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Immigrant Access Fund
Are you an immigrant who wants to work in your professional field in Canada?
Momentum can help you access an Immigrant Access Fund micro loan to help you pay for the costs of your Canadian accreditation, training or upgrading.
Micro loans are available for skilled workers as well as professionals.
Do I qualify?
To be eligible, you must:
- Be an immigrant living in Alberta;
- Be a permanent resident, Canadian citizen, provincial nominee* or aprotected person;
- Have worked in another country in the field you wish to return to;
- Have English skills that enable you to complete your employment plan;
- Have a plan that sets out what you must do to be able to work in your field;
- Be accepted into the program you are applying the loan toward (if applicable);
- Have a reasonable chance of obtaining employment in your field;
- Lack access to comparable financial resources;
- Not have an undischarged bankruptcy;
- Agree to repay the loan, with interest; and
- Complete an application and satisfy all requirements of the Loan Review Team.
*Nominees under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program must have received notice from Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) that their application has been accepted.
What can I use the money for:
- Short-term training (2 years or less).
- Exam fees with a professional governing association.
- Travel expenses to write an exam.
- Qualification assessments.
- Professional association fees,
- Books and course materials,
- English language courses specific to employment,
- Living allowance during study time, or
- Other related expenses.
Loan terms and conditions
- Up to $10,000 may be borrowed.
- The annual interest rate is 1.5% above the Bank of Canada's commercial lending rate and is set quarterly. The interest rate on IAF micro loans is currently 4.5%.
- You will need to sign a promissory note.
- Loan funds are advanced as you make progress on your licensing/training plan.
- Payments of interest only will start the month after you receive the loan and will be based on the amount borrowed at that time.
- Payments must be made monthly and will be taken automatically from your bank account.
- You have up to four years to pay back your loan. Generally, your payments will be interest only for the first two years, and principal and interest for the next two years. You will need to start paying principal earlier, though, if:
- You find employment in your field, in which case your principal and interest payments will start within 90 days, or
- You complete your licensing/training program in less than two years, in which case your principal and interest payments will start within 90 days.
- Loans may be paid in full at any time with no penalty. "Paid in full" means that all principal, interest and any additional charges that might have been charged against the loan have been received.
- Where appropriate, the loan may be paid to the provider of the product or service rather than to you.
- The loan and the payments will be registered with a credit bureau so that you can build your credit rating.
- There are no processing fees on loans.
Since approval of your IAF micro loan is based on your character, you will be required to provide personal references, demonstrate initiative, have a strong licensing/learning plan in place, and be willing to repay the loan.
How do I apply:
- Call 403.204.2667, email email@example.com or visit Momentum’s office to determine your eligibility. If eligible, an interview can be arranged to meet with the IAF loan facilitator.
- An application form can be completed prior to the interview—forms are available at Momentum or online at www.iafcanada.org.
- Come to Momentum for the interview (located at 16-2936 Radcliffe Dr SE, Calgary).
- Out of town applicants can arrange a telephone interview and then mail, fax, or scan and email the application form to the Momentum office (fax to 403.235.4646 or mail to 16-2936 Radcliffe Drive SE, Calgary AB T2A 6M8).
The Loan Review Committee will review completed applications within two weeks of meeting with the loan facilitator.