Canada Immigration 2013

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been rolling out some great new programs for 2013 to help you immigrate, get Permanent Residency and succeed!

The Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, has been avidly pursuing the creation of immigration classes that help build and sustain the economy of Canada, and they will all start accepting applications at the beginning 2013.

Canada Immigration

Here are the new programs so far:

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class, while not a new program, will be accepting larger numbers of applicants in 2013. Non-immigrants who have worked for a certain amount of time in Canada can apply to become Permanent Residents so that they can continue to do their work for the country. Students who have graduated from certain degree programs can also apply for this kind of Permanent Residency.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program began accepting applications on January 2, 2013. Designed to address labor shortages throughout the provinces, this program will accept three thousand applications from a variety of trades.

The application should be able to be processed within one year, another improvement of the immigration system has been faster processing times.

Start-Up Visa

Entrepreneurs looking to invest their capital in Canada will find themselves planting in the most fertile of economic environments.

Though there has not been much information about the new Start-Up Visa program, it has a list of exciting investors backing it. Additional news and details about this program will be released throughout 2013.

How Fast Can One Get Canadian Citizenship?

Getting Canadian citizenship is significantly easier than getting a Permanent Resident Card, so the amount of time it takes to get a citizenship certificate is much shorter than getting a PR Card.

The catch, of course, is that you can’t just skip straight to the Canadian citizenship application. Immigrants who apply for citizenship are required to be Permanent Residents for at least three of the four years previous to their citizenship application.

The CIC’s website states that the total processing time for a citizenship application is 21 months, or three months short of two years. This time is based on a certain number of the cases submitted during the period of a year and may be longer or slightly shorter.

Citizenship in Canada

Either way, if an immigrant has to first get Permanent Residency in Canada, this time expands to be even longer. Depending on which visa type you wish to immigrate with, and the mandatory waiting period the entire time it takes to get citizenship could be up to six years or more.

This waiting time can be significantly reduced if you are already eligible for citizenship. People who are born in Canada are immediately eligible for citizenship and can apply at any time. Another instance where one can apply for a quicker way to citizenship is if one of their parents is already a full Canadian citizen, regardless of where they live currently.

Citizenship is a very serious status and countries want to make sure that people are genuine when they apply and not just trying to take advantage of the status.

In recent years, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has conducted a number of investigations that have led to the revocation of citizenship for quite a few immigrants. Don’t waste your time and apply correctly.

CIC News Update: New Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Minister, Jason Kenney, announced a new award for excellence in Holocaust education, schools that win the award are given $5,000.

The CIC is not solely limited to the paperwork and processing of immigration issues, nor is it so myopic to only concern itself with citizenship oaths, but is also tasked with the promotion of multiculturalism in Canada.

Excellence in Education CIC

Canada has a lauded history with regards to multiculturalism, first introducing bicultural legislation in the 1960s that provided for two official languages, English and French. Since then other bills have been passed to increase the cultural understanding of the Dominion of Canada.

The immigration concept of assimilation is much more popular worldwide and Canada is the only country in the world that considers it to be fully multicultural. Assimilation is when immigrants are expected to fully change their identity to match the new culture they have entered. Multiculturalism allows immigrants to maintain their own distinct cultures separated from the culture of Canada.

The Holocaust is a terrible event and there should be some form of award for people who teach it correctly. The only way to avoid such a horrendous crime against humanity again is to ensure that no one will forget the tragedy.

This award also stands to support and encourage the Canadian education system, which is already considered one of the foremost in the world.

Education is highly valued in Canada, and it should be mentioned that Permanent Residents are allowed to study wherever they choose within the country, yet another benefit of Permanent Residence.

Permanent Residency and Travel

Permanent Residents of Canada maintain the right to live and work anywhere within the country, but did you know that you can travel outside of Canada too?

In fact, that’s a huge benefit of having an up-to-date Permanent Resident Card and you should always check its expiration date before you intend to go abroad.

Travel Canada

Immigration Direct offers help in renewing or replacing your Permanent Resident Card any time.  We can even help you get your very first PR Card.

When travelling abroad from Canada it is a very wise idea to be prepared for your trip. Just as you remember to pack your toothbrush and an extra pair of socks, you should also read up about your destination. If you are visiting family, it is likely that you already know the lay of the land, but if you are unfamiliar with the area, be sure to check out travel.gc.ca.

The Canadian government’s travel page has information about every country in the world. You can click on their interactive tabs to access information about:

  • Advisories. General information about the state of the country. Often countries are rated on a scale from “exercise normal precaution” to “exercise a high degree of caution” to “Avoid travel”, in some cases.
  • Security. Information about what kind of crimes may be perpetrated in that country and how to avoid that kind of trouble.
  • Entry/Exit Requirements. Do you need a visa? Some other document? Find out here.
  • Health. This section will describe what the healthcare system will be like in this country and how to receive healthcare.
  • Laws and Culture. The laws of a particular country may be very different from those in Canada, even in North America.
  • Disasters and Climate. Be sure you’re wearing shorts and sandals when you go to Australia in January and don’t be surprised when it’s summer!

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Website

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, otherwise known as the CIC, is the department of the Canadian government responsible for immigration matters of every stripe.

Immigration Direct can help you get your Permanent Resident Card or apply for citizenship, but you might just be curious about the governmental immigration body in Canada. There are many gems of information hidden within the CIC’s website.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

The media centre is full of information about the programs and efforts of the CIC and its Minister, the Honourable Jason Kenney, which are happening right now. Some of the information you can find includes:

  • News Releases such as updates about Minister Kenney’s recent trips abroad.
  • Backgrounders. Backgrounders are designed to outline the general feel of a particular program that the CIC is releasing.
  • Visually striking Photos and Videos.
  • Success Stories right here in Canada.
  • And an Extensive news archive with information stretching back many years.

In addition to being fully bilingual (with the option in some sections to use other languages) there is an extensive catalogue of all the different departments of the Canadian government that interact with the CIC.

Helpful travel suggestions and guides can be found on Canada’s travel website.

  • You can find travel warnings to help plan your trip.
  • Find out health information for your travels, such as whether or not you should get insurance.
  • Find out border wait times to help smooth your transition from Canada to the United States. Airport security wait times are also available for the same reason.
  • Discover what is allowed and what isn’t allowed on airplanes.

The travel site also offers a variety of information about pertinent issues you may encounter abroad such as culture, laws, geography and climate.

Permanent Resident Card Number

Permanent Residency is an immigration status in Canada that entitles the holder to live and work in Canada for as long as they care to maintain their residency.

Getting a Permanent Resident Card can involve a bit of effort, but with some assistance the process becomes largely painless.

There are only a few ways to have this status revoked, such as criminality or lengthy absence from Canada. Otherwise, there is no limit to how long an immigrant can stay in Canada if they have a Permanent Resident Card.

Permanent Residency

Along with receiving the actual document, the PR Card, it will also be accompanied by the Permanent Resident Card number. This number is a serialized identifier, which means that your personal, biographic information is linked to this number.

This system is quite similar to other government identification numbers, like driver’s license numbers, or social insurance numbers.

Really, the number is not as important as the actual card itself, but you will still need the number to be included on some applications that you may come across (for instance, driver’s licenses or employment insurance).

The card is particularly important if you wish to travel abroad, because Canada’s immigration officials will want to look at it when you re-enter the country. Obtaining a travel document will achieve the same thing essentially, but Canada prefers the PR Card.

In effect, the number on the card retains very little information. Some countries issue identification numbers which indicate locations, ages or particular statuses (called meta-data), but the Canada PR Card’s primary purpose is to link your name and information to the card itself. If the Canadian PR Card contains any meta-data it is not immediately apparent what it is.

CIC News Update 1/18/2013

Minister Jason Kenney is wrapping up his three country tour of the world with a visit to Turkey where he welcomed 5,000 refugees from Syria on Tuesday.

Kenney, the minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, began his trip in Sri Lanka where he announced new funding for flood victims and denounced human smuggling practices all over the world.

The minister then travelled to India where he commented that in 2012 the city of Chandigarh received a record number of valid visitor visas to Canada, more than any year before.

CIC ImmigrationHe also commented on India’s opportunity to take example from Canada’s model of pluralism. Pluralism is a system of social construction where individual cultures are allowed to maintain a level of individuality in the context of a larger social base. Canada is one of the earliest adopters of this policy with its tolerant laws towards the Quebecois, British and First Nations people early in the country’s history.

Canada, India and Sri Lanka are all commonwealth countries, an international organization of sovereign nations that were formerly British colonies, though some member states remain colonies of Britain.

Minister Kenney’s third stop was to Turkey which is experiencing a large influx of refugees from conflicts in the region, termed the Arab Spring.

Syria, which has experienced intense revolutionary conflict over the past year, has a particularly large contribution of refugees to Turkey.

Though Minister Kenney said that it would be preferable to somehow negotiate the end of the civil war in Syria and send the refugees home, has announced that Canada will be accepting 5,000 refugees from Turkey into Canada by 2018.

Canada has also made significant donations to the Red Cross and the Red Crescent to help afflicted people in the region affected by the Syrian civil war.

 

Canada Immigration and the H&C

Canada provides a special immigration route to Permanent Residency for some on what are called Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds (H&C).

This program is granted in a very limited number of cases and is generally not favored compared to the many other ways that people can immigrate to Canada.

H&C Immigration

Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds refers to a need that an immigrant may have to get a Permanent Residence card because they have already settled in Canada and it would be a great hardship to be removed.

Other reasons that the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) may take into consideration when you apply for H&C are if the applicant already has family ties in Canada, if it would affect the children adversely or if the immigrant applicant would be in any danger if forced to leave Canada.

Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds have many requirements for application and it is very important to follow them closely. Below are some examples of the requirements, further research may be necessary.

  • People applying for H&C can only do so if they are already applying for Permanent Residency and not temporary residency. It doesn’t matter which country the applicant is using to apply for Permanent Residency.
  • If an immigrant is already applying for a refugee visa, they cannot apply on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds as well.
  • If in the past year the IRB has decided against an immigrant’s case they cannot apply on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.
  • Irregular arrivals (immigrants who landed in Canada without the appropriate paperwork) must wait five years before applying for Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.

The gist of the program is that it is designed to help immigrants who did not necessarily enter Canada legally, but who have forged deep bonds in the community, to remain within the country.

Canadian Border Crossings

Canada and the United States share the largest border between two nations in the world. As a result there are quite a few border crossings where travelers are sometimes examined.

Citizens of Canada are allowed to travel between Canada and the United States rather freely. Permanent Residents are asked to have appropriate travel documents when they cross the border and maintain a valid Permanent Resident Card.

Below is a list of some of the larger border crossings between Canada and the United States. The cities are on the Canada side of the Border.

Border Crossing US to Canada

Alberta:

Alberta has six major border crossings. Major ones are located at chief Mountain, Carway, Del Bonita, Coutts and Aden. Alberta shares a border with Montana only.

British Colombia:

British Colombia shares a border with Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Montana and has many major border crossings. Some of the larger ones are located in Beaver Creek, Fraser, Stewart, Douglas, Kingsgate and Roosville.

Manitoba:

Manitoba shares a border with both North Dakota and Minnesota and has several border crossings, some include Cartwright, Crystal City, Emerson, Tolstoi, South Junction and Sprague.

New  Brunswick:

New Brunswick shares a border only with Main at Clair, Edmundston, Saint-Leonard, Grand Falls, Fosterville, Forest City, Saint Croix, St. Stephen and Milltown.

Ontario:

The provincial home of the capital of Canada has borders with Minnesota, Michigan and New York and has border crossings at Fort Frances, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, fort Erie and two at Niagara Falls.

Quebec:

Canada’s Francophonic province, Quebec, shares a border with New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Major border crossings to the United States include Dundee, Lacolle, Clarenceville, Highwater, Stanhope, Chartierville, and Armstrong.

Saskatchewan:

Saskatchewan shares a border only with Montana and North Dakota at Climax, Coronach, Torquay, Estevan and Northgate.

Yukon:

The Yukon shares a US border with Alaska and crossings exist only at two places: Little Gold Creek and Beaver Creek.

Fake PR Card

The Permanent Resident Card is the document that officially states that an immigrant has the right to live and work in Canada. The document itself is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and it is completely illegal to try to forge one of these cards.

The CIC, headed by Minister Jason Kenney takes fraud very seriously and has no compunction about revoking any immigration benefits a person might enjoy if they attempt to forge a PR Card.

Permanent Resident Card Fraud

Many people are motivated to forge their PR Cards so that they can find work or collect Employment Insurance, but the risks far outweigh the benefits of such a scheme. If a forger gets caught they will in all likeliness be deported for their crime. Such action carries a lasting immigration ban.

There are many different ways to identify a forged Permanent Resident Card. Because forgeries are often not made on the same standardized equipment that the CIC uses they are often not as consistent.

  • Misspellings (If you receive your PR Card legally and it has errors of this nature, you should file to have it corrected immediately.)
  • Ink smears or smudges.
  • Poor photo quality.
  • Important and relevant biographical information missing.
  • Unusual color patterns.

If you have suspicion that the document is not genuine you should not accept it as proper proof of Permanent Residency without additional supporting documentation and information.

In reality, there are few circumstances where one would have to examine the Permanent Resident Card. Usually, a Citizenship and Immigration Canada representative would end up catching the fraud either at a customs point or when they apply for government benefits.