge Regional Police Service is the local police force.
Some important laws that may apply to you and your family:
How do I get around Lethbridge?
The City of Lethbridge has several different types of maps to give you local information about getting around the city. LA Transit (Lethbridge city bus) provides bus service to most parts of the City. There is currently no bus service to the communities around Lethbridge. Lethbridge has a creat system of trails and paths for walking, running and cycling. Greyhound provides ground transportation to major cities across Canada.
What are the different types of immigrants?
We define Newcomers as anyone who is in the process of immigrating or has recently landed as an immigrant to Canada. There are several categories of immigrants:
In December 2009, there were 65,187 immigrants in the family class, 22,844 refugees, and 153,458 economic immigrants among the 252,124 total immigrants to Canada. There were 282,711 Temporary Foreign Workers present in the country.
Can I hire an immigrant?
When a newcomer arrives in Canada (either as a refugee or another class), one of the first things they obtain is a Social Insurance Number. Like any other Canadian, they require a SIN number and/or card to obtain employment. Social Insurance Numbers that begin with the number “9” are issued to temporary residents (not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents). They may be foreign students and individuals on work visas. These individuals must have prior authorization to work in Canada. Temporary Foreign Workers are in Canada under a specific work-visa and can only be employed by the employer listed on that visa.
Once a newcomer has become a Permanent Resident (the outdated term is “landed immigrant”) they have most of the same rights as any other Canadian: they can receive most social benefits, including health care coverage; they can live, work or study anywhere in Canada; they pay taxes; they are protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels; and they can apply for Canadian citizenship.
There are only a few things Permanent Residents cannot do: vote or run for political office; hold certain jobs that have a high-level security clearance; or remain in Canada if convicted of a serious criminal offence and have been told to leave the country.
How do I understand their culture and language?
Research has shown that there is a strong business case for having a diversified workforce. As society increases in diversity, a similar workforce will attract new customers. There is some general information on the Alberta Employment and Immigration website about diversity in the workplace.
It's important that employers understand that your employees' support is ciritcal to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. Talk to your staff about the new employees. There is help is available: