Useful Links

  • Global Experience Ontario
  • Learn English or French
  • Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
  • How to apply


Use this glossary to understand some of the immigration related words and phrases on The terms are presented as used by the Government of Ontario. You can also download a copy of the glossary.



Academic credential assessment – The conversion of educational credentials from any country in the world into their Canadian equivalents. The process may be done for a course or for a certificate, diploma or degree.

Accreditation – Approval to an institution by an official review board after the institution has met specific requirements.

Admissibility – Whether or not a person is capable of being admitted to Canada, based on Canada's Immigration Law.

Adoption – Formally receiving custody of a child.

Adult education – Learning opportunities for adults. For example, obtaining a high school education, upgrading skills or special programs at post-secondary schools.

Applicant – A person who applies to immigrate to Canada.

Apprenticeable trades – Usually require the completion of a period of apprenticeship training on the job by a licensed supervisor, some specialized college education courses, and the successful completion of a certification examination. Mechanics, plumbers, and welders are examples of workers in apprenticeable trades. Across Canada, there are about 50 different regulated professions and more than 100 apprenticeable trades.

Apprenticeships – Apprenticeship training is a combination of on-the-job learning and in-class instruction leading to a Certificate of Qualification in a skilled trade. Apprentices are employees and earn a salary for the work they do, while they develop their skills under the direction of more experienced workers.

Approved job offer – In most cases, an employer who wants to hire a temporary foreign worker must have the job offer approved by Employment and Social Development Canada before a work permit can be issued. The job offer must be made in writing and include details of the job, including title, responsibilities, the skills or qualifications required and the salary.

Assessment tools – Tests that have been developed for determining the English or French proficiency of an individual normally in the four basic skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening or may be an assessment test to ensure they can enter a particular program (bridge training) or an academic or professional program.


Background check – A procedure to prevent criminals and security threats from entering Canada. Everyone who applies to become a permanent resident of Canada who is 18 years of age or older must undergo a background check. During a background check, immigration officers review the permanent residence application, security, intelligence and criminal conviction records, and immigration records.

Bridging Projects for English Language Learning – These programs are focused on higher levels of language training (similar to ELT) along with work, mentoring and/or internship components and is directed at professions and trades. 

Bridging Projects for internationally trained professionals and tradespeople
– Intended to help qualified internationally trained individuals move quickly into the labour market by assessing their existing skills and competencies and providing training and Canadian workplace experience without duplicating what they have already learned.

Business Class immigrant – Someone who is admitted to Canada because of their business experience and their willingness and ability to invest in, or start a business in Canada. There are three types of business class immigrants: investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed people.

Business immigrant – Canada welcomes three types of business immigrants: investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons. Business immigrants must have business experience. Investors and entrepreneurs must have enough money to invest in a business or start their own business. Self-employed business immigrants must be able to create a job for themselves in Canada.

Business immigration seminars - The Ontario government offers an information seminar in downtown Toronto for individuals who are interested in immigrating to Ontario under the Business Immigration Program. This seminar provides an overview of Ontario, describes the immigration process, and highlights the services and resources available to business immigrants. The seminar is free, but pre-registration is required.

Business visitor – Someone who enters Canada for international business activities. They must work for a company located outside of Canada, or for a foreign government. They are not part of the Canadian labour market. They are paid outside of Canada, and do not require a work permit to work in Canada.


Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement – Bilateral agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario signed November 15, 2005. The agreement outlines roles and responsibilities for both governments, funding arrangements and collaborative initiatives with regards to immigration and integration of newcomers to Ontario until 2010.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – The Charter is one of the documents in the Canadian constitution. It guarantees those rights and freedoms that Canadians believe are essential in a free and democratic country. In most cases, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are guaranteed the rights outlined in the Charter.

Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) – The Canadian standard used to describe, measure and recognize the second language ability of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants who plan to live and work in Canada/Ontario.

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks/ Centre des niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (CCLB/CNCLC) – The CCLB/ CNCLC is the centre of expertise in support of the national standards in English and French used to describe, measure and recognize second language ability of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants for living and working in Canada.

Certificate of Canadian Citizenship – A document issued by the Government of Canada that proves that the holder is a Canadian citizen.

Child care – Care for pre-school children, and care for school-age children before and after school.

Child care centres – Offer balanced programs of activities for infants, toddlers, and pre-school and school-age children. Children learn and grow while making friends with other children of the same age.

Citizenship – After an individual has been a permanent resident in Canada for three years or more, he or she may be able to apply for Citizenship. Citizens have rights and responsibilities in Canada that others do not.

Citizenship Act – The Canadian law that outlines who is a citizen of Canada. The Citizenship Act also describes how to become a Canadian citizen.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada – The Government of Canada department responsible for immigration, refugees and citizenship.

Citizenship ceremony – A formal ceremony where Canadian citizenship is granted. The ceremony is the last step in the process of becoming a Canadian citizen. Participants take the Citizenship Oath and receive a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship.

Citizenship oath – A statement confirming that an individual is committed to Canada. New citizens read the Citizenship Oath aloud at a citizenship ceremony. Here is the Citizenship Oath: "I affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen."

Citizenship test – A test that a permanent resident must take before becoming a Canadian citizen. A citizenship test includes general questions about Canada, and questions that test an individual’s knowledge of English or French.

Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology – Colleges offer a variety of full-and part-time career-oriented programs for secondary school graduates and for mature students who may not have completed secondary school. Most college programs are either diploma programs (which may be either two or three years in length) or certificate programs (which run one year or less). Some courses of study lead to official certification in skilled trades that are regulated by professional associations. In addition, many colleges offer programs of study leading to bachelor degrees in applied areas of study.

Continuing education – see, Adult Education

Convention refugee – A person who, by reason of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, is outside each of their countries of nationality and is unable or, by reason of that fear, unwilling to avail themself of the protection of each of those countries; or not having a country of nationality, is outside the country of their former habitual residence and is unable or, by reason of that fear, unwilling to return to that country.

Criminal inadmissibility – Those that have criminal records (both major and minor offences) may not be permitted to enter Canada.


Departure order – An order by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that requires the person named on it to leave Canada within 30 days. Departure orders are issued against people who have violated the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or its Regulations.

Dependent child (CIC definition) – Someone who is under the age of 19 and is not married or living in a common-law relationship. Children over the age of 19 who are financially dependent on their parents because of a physical or mental condition are also considered dependent children.

Deportation order – An order that requires the person named on it to leave Canada. A deportation order is issued for serious offences or serious violations of Canada's Immigration Law. A person who is deported from Canada may not return without written permission from an immigration officer.

Developmental disability – The Developmental Services Act defines a developmental disability as "a condition of mental impairment, present or occurring during a person's formative years, that is associated with limitations in adaptive behaviour." A developmental disability is a life-long condition and can be accompanied by other physical conditions. This disability varies greatly among individuals. A person with a developmental disability may have limitations in intellectual ability and difficulties in many common daily activities or life skills, such as personal hygiene and dressing, communication, learning, mobility, ability to live independently, and economic self-sufficiency.

Disabilities – The Ontario Human Rights Code defines “disability” as follows:

any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;

a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;

a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;

a mental disorder; or

an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (“handicap”).

There are many kinds of disabilities, including physical, sensory, hearing, mental health, developmental and learning. Disabilities can be visible or non-visible.

Driver’s handbook – A handy reference guide describing the rules of the road, safe driving practices and how to get a licence to drive a car, van or small truck.

Driver’s licence – A licence which allows a person to drive a car or other vehicle in Ontario.

Dual citizenship – It is possible for a person to be a Canadian citizen, and a citizen of another country as well. This is known as dual citizenship, and is permitted under Canada's Immigration Law. Some countries however, do not allow dual citizenship.


Economic Class – Immigrants who come to Canada under the Economic Class are selected because of their skills or other assets (net worth). They are selected because they can make an immediate contribution to Canada's economy. Economic Class immigrants include skilled workers, provincial and territorial nominees, investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons.

Elementary schools – Elementary schools provide education programs for children starting between the ages of four and six. By age six, all children in Ontario must be enrolled in Grade 1.

Embassy – An office of a government in the capital city of another country. Embassies usually offer a full range of services to their citizens.

Emergency services – Public support available immediately if there is a dangerous situation caused by fire, a health crisis or criminal activity. This may involve the police, the local fire department, ambulance services and/or a local emergency hotline.

Emergency shelter - A safe place to stay for people who are at risk of being harmed if they remain in their homes.

Employee – A person who performs work or who supplies services to an employer for wages.

Employer – A person, partnership or company that is directly or indirectly responsible for the employment of an employee.

Employment and Social Development Canada – This department of the Government of Canada is responsible for determining the effect on the Canadian labour market from the recruitment of foreign workers. Companies wishing to hire a foreign worker should contact their local ESDC office to have the job offer "confirmed".

Employment Insurance – Employment Insurance is a program managed and administered by the Government of Canada. It provides temporary financial assistance for unemployed Canadians while they look for work or upgrade their skills. Canadians who are sick, pregnant or caring for a newborn or adopted child, as well as those who must care for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death, may also be assisted by Employment Insurance.

Employment standard – A requirement or prohibition under the ESA that applies to an employer for the benefit of an employee.

Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) – A law that sets minimum standards for fair workplace practices in Ontario. Those who work in Ontario are probably protected by the ESA. It does not cover employees in federal jurisdiction and persons in a few other special categories. There are exceptions and special rules for some employees.

English as a Second Language (ESL) – Programs to help newcomers learn English.

English language learners – Students in Ontario who are in provincially-funded English-language schools from K-12, whose first language is other than English or who may speak a version of English that is significantly different from that spoken in Ontario's schools. These students may require educational supports to assist them to improve or achieve English language proficiency.

Enhanced Language Training (ELT) – Federally funded higher level language training programs with a work-language component (workplace experience must be included in this program).

Entrepreneur – A type of business immigrant. To come to Canada as an entrepreneur, an individual must have business experience and have a net worth of at least CDN $300,000 that was obtained legally.

Exit tests – These are tests used to determine how individuals have advanced as a result of the ESL/FSL training.


Family Class – Family Class immigrants are people sponsored to come to, or remain in Canada by a relative who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

Federal government – The Government of Canada

Foreign national – Someone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

French as a second language – Programs to help newcomers learn French.


Graduated licensing – All new drivers in Ontario must go through this two-step process called "graduated licensing" to get their driver's licence. The process takes at least 20 months to complete.

Group sponsorship – Refugees who arrive in Canada are often helped, or "sponsored" by individuals or groups. Sponsoring groups help refugee families settle in Canada, and get to know their new surroundings and local communities. This means helping them find a place to live, telling them about programs and services they can use, and offering their friendship.


Health card – Card that is issued to an individual entitled to health services paid for by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

Health insurance – The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care pays for a wide range of health services provided by doctors, hospitals, dental surgery performed in hospitals and certain non-physician practitioners. However, it does not pay for services that are not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery. Newcomers must apply to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) in order to obtain coverage and a health card from the province.

Home child care – Provided in a family-like setting for infants, toddlers, and pre-school and school-age children. Children from the same family can be cared for together, often in their own neighbourhood, close to school and friends.

Housing – Places for people to live, usually either owned or rented. Rental can be arranged privately through a landlord, or through government if assistance is required.


Immigration and Refugee Protection Act – Immigration law; Government of Canada legislation on immigration and refugee matters.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations – Detailed rules on immigration that are approved under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). IRPA provides the main principles and components of Canada's immigration and refugee protection programs. Procedures, exceptions and other details are spelled out in the regulations.

Immigration officer – A person who is authorized to enforce the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Immigration officers decide who can enter and remain in Canada. They have many of the same powers as police officers, including the right to conduct searches, make arrests, and seize documents or goods.

Immigration representative, or consultant – A person who provides support, advice or assistance to someone who wants to immigrate to Canada. Applicants do not have to hire an immigration representative to come to Canada. The Government of Canada treats everyone equally, whether they use the services of a representative or not. Those who do hire a paid representative, must notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program – Government of Canada program supporting community organizations that provide settlement services to newcomers.

Inadmissible; inadmissible person – Someone who is not allowed to enter or remain in Canada. There are many reasons that a person may be inadmissible, including security concerns, serious criminal offences, human rights violations, health or financial reasons and failure to comply with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Income tax – Working people have money deducted from their pay cheques every month. This is known as income tax. The money is sent to the federal government to cover the cost of government services. All Canadian residents who are old enough to work must file an income tax return each year, whether they earned any money or not. If too much is deducted, a refund will be issued. If an individual paid too little, he or she will have to pay more.

International adoption – Formally receiving custody of a child from another country.

International Medical Graduate – International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are individuals who have obtained a medical degree in a jurisdiction other than Canada or the United States.

International student – An international student is a foreign national who is authorized to study in Canada.

Internship – An internship is a supervised work-or school-related training where an individual gains valuable work experience.

Investor – A type of business immigrant. In order to come to Canada as an Investor an individual must have business experience and have a net worth of at least $800,000 that was obtained legally. Immigrants in this class must make an investment of $400,000. The money is invested by the Government of Canada to create jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians.


Job Connect – This Ontario government program helps people plan, prepare for and succeed in the job market and can help individuals on a path to higher skills training and employment. Services are available across Ontario. The program offers a range of services to respond to the employment needs of individuals and skilled labour needs of employers.

Through Job Connect, the internationally trained have access to language and credential assessment, relevant labour market information, job search support, and employment placement to gain Canadian work experience and/or meet licensure requirements. Individuals are also supported by Job Connect through appropriate referrals to complementary program and services such as settlement services, English as a second language/French as a second language training and bridging projects.

Job market information – See Labour Market Information



Labour market information – Labour market information is information concerning the conditions in, and the operations of the market for labour.

Landed immigrant – An immigrant who has been "landed" is a permanent resident.

Language assessment – An evaluation of an individual’s reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in a particular language.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) – Federally funded English as a Second Language program for newcomers.

Literacy and basic skills – These skills help people to take part in further education and training, as well as to find and keep jobs. They form the essential foundation upon which people can build additional skills, and they help people become more independent.

Literacy and Basic Skills programs – Provide literacy, numeric and essential skills services that help learners achieve their goals related to further education or training, employment or independence.

Live-in Caregiver Program – A qualified person who comes to Canada to work in a private home to care for children, the elderly or people with disabilities. A live-in caregiver must live in the employer's home.


Medical examination – All immigrants and some visitors must have a medical examination before they are allowed into Canada. The medical exam could include a physical examination, a review of an applicant’s medical history, and other medical tests. To pass the medical examination, each applicant must be in good health, and have no conditions or illnesses that would pose a danger to Canadians, or be very expensive to treat in Canada.

Member of Parliament (MP) – An individual, elected by the people, in a particular electoral district or constituency to represent them in the federal parliament (House of Commons) located in Ottawa.

Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) – An individual, elected by the people, in a particular electoral district or constituency to represent them in the provincial parliament. Ontario’s provincial parliament is located in Toronto.

Mental health – Emotional and psychological well-being.

Mentorship – A formal relationship between a professional and a newcomer to encourage the development of the newcomer.

Municipal government – The most local of the three levels of government in Canada; enacts municipal laws, levies taxes and administers local services such as roads, sewers and libraries in municipalities such as cities and towns.


Non-regulated occupations – Non-regulated occupations do not require special licensure and can range from those requiring extensive education and training, such as a university degree (for example, computer analysts and biologists) to those that require little in the way of formal training and involve little risk to the public (for example, salespersons and housekeepers). There are also many apprenticeable trades for which licensing or certification is voluntary rather than compulsory in Ontario. About 80% of the Canadian workforce is employed in non-regulated occupations.


Ontario Association of Continuing Education School Boards Administrators (CESBA) – CESBA represents the broad spectrum of adult and continuing education administrators who work in Boards of Education including public, catholic and francophone boards within Ontario. These programs are funded by government departments (both federal and provincial) as well as by individual and business fee-paying clients.

Ontario Disability Supports Program – The Ontario Disability Support Program is designed to meet the unique needs of people with disabilities who are in financial need, or who want and are able to work and need support. Ontarians 65 years or older who are not eligible for Old Age Security may also qualify for ODSP supports if they are in financial need. The program has two components: Income Support; and Employment Supports.

Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) – Publicly funded provincial health insurance plan that provides health insurance to residents of Ontario in accordance with the Health Insurance Act and its regulations.

Ontario Human Rights Commission – Administers the Ontario Human Rights Code. The OHRC investigates complaints of discrimination and harassment; making efforts to settle complaints between parties; preventing discrimination through public education and public policy; and looking into situations where discriminatory behaviour exists.

Ontario Student Assistance Program – The objective of student financial assistance is to assist eligible students who do not have the resources to finance postsecondary studies meet the costs of postsecondary education. The intention is to promote equality of opportunity for postsecondary studies by providing financial assistance for educational costs and basic living expenses.

Ontario Works – The Ontario Works program provides income and employment assistance for people who are in temporary financial need. To be eligible for Ontario Works, an applicant must be:

a resident of Ontario;

in immediate financial need; and

willing to participate in employment assistance activities.

The amount of money that someone receives from Ontario Works varies depending upon housing costs and family size. Clients may also be eligible for drug and dental coverage, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and community and employment start-up benefits.

All recipients of Ontario Works are required to participate in one or more employment assistance activities as a condition of eligibility for financial assistance. This helps people move as quickly as possible to a job and to become self-reliant.


Passport – An official document that identifies the person who holds it, and proves their citizenship. A passport gives the holder the right to leave and return to the country that issues it. A passport is the only reliable identification document that is accepted by all countries.

Passport to Business Success – The government of Ontario has developed the Passport to Business Success (PBS) program with the federal and municipal governments to encourage entrepreneurship and new business start-ups. PBS will assist business immigrants in establishing new businesses and settling in Ontario.

Permanent resident – A person lawfully in Canada as an immigrant who is not yet eligible to become, or has not yet become, a Canadian citizen.

Permanent resident card – A card issued to all permanent residents to confirm their status as permanent residents of Canada. The card fits into a wallet, and includes the name, photograph, nationality, date of birth, gender, eye colour, height, place of landing, and signature of the person it was issued to. Permanent residents must have their PR card in order to re-enter Canada.

Principals – Principals are appointed by the school board to manage individual schools. They are also responsible for the supervision of teachers and students, the quality of instruction at their school and for student discipline.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) – The process of identifying, assessing, and recognizing what a person knows and can do.

Private schools – Private schools are businesses that operate outside of the publicly funded school system. They receive no funding from the Government of Ontario and there are no ministry requirements for teachers or principals to have Ontario qualifications. The ministry only inspects registered private schools that offer credits towards the high school diploma.

Profession – An occupation that typically requires a bachelor's degree and in some cases a period of postgraduate study. Professions are normally self regulating, with members adhering to a code of ethics and standards. However, "profession" and "professional" have a wide variety of more common usages that include semi-professional and technical occupations as well as creative and performing arts occupations.

Proof of citizenship – Documentation identifying a Canadian citizen.

Provincial government – The Government of Ontario.

Provincial nominee – A person nominated by a province or territory to come to Canada. Provincial nominees are selected according to the economic needs of the province that nominates them. For example, Manitoba may recruit nominees who are tool and die makers, while Alberta may seek to bring nurses to the province. Nominees must meet federal admissibility requirements, such as medical and security checks.

Provincial nominee program – A program that allows provinces and territories to nominate individuals to come to Canada as provincial nominees.

Public schools – Public schools include elementary and secondary schools that are funded by the Government of Ontario and operated by a school board or school authority. Public schools are also divided into four groups: English-language catholic, English-language public, French-language catholic and French-language public.

Public transit – Transportation systems operated by a city or town.



Refugee – A person, inside or outside of Canada, who is afraid to return to their home country because they may be harmed. Canada provides protection to thousands of refugees every year.

Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program – The Government of Canada’s program to select, sponsor and integrate refugees into Canadian society after they arrive.

Refugee claimant – An individual that has applied for refugee status while in Canada and is waiting for the Immigration and Refugee Board to determine whether or not refugee status should be granted.

Regulated professions – Usually require several years of university or college education, practical experience under the supervision of a licensed worker in the chosen profession, and the successful completion of a licensure examination. Physicians, nurses, and lawyers are examples of workers in regulated professions. It is important to note that provinces and territories sometimes expect different things from their regulated professionals. In some instances, this means that a person licensed in one province may have to re-apply for a licence in order to work in another province or territory.

Regulatory body – The association or regulatory college that has been given statutory authority to establish requirements for entry to the profession or professional designation as well as standards of practice and competence.

Resume – An account of an individual’s education and professional record or accomplishments usually submitted to a potential employer while applying for a job.


Safe Third Country – A country designated as safe, where an individual could have found refugee protection. Under the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States, every refugee protection claimant will have access to a refugee hearing in the first safe country they enter, either in Canada or the United States, but not in both countries.

School authorities – School authorities are school boards that operate in remote and isolated communities, as well as some hospitals.

School boards – Ontario's school boards operate the province's publicly funded schools. The boards administer the funding they receive from the province for their schools. School board responsibilities include: determining the number, size and location of schools; building, equipping and furnishing schools; providing education programs that meet the needs of the school community; preparing an annual budget; supervising the operation of schools and their teaching programs; hiring teachers and other staff; helping teachers improve their teaching practices; and ensuring schools abide by the Education Act and its regulations.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program – A program that allows foreign workers to enter Canada and work on farms on a temporary basis during peak harvesting and planting periods. Foreign workers who enter Canada under the Seasonal Agriculture Workers Program receive wages that are similar to Canadian workers doing the same work. They also receive health and medical and benefits.

Secondary schools – Secondary schools provide an education to students who have been promoted from elementary school. To achieve an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, a student must earn 30 credits, complete 40 hours of community service and successfully complete the Grade 10 literacy requirement.

Self-employed – A type of business immigrant. Self-employed business immigrants must have relevant experience, be able to create a job for themselves in Canada, and make a significant economic contribution to Canada in one of several specific fields.

Service manager – The municipal government that is responsible for administering subsidized housing and social assistance.

Skilled worker – A person selected to enter Canada by the federal government based on their skills, education, age, experience and knowledge of English and/or French and other abilities. Skilled workers must have enough funds to support themselves and their dependents in Canada.

Social assistance – Social assistance is a general term that refers to the provision of financial assistance and/or professional services by or on behalf of a public agency (i.e. government). The objective of social assistance is to supply the necessities of life for those who, for whatever reason, are unable to make such provisions themselves. The provision of social assistance is based on eligibility criteria. Ontario has two social assistance programs: Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

Social insurance number – The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number used in the administration of various Canadian government programs. Everyone requires a SIN to work in Canada or to receive government benefits.

Sponsors – A Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada who is 18 years of age or older, who promises to support a relative or family members who want to become permanent residents of Canada. The sponsor must agree to support their relative or family member and their accompanying family members for three to 10 years to help them settle in Canada.

Sponsorship agreement – Signed agreement between a sponsored immigrant and his or her sponsor outlining the obligations and commitments of both parties. The agreement is required before immigration.

Spouse – A person over the age of 16 to whom an individual is legally married. Same-sex partners who have undergone civil marriages in several provinces of Canada can be sponsored in the family class.

Subsidized housing – All types of government-assisted housing where the amount of rent paid is determined by the tenant's income and not by the size or type of accommodation. Sometimes referred to as social housing.


Teachers of English as a Second Language Association of Ontario (TESL Ontario) – Ontario provides support and direction to professionals, government bodies and learners involved in English as a Second Language in Ontario.

Temporary resident – A person from another country who is in Canada for a short period. Temporary residents include students, temporary foreign workers and visitors, such as tourists. In most cases, a temporary resident visa is required.

Temporary resident permit – A permit that may be granted to a person who does not meet the requirements of Canada's Immigration law to enter or remain in Canada. A Temporary Resident Permit is issued in exceptional circumstances to someone who would normally be inadmissible to Canada.

Temporary resident visa – Residents of many countries require a visa to travel to Canada. The visa will specify the period within which visitors requiring visas can travel to Canada. Visas can be obtained at a Canadian embassy, High Commission, Mission or Consulate.

Temporary study permit – A document that allows a foreign student to study in Canada. A study permit identifies the level of studies and the length of time that the student can stay in Canada. Most people must apply for a study permit before they come to Canada.

Temporary work permit – A document that allows a person from another country to work in Canada for a short period.

Tenant – Person who rents property.

Trades – Occupations generally regarded as requiring one to three years of postsecondary education at a community college or university; or two to four years of apprenticeship training; or two to three years of on-the-job-training, or a combination of these requirements. A licence/certificate may be required to practise the trade.

Trustees – School trustees are elected to serve on district school boards and most school authority boards. They are elected by citizens during the municipal election process. They are responsible for establishing the board’s objectives and priorities and providing direction to the board’s director of education.


Undertaking with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada – A signed agreement between permanent residents or citizens sponsoring a relative in the family immigration class and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The sponsor promises to provide financial support for their basic requirements and those of their family members immigrating to Canada with them. Basic requirements are food, clothing, shelter and other basic requirements for everyday living.


Visa Officer – A person who issues a visa to someone who wants to come to Canada.

Volunteer – A person who, of his or her own free will, contributes time, resources, energy and/or talent without monetary compensation.