Welcome to Canada: Government of Canada information and resources
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has an online list of important things to do before and after you arrive in Canada (Refugee-specific information is also available). IRCC has also published Welcome to Canada: What you should know, a resource on what to expect in your first weeks of moving to Canada, Canadian laws, health care, and how to get help settling in Canada.
To help refugees and other newcomers with their settlement in Canada, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has released English and French versions of the Your First Two Weeks in Canada video online.
Welcome to Manitoba
Muslim Services Directory
- ISSA Muslim Services Directory (English) (<1 MB PDF file)
- ISSA Muslim Services Directory (Arabic) (<1 MB PDF file)
Children and Families
- Caring for Syrian Refugee Children: A Program Guide for Welcoming Young Children and Their Families (<2 MB PDF file)
- Recreation Resources for School-Aged Newcomer Children & Youth (<2 MB PDF file)
- The Winnipeg Public Library (WPL) is an important resource for refugees and immigrants to learn English and learn about Canada. The WPL website includes a section for refugees and sponsors. Welcome to the Library is available in several languages.
- Video guidance in multiple languages for completing common application forms is available on Bridget. Topics include Social Insurance Number (SIN), Old Age Security (OAS), Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), and application for permanent residency.
Note: This website includes documents from Ontario as well as forms that may have been updated since the videos were produced.
- Manitoba Health Services (providing care, immunizations, language services, interim federal health benefits, screening, mental health)
- Health care for refugees from Syria–About the Interim Federal Health Program (<1 MB PDF file)
- Help finding a family doctor in Manitoba (Family Doctor Finder)
- Help finding a dentist in Manitoba (<14 MB PDF file)
- A guide for health professionals working with immigrant and refugee children and youth
- Cultural Competence for Child and Youth Health Professionals
(includes a specific section on working with newcomer children and adolescents)
- Developmental Disability Across Cultures
- Information on rental assistance for Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) recipients and low income earners, including newcomers to Canada who are permanent residents, like refugees (Rent Assist website)
- The Manitoba Residential Tenancies Branch (RTB) website includes fact sheets about the laws in Manitoba about renting an apartment or home. Topics include what the RTB does (English, Arabic), the responsibilities of tenants and landlords (English, Arabic), and rent increases (English, Arabic). The fact sheets are available in several additional languages and are <1 MB PDF files.
Refugees may be at risk for mental health and substance misuse issues due to traumatic war-related experiences and their displacement. This can include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic symptoms and addiction. Often the symptoms related to these issues may not surface immediately after arrival, but months or years after arriving in Canada.
If a person is functioning and doing well, it is recommended that service providers do not inquire about traumatic experiences. However, providers should be alert to signs and symptoms of post-traumatic symptoms and other mental health and addiction issues or illnesses in this population. The following resources have been developed for service providers working with refugees to increase awareness of the signs of distress in children, youth and adults; how to respond and where referrals can be made to access formal mental health and addiction services:
- Refugee Mental Health and Addictions Fact Sheet for Service Providers: Optimizing Well-being and Responding to Emotional Distress of Children and Youth
- Refugee Mental Health and Addictions Fact Sheet for Service Providers: Optimizing Well-being and Responding to Emotional Distress of Adults
- Refugee Mental Health and Addictions Fact Sheet for Service Providers: Mental Health and Addictions Services for Refugees
- Optimizing the Mental Health & Emotional Well-being of Immigrants and Refugees in Winnipeg: A Conceptual Framework (<2 MB PDF file)
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network contains specific information on Refugee Trauma as well as related resources on topics including Child Traumatic Stress and Culture and Trauma
- Culture, Context and the Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing of Syrians (<1 MB PDF file)
- Educational and Mental Health Needs of Syrian Refugee Students
- Syrian refugee children who feel safe likely to do well, psychiatrist says
Language Learning in Canada
Knowing English and French helps open the door to jobs, service will help newcomers learn about the steps they can take to improve their language before and after they arrive in Canada.
Newcomer immigrants and refugees may attend government funded language classes. In Winnipeg, the Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre (WELARC) is the agency that assesses language levels and gives referrals to classes. The Welcoming Communities section of this website has links to similar services throughout Manitoba.
Indigenous People of Manitoba
This resource (<3MB PDF file) was made with care for people who are newcomers to Canada and may be learning English, but its content is relevant to all Manitobans. Those of us who are not Indigenous Manitobans are settlers here and are “newcomers” in a sense. We share a responsibility to learn from our Indigenous neighbours and build relationships of friendship and respect.
- Fire safety resources in multiple languages (Windsor Fire and Rescue Services)
- National Fire Protection Association easy-to-read handouts and safety tip sheets in multiple languages
Privately Sponsored Refugees
- More information and resources related to Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSR) can be found on the Refugee Response webpage.
Settlement service organizations in Manitoba
Members of the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO) help newcomers, including refugees, settle in communities across Manitoba. Visit their online list of all MANSO members to find a settlement service provider near you.
- ‘See you in school!’ Canadian children welcome Syrian refugees
- History suggests refugees can only make Canada a better place
- Education breeds hope, tolerance
- The Displaced: Hana (part of an interactive series about displaced children from The New York Times)
- A Life on the Move
- Schools key to helping Syrian refugee children settle
- Integration: A New Strategy