Canadian Immigration System – Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act

A new legislation to speed up the removal of foreign criminals from Canada was introduced by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney. This legislation will enhance Canada’s safety and security. According to Kenney, the foreign criminals, through their endless appeals, delay their removal from Canada and during that time, they continuously terrify the innocent Canadians. Kenney also added that the Canadians who are generous are unable to tolerate the criminals and fraudsters. This new legislation focuses on three main areas. This legislation will help the Canadian government and make it easier to remove dangerous foreign criminals from the country. This Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act will not allow the people who pose a threat, to enter Canada. It will also remove barriers for genuine visitors to visit Canada.

Through this law, the Government will streamline the process of deporting convicted criminals by preventing them from approaching the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. Through this, the amount of time that the criminals will remain in the country will also be reduced to a great extent. It will be reduced to 14 months hence reducing their chances of committing more crime in Canada. Foreign citizens who are inadmissible into Canada on certain serious grounds will not be able to delay their removal from Canada. They will also not be able to apply for a program that is meant for cases which deserve humanitarian consideration.

Other amendments include providing protection and security to the Canadians and it also includes a ministerial authority through which temporary entry into Canada may be refused for exceptional cases and penalties will be increased for those who try to cheat the system. This new law will ease the temporary entry of individuals with low-risk. Low-risk individuals are people who had been refused entry into Canada due to the reason that their family members were considered to be inadmissible into Canada for health related grounds and not for security reasons. According to Minister Kenney, the new legislation and the new measures are fair but tough. He also said that the immigration system that they need must be open to authentic visitors. Similarly the immigration system must be strict towards foreign criminals and it must not allow them to enter Canada.

Marriage of Convenience – Marriage Fraud

Many people who plan to immigrate to Canada have a wrong notion that getting married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident is the best way to do so. The Canadian government warns the people from becoming a victim of marriage fraud. It is also a crime to marry a Canadian citizen or lawful permanent resident of Canada just to gain entry into Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been working in order to prevent such fraudulent marriages. CIC had found that the foreign applicants and their sponsors arrange a “marriage of convenience” to sponsor the spouse to immigrate to Canada, where immigrating to Canada is the only purpose of that kind of marriage.

Now the CIC officers are specially trained to detect such marriages of convenience and to recognize genuine marriages. There are several methods through which they reveal marriage fraud. They verify the marriage documents, visit the sites and arrange individual interviews with the sponsors and the spouses. The officers also charge the Canadian citizens and permanent residents with a crime, if they are found to be a part of a marriage fraud.

CIC also warns the Canadian citizen or permanent resident to be aware when they meet someone from another country on the internet or through some other way, while planning to get married to them and sponsoring them to Canada. It is because, the sponsoring Canadian citizen or the permanent resident must financially support the spouse for three years, even if their relationship breaks. If the sponsored spouse makes use of social assistance, the sponsor will be responsible to repay the debts and will also be unable to sponsor anyone else until the money is repaid fully. A sponsorship is a lawful financial commitment to the Canadian government.

CIC recommends the sponsors not to be tempted through money offers and other rewards which may be offered to enter a marriage of convenience. In doing so, and in involving in marriage fraud just for a person to immigrate to Canada, the sponsor will face serious felonious charges along with meeting the conditions of sponsorship.

The visa applicants are also strongly advised to avoid getting involved in marriage fraud. If the visa applicants are found to do so, their visa application will be rejected and they may be banned from traveling to Canada for two years. This marriage fraud will remain permanently on the CIC records. On entering Canada through a marriage of convenience, enforcement action may be taken against those involved. This enforcement action is more likely to result in deportation, by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Fingerprinting Services

Information for Citizenship Applicants on Fingerprinting Services

Permanent residents of Canada who have resided in Canada for at least three of the last four years and who meet other eligibility requirements can apply for Canadian citizenship. Applying for Canadian citizenship includes submitting a citizenship application along with the government fees and supporting documents. After processing the application the applicant will be called for a fingerprinting appointment. Once this is completed, the process involves the applicant taking the citizenship test and interview and on passing this, taking the oath to become a Canadian citizen.

Let us see how to go about the fingerprinting process.

Who takes the fingerprints of the applicants?

The applicant can have their fingerprints taken through the:

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP);
  • local police service; or
  • RCMP accredited fingerprinting agency.

What are the methods used for fingerprinting?

There are two methods used for fingerprinting: the digital method and the ink and roll method.

What is the difference between the two methods?

The digital fingerprinting method can be processed quickly where as the ink and roll method is the traditional method and takes a longer time to process.

How can one find an RCMP accredited fingerprinting agency?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has listed the following accredited digital fingerprinting agencies on its website:

  • ClearNeed Information Systems Inc.
  • Commissionaires Fingerprinting and Identification Services
  • L-1 Identity Solutions
  • National Pardon Centre

Applicants are advised to choose an agency and find the service closest to them.

Persons who do not have access to digital fingerprinting services close to their homes can contact their local citizenship offices, the police department or the RCMP detachment in their area to locate ink and roll fingerprinting agencies.

Applicants are requested to pay the fingerprinting fees irrespective of what method of fingerprinting is used.

Applying for Visas from USA or Canada

A notice was issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recently regarding certain changes in filing locations for persons applying from the United States or Canada for certain visas. According to CIC, the services offered from their offices in Buffalo, New York have been transferred across the North American network. The CIC says that this is a part of their broader strategy to centralize more of their overseas processing in Canada.

For visits to Canada lasting less than 6 months most Americans do not require visas. However, residents of the United States who are nationals of certain countries that require a visa to enter Canada need to apply for a visa. A list of visa exempt countries can be found on the CIC’s website.

A person living in the United States, but who is neither an American citizen or permanent resident, and belongs to a country that requires a Canandian visa, then that person needs to file his or her visa application at the Canadian visa offices at Los Angeles, Seattle, Detroit, Washington, D.C., or New York. People who have already filed their applications at the Buffalo office need not apply afresh. Their application will be processed completely at the Buffalo office itself. Applicants will be contacted with the final decision. Eligible students are encouraged to continue to apply online through MyCIC.

Americans or nationals of other countries seeking a study visa or a temporary work permit can submit their visa applications to the visa offices in Los Angeles and New York. People who have already filed for study and temporary work permits in Buffalo, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Detroit offices need not submit fresh applications, Their application will be processed to completion in these offices itself. Applicants will be contacted with the final decision.

Temporary residents in Canada who need a new visa can sumbit their applications to the Case Processing Pilot in Ottawa (CPP-O). Temporary residents who want to extend their stay in Canada need to submit their applications online through MyCIC.

An American or a national of another country currently residing in the United States or in Canada and who wants to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the Economic Class has to submit the application to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada (CIO-S). If applying through the Family Class, the applications have to be submitted to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (CPC-M). Applications at both these locations that have been screened for positive eligibility will be forwarded to CPP-O for further processing. Applications currently in the Buffalo office will be transferred to CPP-O for processing. The processing centers will contact the applicants for the next step of processing or with the final decision.