SOPA program for Newcomers

sopa_pic
Click to enlarge

MOSAIC, a non-profit committed to empowering refugees and immigrants publishes a guide on legal issues for newcomers, and also operates a Legal Advocacy Program as well as a Legal Clinic for Temporary Foreign Workers.

MOSAIC now offers a Settlement Online Pre-Arrival program!

The SOPA program is for newcomers who are approved or in the process of applying to immigrate to Canada and settle in British Columbia.

SOPA provides free online facilitated and self-directed courses focusing on job search and communication skills to help prepare newcomers for Canada.

Currently, the following courses are offered:

  • Working in Canada (self-directed)
  • Canadian Workplace Integration (self-directed)
  • Job Search Strategies (facilitated)
  • Soft Skills: Working with Others (facilitated)
  • Soft Skills: Professional Communication (facilitated)

These courses will help newcomers to:

  • build realistic goals with the right tools for their job search;
  • establish a connection with employment programs and immigrant service providers; and
  • integrate to the local labor market and workplace with more ease.

If someone comes to you with questions about what resources are available for family members or friends who are not yet in Canada, but are in the process of applying to immigrate and settle in BC, go to http://arrivepreparedbc.ca to learn more about program eligibility requirements or email sopa@mosaicbc.com.

Stay informed with MOSAIC:

01_Clicklaw_30px 01_Twitter_30px 01_Linkedin_30px 01_Website_30pxFB-f-Logo__blue_29

Share

Invite for Newcomer Youth from Across Canada

2015 Youth Action Gathering Conference – Vancouver. B.C. – Oct. 3 & 4

The Canadian Council for Refugees, in partnership with Vancouver Foundation’s Fresh Voices Initiative and MOSAIC, invite newcomer youth from across Canada to participate in the 2015 Youth Action Gathering Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The gathering brings together young immigrant and refugee leaders to learn, share, network and collaborate on actions towards common challenges and experiences of newcomer youth communities.

It is also an engaging weekend of leadership and skills building, developing peer relationships and FUN!

WHO Should Participate?

Everyone is welcome to apply; however, space is limited and priority will be given to:

  • Racialized* immigrant and refugee youth
  • Those who can make a commitment to attend the full event
  • Immigrant & refugee youth from across Canada, aged 16 to 25 years
  • Youth settlement workers and allies

*We recognize that race is a social construct, people as “racialized immigrant person” or “racialized people” are immigrants who also belong to a “racial minority”, “visible minority”, or are seen as “people of colour” or “non-White” (adjusted from OHRC).

Continue reading

Share

Uncontested Divorce Order Application Clinic Launches June 6, 2015 – Vancouver

lawcourtscenter

By Dom Bautista
Executive Director, Law Courts Center

The Amici Curaie Paralegal Programme is pleased to announce the opening of their “Temporary Foreign Workers’ Uncontested Desk Order Divorce Program” on June 6, 2015.

Who is this Clinic for?

The clinic helps Temporary Foreign Workers (“TFWs”) complete their application for an uncontested divorce order with the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The clinic also helps TFWs who have children in their native country, and are in the process of applying to include their children, but not their spouse, in their application to become a Canadian permanent resident (“PR”).

How does this Clinic help TFWs immigrate to Canada?

For TFWs who do not wish to include their spouse in their PR application, Immigration Canada requires proof of separation, such as a divorce order. This clinic will help you complete your application for an uncontested divorce order.

Read more about the clinics..

Share

An Online Makeover for TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre

By Andrew SakamotoTRAC Logo (blue)
Executive Director, TRAC

TRAC provides information on residential tenancy law to tenants and advocates across British Columbia. Our services include a Tenant Infoline, legal education workshops, multilingual publications and a website/social media.  We work with all levels of government, other community organizations and the general public to promote the legal protection of tenants and the availability of affordable rental housing in BC.

As a small organization with a provincial mandate, we rely on technology to help us educate communities across the province.  One way we do is by making our resources accessible through Clicklaw.

Recently, we also launched our new website!  The design is modern and clean, and our content has been organized in a way that allows users to quickly find answers to their legal questions.

Here are some of the highlights of our new site:

  • Tenant Survival Guide – One of the most popular legal publications in the province, our TSG offers a comprehensive yet plain language overview of tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Template Letters –When issues arise during a tenancy, tenants should communicate their concerns to their landlord on paper. TRAC offers 27 template letters to use as a starting point.
  • Tenant Info Pamphlets – TRAC has created a pamphlet that covers the fundamentals of residential tenancy law, and translated it into 18 languages. For tenants whose first language is not English, this is where to look.
  • All content pages on our website can be printed as nicely formatted fact sheets. Online information is important, but so are hardcopy resources. Feel free to print and distribute our fact sheets to friends, family members, clients and landlords
Share

Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants

kinbrace-refugeehearingpreparationKinbrace is a community-based organization that provides refugees with housing and support. They’ve recently updated their guide, Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants. This resource is now available in 4 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified) and Arabic.

“I went through the Guide again and again before my refugee hearing. The step-by-step instructions, timeline, and recommendations were so useful for me. It’s friendly and relieved my stress.”
— Ioann, Convention Refugee in Canada

The guide can be used to:

  • learn key refugee legal issues
  • track your refugee claim on the right timeline
  • learn strategies to help prepare for your refugee hearing
  • complete the hearing preparation checklist
  • get answers to frequently asked questions
  • find legal and community resources in Metro Vancouver

The guide, updated in 2014, now includes more detail. Fran from Kinbrace describes it as “…interactive. Claimants can track the fast paced timelines that are in place under the new refugee claim process with their own due dates, take note of the evidence that they have on each issue and use the checklists for submitting the refugee application form and for submitting evidence to the Immigration and Refugee Board.”

This guide and other resources for refugees in BC can be found through the Clicklaw website.

Share

Tips on Using Clicklaw

using clicklawHave you got 2 minutes? Want to get the most out of using Clicklaw? We invite you to check out one of our 3 short training videos we developed to highlight some key features on the Clicklaw website.

Courthouse Libraries BC staff members Rebecca and Meghan created these video providing tips on:

  • Using Clicklaw to Search for Legal Information (3 minutes)
  • Using Clicklaw to Find Legal Information in Other Languages (2 minutes)
  • Using Clicklaw’s HelpMap (2 minutes)

Developed for community workers who help immigrants in BC, these training videos are great tools for anyone who provides information and referral services. Combine them with the videos and text from the Guide to Helping Clients with Legal Information and Referrals, and you’ve got a great orientation kit for new staff, or a great refresher for all staff!

Here’s what people have said about the videos:

Clear, helpful, plain English, Easy access, Easy instruction. – Options Community Services settlement worker

It is easy and clear to understand . I love it and I also forwarded the link to my colleague. – Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Society settlement worker

I find these videos extremely useful… – Pacific Immigrant Resources Society settlement worker

Have a look and let us know what you think – will these be useful for your staff training? Are there other topics that you’d like us to cover?

These videos are part of a project to make Clicklaw enhancements for new immigrants. Funding for this project was provided by the BC Ministry of Justice and the Government of Canada.

Share

Updated Sponsorship Information in Legal Help for British Columbians

legal help

A few months ago YWCA Legal Educator Andrea Vollans wrote to Clicklaw and asked if someone could write a factsheet clarifying the rule for conditional permanent residence when a child is born after an application for permanent residence. The information was not available in any of the resources she had checked.

We contacted the Legal Help for British Columbians Clicklaw Wikibook legal reviewer Rochelle Appleby, who was able to update the page “My husband sponsored me and we have now separated” to include Andrea’s suggestion, and also add some information about a claim of abuse or neglect. This update is an example of how Clicklaw Wikibooks can respond quickly to a user request in addition to our regular updates concerning legislative changes.

Share

Newcomers and the Law

pls-new-wikibooks-april-2014For newcomers to Canada, there are some new and updated resources that explain every day legal issues from the People’s Law School:

  • Learning about the Law Wikibook covers the fundamentals of how the law affects your family, young people, seniors, employment, and housing.
  • Driving in BC explains the basics of driving and the law. It includes legal information for people learning to drive.
  • Paying Taxes explains to newcomers and new taxpayers what taxes we’re expected to pay, who we pay taxes to, and how to pay them.
  • Workplace Bullying and Harassment explains what workers, employers, and supervisors need to know and do about workplace bullying and harassment, and where you can get help or more information.

All of these titles are now available as part of the expanding collection on Clicklaw Wikibooks. Clicklaw Wikibooks are collaboratively developed, plain language legal publications that are born-wiki. They are easy to read on your screen, fully searchable, and hyperlinked to key resources. One of the benefits to the Clicklaw Wikibooks platform is that it offers you a choice of format. You can:

  • read the information online on the Clicklaw Wikibooks site,
  • download and print the publication as a PDF,
  • download the publication as an EPUB — a popular ebook standard — and read on an ereader, tablet or mobile device, or
  • for a fee, order your own print on demand copy of the publication.

A free print compilation of these and other People’s Law School wikibooks will be distributed to ESL learning centres and public libraries in BC, under the title Learning about the Law: Extended Edition. This project was made possible with funding support from the Province of BC and Government of Canada.

Share

Law Related ESL Lessons

pls-Law-Related_Lessons_Cover_v.3

Educators who work with newcomers, youth and adults have an updated resource to help teach basic concepts about the law. Law-Related ESL Lessons is a set of lesson modules on legal topics, designed for English language classes for newcomers to Canada. Developed by People’s Law School and LISTN (formerly ELSA Net), in collaboration with Courthouse Libraries BC, this resource features downloadable instructional packages at varying Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels, together with assessment tools for instructors. The lesson modules include online quizzes that learners can take to assess their understanding, and online videos to support more dynamic learning.

Lesson topics include:

  • Fundamentals of the Law,
  • Consumer Law,
  • Elder Law,
  • Family Law with content on marriage, separation, divorce and family violence,
  • Working in BC including workplace bullying and harassment,
  • Paying Taxes,
  • Driving in BC,
  • Renting a Home,
  • Scams to Avoid,
  • Talking to the Police and
  • Youth and the Law

These lessons are the latest addition to the Learn & Teach section on Clicklaw Wikibooks.

The Law-Related ESL Lessons project was made possible with funding support from the Province of BC and Government of Canada.

Share