Should You Take Advantage of Invitation to Pre-Arrival Services?

Here is a breakdown of the reasons why you should definitely take advantage of pre-arrival services for Canada and what it means for you on your immigration journey.

When I first made the decision to immigrate, one of the things that frightened me was the idea of rolling up in a foreign country without much knowledge.

Not sure why since when I moved to Dubai, I rolled up here without any knowledge either.

In fact, I was pretty foolhardy about it back then but that’s a story for another day.

I started conducting research and kept coming up against stories of terrifying experiences, each one more ghastly than the next. I didn’t let that stop me though.

I’m a pretty determined person and when something is in my way, I don’t back down.

I figure out a way to get around it, over it, or make it work to my advantage.

I went ahead and submitted my application. When it was at the end stages of being processed, I received an invitation to access pre-arrival services from IRCC.

I had never heard of pre-arrival services before that invitation and was absolutely elated at the information.

best reasons to take advantage of pre-arrival services for canada

What Are Pre-Arrival Services?

Pre-arrival services are programs funded by the Government of Canada to prepare immigrants for a life in Canada.

These pre-arrival services assist with living and working in Canada, education, experience, licensing, connecting with the local community and much more.

The best thing about pre-arrival services is they are funded by the Government of Canada and you are free to access as many of them as you like.

Colour me delighted when I clicked the link and was taken to this wonderful page for getting help before arriving in Canada.

There are over 20 service providers to choose from. I have contacted four of these service providers so far.

The help and information they provided are invaluable and helped answer a lot of lingering questions I had about moving to Canada.

They also provided tons of information in one place, which would have taken me forever to Google and compile together on my own.

I discovered a lot of people don’t utilize these pre-arrival services and I don’t know why, or maybe they do but don’t share online.

Either way, pre-arrival services are free and are there to help you before you move to Canada.

If you receive an invitation for pre-arrival services, utilize it, please. These services are beyond helpful. And free.

As an intending immigrant who is spending a lot of money right now, anything free sounds good to me.

Invitation to Pre-Arrival Services Letter

You can only access pre-arrival services when you receive an invitation letter from IRCC as you will need to provide your UCI number, a copy of your COPR, or other relevant documents.

The invitation is usually a one-pager with your UCI number at the top and all the relevant information for accessing the services.

Pre-arrival services can only be accessed from outside Canada so the sooner you get on it, the better.

The service providers are usually specific to regions so you have the opportunity to explore if you’re still undecided where you want to go.

Are Pre-Arrival Services Mandatory?

Not at all. Choosing not to access them has no bearing on your application approval or future PR status.

However, as I mentioned earlier, they are immensely useful, free, and help you better prepare for your move.

Yes, even if you have relatives or friends in Canada, it is still useful. I have both and I’m more interested in getting up to date information from IRCC.

Advantages of Pre-Arrival Services Before Moving to Canada

A few of the things I’ve been able to do via pre-arrival services include but not limited to the following:-

  • Decide where I’d like to live
  • Reliable and updated information regarding the local career market
  • Other free services are available for newcomers. Yay!
  • Learn more about Canada as a whole
  • Information about post-arrival settlement services

Point of note, access to a computer and high-speed Internet is required to receive these pre-arrival services as well as a comfortable IELTS score starting from 5.5.

I will be discussing tips on taking the IELTS exam in my next article as well as why I took the IELTS exam a second time even though I didn’t really need to.

Taking advantage of pre-arrival services is a no brainer. Once you receive the invitation, access the service providers you like and link up with them.

There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by utilizing pre-arrival services once you receive your invitation.

Pre-arrival services are available in-person or online and in multiple languages.

In case you’re wondering how much time passed between receiving the invitation and receiving my PR, you can check my application process story HERE.

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22 thoughts on “Should You Take Advantage of Invitation to Pre-Arrival Services?”

  1. My name is Aliyi Sani. I am in Ethiopia. How can I GET An IRCC Invitation to Obtain Pre-Arrival Services [IMM 5801]?
    I do want to go to CANADA for job.

    Reply
    • You only get an invitation to access pre-arrival services when your application has been approved and you’re in the end stages. Have you submitted an application? What stage in the application process are you?

      Reply
    • Invitation to pre-arrival services means it’s pretty much a done deal. It doesn’t always happen in the same sequence or on the same timeline for everybody.

      Reply
  2. Hello Abi,
    so I submitted my husband’s application in May 2019, and he hasn’t been asked for biometrics or medical check-up but he received an invitation pre-arrival letter in Oct 2019 what does this mean, any idea, please?

    Reply
    • Sometimes, things happen out of order so he can utilise the pre-arrival option if he can. They will request the additional information when they’re ready.

      Reply
  3. Dear abi
    my name is FIKADU, I AM FROM ETHIOPIA, I DID MY INTERVIEW IN AUGUST21, 2019 AND ON SEPT 21, 2019 THEY SENT ME THE PRE ARRIVAL SETTLEMENT LETTER. NOW IT HAS BEEN MORE THAN TWO MONTH AFTER MY INTERVIEW, THEY HAVEN ASKED ME FOR MY PASSPORT, HOW LONG, DO YOU THINK, IT WILL TAKE FOR THEM TO CONTACT ME( ASK FOR MY PASSPORT FOR pr VISA)??
    YOUR HELP IS HIGHLY APPRECIATED
    REGARDS
    FIKADU

    Reply
    • The time will vary greatly for each visa office unfortunately so there’s no way to answer your question with certainty. But if they have sent you a pre-arrival letter, it’s pretty much a done deal so be patient. If a very long time has passed though, it doesn’t hurt to send an email enquiry. HTH.

      Reply
  4. Hi ma’am I havent yet receive yet a pre-arrival services letter, my application will be ended february as my pr timeline.

    thank you.

    Reply
  5. hello
    i received pre arrival invitation letter 20-august-2020 and now its been almost 20 months ever since i have filled my application for permanent residece. secondaly i havent received any request for medical or other documnents but still i got pre-arrival letter. can you please tell me what it signifies getting a pre arival letter ?
    when will i get request formedical?

    Reply
    • The process does not follow in the same order sometimes. However, that’s still a very long time from when you got a pre-arrival letter? Have you requested for GCMS notes at all?

      Reply
  6. no i never appliead for GCMS notes. But could you please tell me receiving the PRE arrivial letter what actualy it means. does any requirement or step of application is full filled ? please share the significance of pre arrival in respond to application

    Reply
    • It means your application is moving forward in the process and likely to be successful. The invitation to access pre-arrival should have the information needed to connect with the services. As I said above, it’s not compulsory to use it but it helps a lot with preparing for arrival. If you choose not to use it, it doesn’t affect the outcome of your application.

      Reply
  7. Hi . My husband applied on feburay after that recently i have already finished up with biometric, medical and recently recieved pre-arrival invitation letter. but do i have to expect an interview or am done .?

    Reply
    • No way to know if they will still call you in for an interview but it’s safe to assume if you already received the pre-arrival invitation, then it’s a done deal. Mabrouk!

      Reply
    • The pre-arrival letter and COPR don’t have precise timelines. Some people receive it after they receive COPR and some people receive it months before they get their COPR. It likely depends on how far along your application and background check have gone.

      Reply

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