Immigrant Access Fund! Information About Micro-Loans! For Internationally Trained Immigrants!
Immigrant Access Fund Canada supports newcomers who arrive in our country equipped with excellent professional skills and knowledge but face significant barriers to employment. Often they fall into poverty as they become stuck in unemployment or low paying “survival” jobs. As they lack income, collateral or credit history in Canada, it is difficult if not impossible for them to access mainstream credit.
IAF provides micro loans of up to $10,000 to internationally trained immigrants so they can obtain the Canadian licensing or training they need to work in their field. The loan can pay for exams, training, qualification assessments, professional association fees, books and course materials, living allowance and other expenses related to obtaining the Canadian licensing or training they need.
IAF is Canada’s largest and most successful character-based community lending program funded by both the private and public sectors.
The IAF program started in Alberta in 2005. As the need for loans elsewhere became apparent, the program expanded to Saskatchewan in 2012, and became Canada-wide in 2014.
This expansion was accomplished through three affiliated organizations, IAF Alberta, IAF Saskatchewan and IAF Canada.
Demand for IAF micro loans continues to grow. IAF is keen to make certain that as the program grows, it does so carefully and with purpose, always maintaining its commitment to loan recipients and the community and other stakeholders. The IAF family recently carried out a strategy review, which led to the decision that the IAF program, and the people it lends to, would be best served if IAF’s structure were unified and its governance streamlined.
As of April 1, 2015, the three IAF organizations—IAF Alberta, IAF Saskatchewan, IAF Canada—amalgamated. The IAF program is now delivered through a single entity under the name Immigrant Access Fund Canada.
There were strong and clear reasons to amalgamate, from both the program delivery and operational perspectives.
The single loan delivery team that resulted from the amalgamation will provide the best possible service to IAF loan applicants, and increase access to the program.
IAF can now deliver a truly pan-Canadian solution—a solution born from the strength of IAF’s province-specific programs.
IAF’s model allows people to apply for loans in person as well as remotely. Because we now have a single pool of loan delivery talent, IAF will be better able to respond when demand for loans spikes or lessens in a geographical area.
Opportunities for shared learning, cross-training, staff advancement and staff retention are all expected positive outcomes.
Operationally, having a single IAF organization will lead to benefits such as lower administrative costs, pooled loan capital resources, functional synergy, and streamlined governance.
IAF continues to have loan staff in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon. Loan applicants who live outside those cities—so far, most have been in the Greater Toronto Area—
will continue to be served through a remote model that IAF has piloted over the past year.
As always, we will continue to engage our referral network of immigrant serving organizations, learning institutions, regulatory bodies, and ethno- and occupation-specific communities to reach prospective applicants and to help us connect loan recipients to their valuable resources.
Our fundamental principles—do what’s in the best interests of the applicant, and do what’s in the best interests of sustainability of the loan capital fund—continue to guide our work.
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-855-423-2262
#2A – 511 1 St Ave. North
Saskatoon, SK, S7K 1X5
Toll Free: 1-855-423-2262
Fax: (306) 974-4932