Services for Temporary Foreign Workers and temporary residents

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Permanent residents and citizens are not the only ones that receive settlement supports in Manitoba. Those with temporary status like refugee claimants, migrant workers (e.g. people here under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)), international students, and even their dependents also benefit from free services that assist them during their stay here. These services include language training, employment assistance, mental health supports, and many others.

General settlement services

A newcomer’s initial contact with a service provider is usually at Manitoba Start in downtown Winnipeg. MB Start assesses a person’s needs and refers them to the right services. Other agencies that provide general services to temporary residents are:
Immigrant Centre – Free programs and services include settlement, employment, language, nutrition training, and verification of translators.
Family Dynamics – Family Dynamics uses a case management model that provides wrap around support to individuals and families with complex needs and barriers.
Accueil francophone – Offers a range of settlement and integration services to Francophone newcomers.
New Journey Housing – Assists newcomers seeking decent and affordable housing. They also guide and educate newcomers about the rental process, home buying, and other issues related to newcomer housing.

Services in rural Manitoba:
Regional Connections (Morden, Winkler, Altona, Dauphin)
Eastman Immigrant Services (Steinbach, Arborg)
Portage Learning and Literacy Centre (Portage la Prairie)
Northwest Regional Immigrant Services (Swan River, The Pas)

Language Training

Newcomers need to get a language assessment in order to enroll in free formal or informal language training. This assessment is free. They can go to WELARC in Winnipeg or at Regional Connections (Winkler, Altona, Morden) and Westman Immigrant Services (Brandon). These agencies can also refer them to language programs they are eligible for. Currently, these programs are available for temporary residents:

If you prefer informal language training options, check this list: Informal language options.

Manitoba Adult Language Training Initiative (MALTI) programs are open to non-permanent residents and focuses on stage two language and employment. Current MALTI programs include:
Winnipeg Adult Education Centre
Seven Oaks Immigrant Services
Elmwood Community Resource Centre
Biosciences Association of Manitoba

Small Centres
Westman Immigrant ServicesPortage Learning and Literacy Centre
Regional Connections
Eastman Immigrant Services


General Settlement Services agencies listed above like Manitoba Start, may also have employment programs. These organizations help newcomers understand the Canadian job market, assist them in writing their resume and cover letter, provide job leads, and orient them about workplace culture. Other agencies that provide these services include:

Opportunities for Employment (OFE)
Elmwood Community Resource Centre
Success Skills Centre

Additional supports related to employment or self-employment
Occupational Health Centre (OHC) – OHC is a community health centre focused on workers’ health. Its medical, information, and educational programming are available for free to all.
Supporting Employment and Economic Development (SEED) Winnipeg – The Access to Benefits programs and Business Development Services are open to anyone regardless of residency status.

Mental Health Supports

These organizations have programs that include counseling and other services:
Aurora Family Therapy Centre
Family Dynamics
Norwest Co-op Community Health Centre (counselling for women)
Elmwood Community Resource Centre (also: gender-based violence or trauma care counselling)

Youth and Family Supports

A number of programs are available to youth and families with temporary immigration status.

Services in Schools
Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) have some flexibility to serve families including people with temporary immigration status if they have school-age children. Organizations with SWIS include:

Newcomer Education and Employment Development Services (NEEDS)
Seven Oaks Immigrant Services

Small Centres
Westman Immigrant Services
Neepawa Settlement Services
Regional Connections
Eastman Immigrant Services
Portage Learning and Literacy Centre
North West Regional Immigrant Services

The Winnipeg School Division also has Intercultural Support Workers who support newcomer youth and families. Other school divisions have different forms of cultural liaisons who have some similar roles.

Other Youth and Family Supports

NEEDS – Programs include Intro to Education, Settlement Workers in Schools, Afterschool Program, and Employment Program.
YMCA-YWCA Winnipeg – The Y offers youth group programming and supports for newcomer youth adjusting to life in Canada and experiencing mental health or well-being related issues.
Bilal Community and Family Centre – Bilal offers a wide range of services to newcomers, particularly youth and families.
Mosaic – Newcomer Parent Support Project and Family Engagement Mentorship Certificate Project provide training and mentorship for newcomers, particularly women, to facilitate parenting programming or other family engagement work.

The Thriving in a New Home Project is for newcomer refugee parents who are facing mental health challenges. It includes 1-1 home visits, group sessions, or a combination of both (both online and in-person).

Elmwood Community Resource Centre – ECRC offers after school programs; must be between 12-21 years old.

Other Services

Altered Minds Inc. – Their Computers for Life program offers two levels of computer training for beginners.
Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC) – SERC provides education, information, and referrals on sexuality and reproductive health issues, for families and individuals.
Rainbow Resource Centre – Extends support to the 2SLGBTQ+ community, including a newcomer social support group, plus education and consultation to settlement service providers.
Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute (CMWI) – The resource centre offers a range of support including food and clothing donations, interpretation and translation support, training, and others.
Mount Carmel Clinic – Provides psycho-social supports, including advocacy and short-term crisis counselling to newcomers, immigrants and refugees.

Services for Specific Groups of Newcomers with Temporary Status

Some organizations have a specific focus or programs with specific services for specific groups of newcomers (e.g. refugee claimants, migrant workers, international students, etc.):

Refugee Claimants

Some organizations provide services to asylum seekers to support them while they navigate the refugee claim process.
Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council (MIIC/Welcome Place) – MIIC provides information on the process to claim refugee protection in Canada and referrals to assistance in completing documents and applying for legal representation. They also provide broader settlement supports to claimants.
Accueil francophone – In addition to general settlement services, Accueil francophone provides information and referrals for the refugee claim process.

Refugee Employment Development Initiative (REDI) – The REDI program is a partnership between employment and language service providers. The program is open to refugee claimants. Recent partners include Manitoba Start, Opportunities for Employment, Red River College, and Manitoba Institute for Trades and Technology.

Migrant Workers

Occupational Health Centre (OHC) – As part of its worker-focused community health initiatives, OHC supports migrant workers. They also deliver special programs.

There could be other supports and services for newcomers with temporary status offered by other community groups and organizations. For example, Elmwood Community Resource Centre and YMCA. To find those that are in your area, use the 211 Manitoba directory (click on “Newcomers” or a specific service category and provide your zip code).
Article updated July 8, 2022.
Listing adapted from MANSO Member Services for Newcomers with Temporary Immigration Status.

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