Loans for Internationally Trained Immigrants in Canada

Are you an internationally-trained immigrant living in Canada? Do you need financial support completing training courses or getting your license to work in your field? Maybe you would like to transition into a new career?

Good news! Once you are in Canada you can get a loan to help you pursue the career you love.

Micro-loans can allow you to overcome financial barriers to upgrade your skills and obtain license or certification so that you will be able to:

  • Practice your occupation, regulated or unregulated
  • Find opportunities in field or a related field
  • Change career to adjust to the labour market needs

There are a number of loan programs available to newcomers across Canada. Each province may have their own unique loan option. Below we provide some information and links to loan programs available across Canada. Keep reading to learn about the ways a micro-loan can help you achieve your career goals.

If you are interested to learn more about any of these loan programs, talk to your SOPA employment specialist.

Atlantic Canada

Are going to one of the four Atlantic provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Prince Edward Island? The Atlantic Immigrant Career Loan Fund may be for you!

The Atlantic Immigrant Career Loan Fund (AICLF) is a micro-loan fund for internationally-trained immigrants living in Atlantic Canada.

How it works

  1. Register with an AICLF agency in NS, NB, NL or PEI.
  2. Work with your AICLF Employment Specialist to assess your needs and develop an action plan.
  3. Complete the loan application with your AICLF Coordinator.
  4. Meet with your designated RBC Account Manager to sign loan documents if approved.
  5. Connect with your AICLF Coordinator to release funds according to your action plan.
  6. Keep your AICLF Coordinator informed about your progress and start repayment of the loan

The AICLF may pay for:

  • Registration fees
  • Licensing and examination fees
  • Training, tuition fees, related text books or online resources
  • Living expenses (during exams or a specific training)
  • Travel and accommodation expenses to complete exams and courses
  • Work tools

To be eligible for the AICLF you must:

  • Be an immigrant with Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status
  • Live in Atlantic Canada (NS, NB, PEI or NL)
  • Have received training or certification outside of Canada
  • Have the required English or French language skills to complete an employment plan
  • Not have an undischarged bankruptcy

Please note that in order to apply for the loan, you need to be living in Canada. You cannot apply for a loan if you are still outside of Canada.

At, you can take the eligibility test, submit your application and discover successful applicant testimonials. Learn more by talking with your employment specialist who will be happy to assist you.

Across Canada:

  • Windmill Microlending: provides microloans of up to $15,000 to skilled immigrants and refugees so they can succeed in their careers. Windmill supports clients to obtain the Canadian licensing or training required to work in their field, or to secure a position that matches their level of education, skills, and experience. Windmill loans can pay for exams, training, assessments, books and materials, living allowance, relocation costs, professional association fees, and other expenses related to advancing their career



  • Skills Development Assistance : Apply for a grant (money that you won’t need to repay) through Employment Manitoba which usually approves up to CAD $15,000 but each case is individual.
  • Manitoba Student Aid: Apply for Student Aid (a combination of loan and bursaries).
  • Recognition Counts: Apply for a loan through Recognition Counts Program (a low-interest loan that you will start paying back only after 6 months of completing the program).

Saskatchewan and Alberta:

  •  CareerLoans: helps internationally-trained newcomers in Alberta and Saskatchewan by providing free career counselling and a micro loan of up to $15,000 to help achieve their career goals.

British Columbia

  • Global Talent Loans: Whether you are a professional or a skilled tradesperson looking for local training and certification, or considering a career change, FCR loans program can help.
  • Foreign Credential recognitions loans program SUCCESS: If you are a professional or a tradesperson in your home country and would like to return to your field here in Canada, you may need to go through a process called foreign credential recognition. This process evaluates your foreign credential to ensure that it meets the standards established in Canada. The Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loan Project provides financial support to you during this process by offering a competitive low-interest rate loan.
  • Foreign Credential recognitions loans program PICS: Foreign Credential Recognition Program Expanding to Serve Accounting, Law and Other Sectors. Loan assistance for up to CAD $15,000. One-on-one counselling, career action plan, personalized professional advice and more.

Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) is an Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) funded program that delivers free pre-arrival services for job readiness, success and retention. Explore the free, pre-arrival resources, services and courses we offer at


AICLF Success Story-Michael from ISANS on Vimeo.