What is Planning for Canada?

Planning for Canada is an interactive three-step program offered at no cost, in person (in India and the Philippines) and live online worldwide. We prepare economic and family class immigrants who have already been selected by the Government of Canada for their move, settlement and employment. Our services are pre-arrival, meaning that they are available to you before you come to Canada. The program is run by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) with funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

What do Planning for Canada’s services include?

Our services include a three-step program:

Step 1: A group orientation (GO) session to provide you with key information on living and working in Canada.

Step 2: A personalized planning session (PPS) to discuss your main settlement and employment needs and assets. By the end of this session, you will have a personalized action plan (AP) based on your destination and intended occupation.

Step 3: Connections to our in-Canada Advisors who provide pre-arrival settlement and career support tailored to your destination and occupation.

In what languages are Planning for Canada’s services offered?

We offer services in English in India and the Philippines. We also provide services in English and French online. Additional local languages may be available on demand.

How much do Planning for Canada’s services cost?

Our services are free of charge to eligible clients as we are funded by the Government of Canada. Please see the eligibility section below to find out if you meet the criteria to register.

How often is the program conducted?

We deliver regular in-person and online sessions at various dates and times every week. The list of options is available at registration. You can learn more about the group orientation (GO) and personalized planning session (PPS) below.

Can Planning for Canada help me immigrate to Canada?

No. We do not provide immigration, application or entry services. You may find these IRCC resources to be helpful:

I am a francophone client planning to settle in a province other than Quebec. Am I eligible for your services?

You are eligible for services with Connexions-Francophones. The organization offers free pre-arrival services to francophone immigrants who have been approved by the Government of Canada for settlement in a province other than Quebec. Please register directly with them directly. Connexions-Francophones also serves francophone applicants to the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP).

To learn more about this program and to register, please visit the organization’s website.

What is the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)?

The Atlantic Immigration Program is a program for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador). This program is designed to help employers in the Atlantic region hire qualified candidates for jobs they are unable to fill locally. For more information, please consult the Government of Canada’s AIP page.

If you are an applicant under the AIP, you can use our services and receive the settlement plan you need to support your immigration application. Please see the eligibility section below to learn more.

What is the Unique Client Identifier (UCI)? Where can I find it?

Your Unique Client Identifier (UCI) is an 8- or 10-digit reference number that appears on all correspondence you receive from IRCC. It looks like this: 0000-0000 or 00-0000-0000. Each person in your family has a UCI. You can find examples of where to find your UCI on the Government of Canada’s website.

What is my Planning for Canada client ID number? Where can I find it?

Your Planning for Canada client ID number is a 6-digit number that you can find in the email confirmation you received after registering for our services.

What do I need to join an online session?

To join an online group orientation (GO) or personalized planning session (PPS), you will need a stable internet connection. You will also need an internet-capable device like a phone, tablet or computer. For the best experience, we recommend using a computer with the latest version of a web browser installed (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Apple Safari). We offer our online sessions through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. You do not need to install any application on your device to join the sessions. You just need to click on the link that we sent you prior to your session.

What if I have technical difficulties during my session?

If you have technical difficulties during the GO or PPS, you must contact the regional office assigned to your file. You will find the email address of the regional office in the email confirmation we sent to you after registration. Our regional office will help you reschedule your session.

What if I lose internet during a session?

If your internet connection is unstable, you may get disconnected from our platform. We encourage you to plan ahead and tune into your sessions from a place with a reliable internet connection.

If you are unable to reconnect, please contact the regional office assigned to your file. We sent you their contact information in an email confirming your registration. Our regional office may answer your questions or will help you reschedule your session.

Can I use my phone or another device to attend the group orientation (GO) and the personalized planning session (PPS)?

Yes. To attend the online GO and PPS, you need a strong internet connection and an internet-enabled device like a phone, tablet or computer. To get the best user experience during the GO, we recommend you use a computer.


What is the group orientation (GO)?

The group orientation presents an overview of all aspects of living and working in Canada. The GO helps you set realistic expectations and provides accurate information to prepare you for a successful economic and social integration into Canada.

How does the GO prepare me for my new life in Canada?

The GO will help you learn strategies to:

  • Overcome common challenges that you may encounter as a new immigrant.
  • Explore possible destinations to match to your career goals and family needs.
  • Identify settlement concerns and understand how to access relevant resources and support.
  • Prepare for the Canadian job market and increase your employability.
  • Identify tools and resources that meet your specific needs to get prepared before arriving in Canada.

When is the GO offered?

We offer weekly GO sessions. The in-person GO lasts 7 hours. The online version is divided into two 3.5-hour sessions over two days. We offer the GO in multiple time zones and at various dates and times. We recommend that you join with a computer to get the most out of the session.

How do I attend a GO?

You can attend a GO online or in person.

Online: We deliver the online GO using a virtual platform. You need a strong internet connection and an internet-enabled device to access an online session. Our facilitators deliver the curriculum in real-time to a virtual room of participants. You will have the opportunity to interact with other participants using the chat function. This interaction further enhances your learning and the networking potential of the session.

In-person: We offer in-person sessions to clients who live in India (New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Chennai and Hyderabad) and the Philippines (Manila, Cebu and in other cities depending on demand).

Our team will contact you after registration and provide you with further instructions for joining your online or in-person session closer to the GO date.

What is the personalized planning session (PPS)?

The personalized planning session happens after you participate in the GO. The PPS is a 60-minute, one-on-one session where you work with a facilitator to develop a personalized action plan (AP) tailored to your specific settlement and employment needs, and your intended destination in Canada. Each member of your family, including couples and spouses, will receive an individual PPS. Each person should register separately.

During the PPS, we will connect you to expert in-Canada Advisors based on your destination of choice, professional career goals and intended occupation in Canada. Our Advisors provide free pre-arrival guidance to help you research and implement aspects of your AP. In addition to answering specific questions and offering additional support, Advisors can connect you with other post-arrival organizations at your destination based on your needs.

What can I expect during my PPS?

One of our trained facilitators will:

  • Discuss your settlement and employment journey.
  • Discuss your experience, needs and priorities.
  • Help you develop an action plan tailored to your circumstances and needs.
  • Connect you with a Provincial Advisor in Canada who will answer your questions related to your destination province, region, city or town.
  • Connect you with an Employment Advisor in Canada who will offer and provide additional employment support based on your occupation, needs and priorities.

Where can I attend the PPS?

After your GO, the PPS will be available online from anywhere in the world through our Online Global Team. To access our online sessions, you need only a strong internet connection and an internet-enabled device.

We also offer in-person PPS in India and the Philippines

What can I expect from the connections with the in-Canada Advisors? What support services will they provide?

Our in-Canada Advisors will:

  • Respond to additional settlement questions regarding housing, schooling, education, language training, finances and more in your province and city/town of destination.
  • Further assess your employment needs and provide additional resources and options, including more detailed labour market information in the destination province and employer connections, as relevant.
  • Offer guidance for regulated occupations, including licensing process and referrals to regulatory bodies and/or exploring alternate career options.
  • Help you enroll in online bridging and mentoring programs, if available.
  • Provide e-learning tools/modules to help you build or enhance your existing skills.
  • Provide other referrals within your province and city of destination.

Can I skip the GO and only do the PPS? Can I connect with an in-Canada Advisor without attending the GO and PPS?

No. You must first attend the GO to then participate in the PPS to receive connections to in-Canada Advisors. You must complete all three steps to get a comprehensive action (settlement) plan, receive targeted referrals based on your specific needs and priorities, and make the most out of our services.


Who is eligible for Planning for Canada services?

You are eligible for our services if you have applied for immigration to any part of Canada (all provinces and territories) as a principal applicant, partner or spouse, or adult dependant, and have received at least one of the following documents:

  • IRCC invitation to obtain pre-arrival services
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) letter/document
  • Passport request letter that indicates Permanent Resident Visa issuance
  • IRCC request that an applicant for permanent residence complete a medical examination
  • Single Entry Permanent Resident Visa
  • Permanent Resident Visa pick-up notification letter
  • Offer of Employment to a Foreign National (Atlantic Immigration Program)

You must submit one of these documents during registration as proof of eligibility.

Can I participate in Planning for Canada after I arrive in Canada?

No. We are a pre-arrival program only. IRCC has compiled a list of organizations in Canada that can assist you once you arrive.

Should each person in my family register separately for their PPS?

Yes. Each member of your family, including couples and spouses, will receive an individual PPS. Each person should register separately.

I am planning to come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker or as an international student. Am I eligible for Planning for Canada’s services?

No. Temporary foreign workers and international students are not eligible for our program. Our pre-arrival services are available to economic and family class immigrants who have been approved for permanent residency by the Government of Canada.

Atlantic Immigration Program applicants are also eligible for Planning for Canada services.

I have received a job offer from an employer in one of the Atlantic provinces to participate in the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP). Am I eligible for Planning for Canada services?

Yes. If you have not landed in Canada and you have received a completed job offer from a designated employer in one of the Atlantic provinces, you are eligible for our pre-arrival services. To register for Planning for Canada under the Atlantic Immigration Program, please visit the AIP registration page

During registration, we will ask you to select an upcoming GO session and a PPS. First, you will attend the GO. Then, you will attend the PPS, at the end of which you, your spouse and/or your adult dependant will receive individual action plans. The AP is the settlement plan that you will need to send to your employer as part of the application process.

Does Planning for Canada provide pre-arrival services for refugees?

No. Planning for Canada does not serve refugees. However, other programs offer pre-arrival services for refugees. For more information, please consult the Government of Canada’s pre-arrival services for refugees page.


How can I register for Planning for Canada’s services?

Please fill out the online registration form.

During registration, you will be asked to choose a GO session and PPS from a list of possible options and dates. Once you have completed your registration, you will receive an email confirming the date of your chosen sessions. We will contact you closer to the session dates with a reminder and details on how to access the GO and PPS.

My spouse/partner, adult dependant and I would like to register for Planning for Canada. Do we need to register separately?

Yes. Each person who wants to receive our services must register separately. Spouses, partners and adult dependants can attend the GO session together or separately on different dates. Each person who registers for our services will receive an individual PPS to better assess their specific needs.

What happens if I cannot attend a session I registered for?

If you cannot attend a scheduled session, please contact the Planning for Canada regional office assigned to your file. You can reach out to this office through the email address you received after registration. Please do not register a second time for services.

I am having trouble with my registration. Who can I contact?

If you are having trouble filling out your registration form, please contact us at

I have not been contacted following my registration and my GO session is coming up. What should I do?

One of our regional office representatives will contact you within five (5) to ten (10) days of your session dates to confirm the details of your GO and PPS.

After you register, you should receive an email confirming your registration, including your Planning for Canada client ID number and an email address to contact our regional office assigned to your file. Please contact the regional office directly if no one has reached out to you within five (5) days of your sessions, or if you have any questions about your sessions.

I did not upload my proof of eligibility document during registration. What should I do?

If you did not upload your proof of eligibility document during registration, you will receive an email from inviting you to upload your eligibility document from a computer. We will ask you to upload this document via our secure document upload tool.

We will send you the automated email to the address you provided during registration. It may take a few days following your registration for you to receive our email. Please contact our regional office if you have any problems, or if you have not received the automated email five (5) days after registration.

Education and work

As a new immigrant, do I have to go back to school to get a job in Canada?

Not necessarily. You may find a job in Canada with your existing foreign credentials and work experience. Many of our previous clients have secured jobs without going back to school. However, you may be required to submit your credentials for assessment and validation in Canada before you can apply for jobs.

If you intend to work in a regulated occupation, you must have your foreign credentials/qualifications assessed and recognized before you can work in Canada. Regulated occupations account for about 20% of jobs in Canada. See “How do I get my qualifications validated in Canada?” below to learn more.

While not necessary for employment, a Canadian credential, language training or apprenticeship may make it easier for you to get a quality job faster after arrival. A Canadian credential can also help you grow your career and professional experience, improve your income, or even start your own business.

Are private schools better than public schools in Canada?

No. Canada’s public universities and colleges are among the world’s top-ranked higher education institutions. These schools are accredited by provincial or territorial governments to grant degrees and credentials. Canadians, including employers, have deep trust for public institutions due to their quality, innovative teaching methods and workforce preparation.

Some private schools in Canada are also accredited by the government to grant degrees and credentials.

What are some new skills or information that a newcomer can learn in a Canadian college or institute?

Colleges and institutes offer practical learning approaches that are designed to prepare you for the job market and to meet the labour needs of local communities and businesses. Programs at these institutions focus on developing relevant skills that make you employable in a specific field. At a college or institute, you apply your classroom learnings in the real world through work placements and internships. For example, you can learn adaptable job-related skills that are necessary in your community such as working with technology and data to solve problems, using tools specific to your trade, or preparing for Canadian employment.

Watch Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) video and discover how Canada’s colleges and institutes can prepare you for whatever the future may bring.

Can colleges and institutes prepare me for occupations in key sectors?

Yes. Hundreds of college programs across the country focus on key sectors of the Canadian economy, ensuring community and industry needs are met. You can learn more about occupations in key sectors with CICan’s videos:

How do I learn the vocabulary and technical terms necessary for my job in Canada?

Different programs exist to help you learn the vocabulary and terminology you will need for your new job in Canada. Bridging programs and language courses can help you as an internationally trained professional to improve your knowledge and skills and provide you with the language training required for your occupation. These programs are usually funded by the government and are available for free to eligible immigrants through universities and colleges, settlement programs, and other community organizations.

To learn more about occupation-specific language training, register for our program.

How can I get financial support to pay for training or school in Canada?

Different financial supports exist to pay for your schooling in Canada. You may be eligible for grants, loans, scholarships and bursaries from the federal or provincial government. Visit the Government of Canada’s Student Aid page for more information.

Some organizations like Windmill Microlending offer microloans that can help you pay for your education, training or foreign credential recognition. Visit the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials to learn about other microlending organizations in your intended destination.

Post-secondary institutions provide several financial support options as well. Contact your institution of interest directly to learn more.

How do I get my credentials validated in Canada?

A recognized organization will review your current education, language skills and work experience. Some organizations that assess foreign education include International Credentials Assessment Service (ICAS) and World Education Services (WES). Many more recognized organizations exist depending on your destination and occupation.

If you plan to work in a regulated occupation (for example: accountants, architects, physicians, nurses, electricians, lawyers and teachers), you must get an equivalency or apply for licensing or certification. Each province or territory has its own requirements and regulatory authority.

Most occupations in Canada are unregulated—you do not usually require your foreign credentials to be validated in Canada. However, your employer may ask you to get your credential recognized before offering you a job.

Visit the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Tool to find out if you need your credentials recognized, and which organization(s) offer credentials recognition.

How are cégeps different from other colleges in Canada?

Cégeps are public, post-secondary education institutions unique to Quebec. The acronym “cégep” stands for Collège d’enseignement general et professionnel in French, or “general and vocational college” in English. Cégeps are provincially recognized and grant diplomas that can help you access university studies or the workforce. These institutions play an important role in the economic, cultural and social development of their communities. Most cégeps offer programs in French only, but five offer English-language instruction.

Visit the Government of Quebec’s website to learn more about cégeps.

What are polytechnics?

Polytechnics are a type of public college. They are also known as “universities of applied science” in other countries. These institutions are like universities because they offer four-year degrees, but they are similar to colleges because of their focus on applied learning. In other words, polytechnics offer students in-depth study and research combined with practical, skills-based experiential training. There are 13 polytechnics across Canada. Learn more about polytechnics from the official Polytechnics Canada website.

Where can I find more information about colleges and institutes in Canada?

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the national network representing colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics. Visit CICan’s website for more information.

Who can I speak to if I have not found the answer to my question(s)?

We are sorry to hear that we were unable to answer your question. Please contact us at