A Loan Program that Helps Alberta Newcomers Gain Employment

One of the challenges skilled immigrants face in having their credentials recognized in Canada is the high cost of relicensing or training. Due to a lack of Canadian credit history and score, many newcomers are unable to obtain loans and, unless they draw from their savings, cannot afford these high costs. Thankfully, there are organizations working to reduce these barriers and assist newcomers to secure the financing they need to pay for these expenses.

Windmill Microlending is a registered charity, founded in 2005 and offers low-interest microloans (small loans) to newcomers living in Canada. Windmill offers up to $15,000 to help pay for licensing or training needed, making it possible for skilled immigrants to reach their career goals in Canada. The program is available online all across Canada.

There are two types of loans available:

1. A standard low-interest loan for immigrants,
2. An interest-free loan for refugees.
Recipients can take up to 5 years to repay both loans. They can be used to pay for education, licensing or training expenses.

Since January 2018, Windmill has approved 581 loans in Alberta and have disbursed over $3,7 million. The majority of their clients come from the healthcare sector (Physicians, Nurses, Dentists, etc.), financial and engineering sectors, etc.

A Windmill loan may be used for:

• Short-term (two years or less) training
• Exam fees with a professional licensing association
• Travel expenses – to write an exam, or relocation costs for employment
• Qualification assessments
• Professional association fees
• Books and course materials
• English or French language courses specific to employment
• Living allowance during study time
• Other related expenses

To be eligible, an applicant must:

• Be an Immigrant: Permanent Resident, Provincial Nominee, Refugee/Protected Person or Canadian Citizen
• Plan to pursue training, licensure or a course of study to achieve their career goals
• Be living in Canada
• Not have an undischarged bankruptcy

Applications can be submitted online at https://windmillmicrolending.org/

If you have any questions, please contact Onai Abote, Community Relations Specialist at [email protected]

In addition, the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) in partnership with Windmill Microlending and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (NAIT) will be hosting an online webinar:

When: Monday, May 11th 2020 at 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (Mountain Time)
Where/Format: Zoom Webinar (the link will be provided to all the registered participants a couple of days prior to the date)

To register CLICK HERE!

Hope you will be able to join us on May 11th and learn more about the above loan program!