Canada Special NEWS!

24th of June, 2013
New Federal Skilled Worker Program now open to applications
On May 4, 2013, CIC launched the new and improved Federal Skilled Worker Program. The goal of the updated selection criteria is to improve economic outcomes by selecting immigrants who will be able to integrate more quickly and successfully into Canada's economy......

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21st of June, 2013
Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act
Law for Protecting the Safety and Security of Canadian Families

Ottawa, June 20, 2013 - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney welcomed the final passage and Royal Assent of The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, which speeds up the removal of dangerous foreign criminals from Canada.....

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23rd of May, 2013
Canada's new Start-Up Visa in Silicon Valley
Minister Kenney promotes recruiting the world's best and brightest entrepreneurs to Canada.

Ottawa, May 21, 2013 - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney concluded a productive visit to Silicon Valley to promote Canada's new Start-Up Visa, the first of its kind in the world.....

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08th of May, 2013
Canada Reunites increased number of families in 2012
Ottawa, May 7, 2013 – In 2012, there was a 15 percent increase in immigration under the family class, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

"The actions taken by the government are helping more families reunite," said Minister Kenney. "We have created additional avenues and flexibility, so that an increasing number of families can spend more time with each other.".....

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19th of April, 2013
List of Priority Occupations and Organizations Designated to Conduct Educational Credential Assessments for Federal Skilled Worker Program Released
Ottawa, April 18, 2013 –The list of 24 occupations that are eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) when it re-opens on May 4, 2013 was released today.

In addition, four organizations have been designated to provide the now-required independent third party assessments of foreign educational credentials for applicants who studied outside of Canada. These assessments, which must be completed before an application is submitted, are aimed at helping newcomers through the FSWP to get off to a better start and into the Canadian labour force more quickly when they arrive.....

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03rd of January, 2013
Federal Skilled Trades Program Announced, Applications Acceptance Starting Today

Ottawa, January 2, 2013 — The brand-new Federal Skilled Trades Program begins accepting applications today, announced Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

“The new Skilled Trades Program will address serious labour shortages that some regions of the country are facing, and will help grow Canada’s economy,” said Minister Kenney. “These long-overdue changes are part of the government’s plan to build a fast and flexible immigration system that is responsive to the needs of Canada’s economy. Canadian employers have long been asking for ways to get the skilled trades people they need to meet demands in many industries across the country. We’ve listened to their concerns and created this program in response.”

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26th of December, 2012
Immigration System that Works for Canada: Minister Kenney
New Federal Skilled Worker Program to accept applications beginning May 4, 2013

Ottawa, December 19, 2012 — The new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will take effect on May 4, 2013 at which time the program will re-open for applications, Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

"The government's number one priority remains jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity," said Minister Kenney. "The new Federal Skilled Worker Program criteria will ensure Canada is selecting the skilled immigrants our economy needs, who are the most likely to succeed and fully realize their potential in Canada."

The improvements to the FSWP points grid are based on a large body of research which has consistently shown that language proficiency and youth are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants.

The final changes to the FSWP selection criteria include:
  • Minimum official language thresholds and increased points for official language proficiency, making language the most important factor in the selection process;
  • Increased emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience, are better positioned to adapt to changing labour market conditions, and who will spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada's economy;
  • Introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), so that education points awarded reflect the foreign credential's true value in Canada;
  • Changes to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labour market; and
  • Additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.
"For too long, too many immigrants to Canada have experienced underemployement and unemployment, and this has been detrimental to these newcomers and to the Canadian economy," said Minister Kenney. "Our transformational changes to the FSWP will help ensure that skilled newcomers are able to contribute their skills fully to the economy as soon as possible. This is good for newcomers, good for the economy, and good for all Canadians."

There are two new steps to the new selection system. First, applicants will have to demonstrate that they meet the minimum language threshold, which is level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmark assessment system. Applicants will be able to get a language assessment from existing agencies designated by the Minister and listed on the CIC website.

Second, applicants will have their education credentials assessed prior to arriving in Canada. A list of assessment organizations designated by the Minister will be made available early in the New Year. The assessment of foreign educational credentials will provide prospective newcomers with a more realistic understanding of how their credentials compare to education standards in Canada. It will also give them the opportunity to upgrade their education prior to coming to Canada if they choose.

It is important to note that these changes will not apply to people who have applied to the FSWP prior to May 4, 2013 with a qualifying arranged job offer or under the Ph.D. stream.

As recently announced, due to the actions taken over the past months, new applications under the FSWP will be processed in a few months, rather than a few years. In order to ensure fast processing times and to avoid backlogs, the new FSWP will accept a fixed number of applications each year.

In the medium term, the Government is also moving forward to develop and implement an Expression of Interest (EOI) model, which will provide employers with access to a pool of skilled workers.
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13th of December, 2012
Expression of Interest – Transforming Canada's economic immigration programs
A major next step in building a fast and flexible immigration system will be the creation of a pool of skilled workers ready to begin employment in Canada, a commitment made in Economic Action Plan 2012.

Inspired by an approach developed by New Zealand – and now also being used in Australia – an Expression of Interest application system is the model the Government of Canada plans to use to create this pool of skilled workers.

Under an Expression of Interest system – or EOI – prospective immigrants fill in an online form indicating their "interest" in coming to a host country as permanent residents. The form can include information that relates to, for example, language proficiency, work experience and assessed education credentials.

Assigned a points score and ranked, these expressions of interest would then be entered into a pool from which candidates that best match a country's national and regional skills needs can be drawn and invited to submit an immigration application, subject to priority processing.

In effect, the EOI form submitted by a prospective immigrant is not an application itself but only a first stage in the assessment of a potential candidate. Not all candidates who file an expression of interest are invited to apply for a permanent resident visa. Consultations with provinces, territories and stakeholders on the development of an EOI system for Canada are underway. Of interest to CIC is the potential for a larger role for employers in the immigration program, leveraged through EOI.

As part of ongoing consultations, CIC has held roundtables with employers in a number of cities to discuss how such a system could help meet employer needs. A report on these recent discussions will be available on the consultations section of the CIC website soon.

With the elimination of the Federal Skilled Worker backlog, CIC anticipates being able to move to an EOI system that will: avoid the build-up of inventories and improve processing times; and make the immigration system more responsive to labour market needs and increase the likelihood of skilled immigrants' success.

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This news is taken from
Canadian Immigration in Chandigarh
Ongoing Consultations on 2013 Immigration Levels and the Immigrant Investor Program
CIC’s Parliamentary Secretaries Chungsen Leung and Rick Dykstra have launched a series of cross-country consultations on the appropriate level and mix of immigration for Canada in the coming years. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has welcomed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history.

The Parliamentary Secretaries are hosting meetings with stakeholders in Toronto, Windsor, Vancouver, Halifax and Ottawa. Online consultations are also open to the public and stakeholders for input from July 31 to August 31, 2012. These consultations present an important opportunity to generate greater public understanding of the difficult decisions involved in managing a global immigration system. Engaging stakeholders and the broader public is key to CIC’s development of an overall strategy for Canada moving forward.

CIC also launched online consultations July 31, 2012, to engage the public on ways to improve the federal Immigrant Investor Program. This delivers on Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012, which announced that business immigration programs will be reformed to target more active investment for Canadian growth companies.

CIC is now inviting online submissions from stakeholders and the public on how the department can:

  • Increase the economic benefit that immigrant investment capital brings to Canada;
  • Attract experienced, international investors with the skills and resources needed to ensure they integrate into Canada’s economy; and
  • Develop efficient and cost-effective ways of delivering an investment program.
Canadian Visitor Visas Soar to Record Number
CIC is on track to issue a record number of visitor visas this year with over 500,000 issued since the start of 2012. This is a 10 percent increase compared to the same period last year. This does not include visas issued to students or temporary workers which are also experiencing high volumes. In some cases, high volumes can lead to processing delays, so applicants are encouraged to apply early for all temporary visas.

Grants and Contributions – Call For Proposals
CIC is currently accepting applications under a Call for Proposals (CFP) for projects that will be funded under the Department’s Settlement and Resettlement programs. The CFP is a competitive process to fund delivery of services to newcomers and for projects that are regional/local, national or international in scope. The CFP will determine which projects will be funded for 2013 and beyond.

CIC is aiming for a slightly more modernized approach to the application process this year by offering an e-submission page from which applicants will be able to upload their application form and submit it online once completed. There will also be on-line tutorials and FAQs to assist applicants in completing their applications.

Applications can be submitted online until September 7, 2012.

Refugee Reform Laws Pass
On June 28, 2012, new legislation that brings further reforms to Canada’s refugee determination system was passed. These changes build on reforms that were passed in June 2010 as part of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act.

While every eligible refugee claimant will continue to receive a hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, key to this new system is faster refugee claim decisions. One way this will be accomplished is through the use of the new designated country of origin (DCO) policy.

DCOs are countries that do not normally produce refugees. Claimants from these countries will receive accelerated processing of their claim, will have limited access to appeals and limited access to work permits.

Some of the changes to the refugee system are already in effect such as changes to pre-removal risk assessments and applications for permanent resident status based on humanitarian and compassionate considerations. The other changes to the refugee system will come into effect later this year at a date that will be determined by the government.

Supporting regulations for this legislation will be published in Canada Gazette for comments later this summer/early fall.

New! Discover Canada Audio Guide
CIC recently launched the newest audio version of the popular citizenship study guide, Discover Canada: the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. A number of individuals participated in the recording of the new audio guide, including several high profile Canadians.  Some of the readers include television journalist Ian Hanomansing, actor Albert Schultz, operatic tenor Richard Margison and professional narrator Jean-Benoît Rainville.

For Canadian citizenship to be meaningful, we need to share a common understanding of our rights and responsibilities, our history and our values. Thanks to the prominent Canadians who have helped bring the story of Canada to life, the importance of citizenship is now accessible to more people.

Changes to CIC Regional Offices
On June 1, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) closed 19 small regional offices across Canada. CIC offices across Canada that remain open will no longer provide walk-in service and applicants will only have access to these offices by appointment.

CIC realizes that this change is an adjustment for the people we serve but does not expect service wait times to increase. With more and more of CIC’s services being provided electronically, fewer individuals will find it necessary to visit local offices.

Applicants will be able to conduct routine business with CIC quickly and easily online. In addition, CIC will offer some in-person services on an itinerant or travelling basis in some of the communities where offices have closed.

Canada Is Working With Other Countries to Deter Fraud
Over the past few years, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has turned more of its attention to deterring fraud of all kinds. CIC has tightened rules governing immigration consultants, developed increasingly more sophisticated fraud detection techniques, and launched ad campaigns warning fraudsters against trying to dupe the system.

Canada is not the only target of immigration fraud. Other immigrant-receiving countries are also popular destinations for those wishing to immigrate in any way possible.

In June, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia held a joint press conference in India, to warn prospective visitors and immigrants of the dangers of being misled by unscrupulous immigration agents.

With the recognition that each country faces similar challenges, Canada and its partners have united their voices to warn against immigration scams.

Marriage fraud, for example, has been a particular problem in some countries that are major sources of applicants for immigration to Canada. In many cases, sponsors and foreign applicants arrange a “marriage of convenience”: a marriage or common-law relationship where the sole purpose is for the sponsored spouse to immigrate to Canada. Some of these plans are put together by crooked consultants, advising their clients that this is an easy way to get into Canada.

Soccer Opens Doors for Newcomers
Even though the climate, currency and the culture of Canada was not familiar to Edgar Musonda when he first emigrated to Canada from Zambia, he felt right at home when he stepped onto a soccer field at a park in Ottawa.


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