Our distance and online services enable us to support immigrants both before and after they arrive in Canada. Through three pre-arrival programs – the Atlantic Immigration Program, Nova Scotia Start, and Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) – we help immigrants arrive in Canada prepared so that their settlement and integration is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Additionally, we have a dedicated digital technology and support team to ensure our services for all stages of immigration, both pre- and post-arrival, are as accessible as possible in an increasingly digital world. Arriving prepared is not just a motto – it is a key retention strategy.
Settlement Online Pre-Arrival
A significant benefit of our pre-arrival programs is that they set immigrants up for success and foster a sense of belonging before they even set foot on Canadian soil. SOPA achieves this by developing settlement plans and career action plans for internationally trained professionals preparing to come to Canada. Moving to a new country can be challenging and stressful, but the level of preparation that SOPA offers can alleviate the anxieties that are common in this transition. With less stress, SOPA clients are able to focus more on the learning opportunities and the personal and professional connections the program provides, sometimes even securing promising career prospects before landing in Canada.
SOPA is a network of six settlement agencies across Canada, each with their own regional expertise and networks. As the managing partner of SOPA, ISANS is proud of the concerted effort all six agencies made to engage with each other at both strategic and frontline levels over the last year to ensure all SOPA staff feel a strong sense of belonging to the SOPA program, as well as a desire to grow and develop professionally. This level of an open, collaborative, and healthy workplace environment makes it easier to extend a sense of belonging and growth to our clients who are already tremendously focused, committed, and resilient.
ISANS Digital Transformation and Technology Support
Building on the success of our Language Services Digital Navigators, which we wrote about in our annual report last year, our DTTS team now has dedicated Settlement Digital Navigators who provide digital support to clients and staff across multiple ISANS teams. They also support wide-scale initiatives such as our Tech Lending Library, which enables our clients to borrow the hardware they need to build their digital skills, access online and hybrid programming, and pursue careers in Nova Scotia, an important component of successful integration and newcomer retention.
So much of our society's interactions happen in the online sphere, so bridging the digital divide is essential to ensuring everyone, especially immigrants, can fully participate in Nova Scotian communities, as well as pursue their passions and goals.