CIC News Update—Backlog Reduced

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced Tuesday that it has reduced the number of immigration application backlogs have been reduced by 40 percent.

The CIC, under the leadership of Minister Jason Kenney, has been very focused on ensuring that applications are processed in a timely manner as to attract more highly qualified immigrants to the country.

The policy that the department has taken up in recent years is that immigrants contribute to the overall growth of the Canadian economy and considering the tough economic times, this policy is extremely important.

In order to reduce the backlog of immigration applications the CIC has stopped accepting new applications to address waiting immigrants. The CIC will begin to accept new applications at the end of the year.

A couple of programs have been halted in the past year to make room for more important applications. Investor visas are an example of this pause.

Some programs that help bring immigrants to Canada for work have been put on pause as well to improve their processes.

The CIC believes that the immigration system should be as efficient as possible to ensure the success of Canada, a country that has been traditionally reliant on immigration for its growth.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is the department of the Canadian government that is responsible for the processing of immigration forms and the investigation of immigration fraud.

Canadian Citizenship Forms

Application for Canadian Citizenship for Adults (CIT 0002)

Adults who have completed all of the necessary requirements for citizenship can apply for citizenship with this form. The requirements are:

  • Permanent Residents must have lived in Canada for three out of four years prior to applying for citizenship.
  • Residents must also be competent in one of the official languages of Canada (French or English).
  • Residents must also be able to pass a knowledge test of Canada if they are younger than 55 years.

Application for Canadian Citizenship for Minors (CIT 0003)

Children can apply for citizenship at the same time as their parents as long as they are also able to meet the necessary requirements. Minors wishing to become citizens of Canada do not need to pass the knowledge test.

Some children may be automatically citizens in some circumstances. Citizenship applicants

Application to Resume Canadian Citizenship (CIT 0301)

Certain groups of people may have been citizens at some time in the past, but lost it due to legislation in the Canadian parliament. These people can use this form to re-gain citizenship in Canada.

Application for a Permanent Resident Card (IMM 5444)

Permanent Residency is a requirement for citizenship and having a Permanent Resident Card will be a necessary document for the application process. Permanent Residents who want to apply for citizenship, but do not currently have their Permanent Resident Cards should apply for a new one with this form.

  • Supplementary Identification (IMM 5455)
    The Supplementary Identification form is necessary in applying for a Permanent Resident Card and is in essence a confirmation of a person’s identity.
  • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
    While not exclusively necessary, the Use of a Representative form might be necessary if you are using a translator or a legal representative to help in your application process.

News Update: Fraud Prevention Month

March is Fraud Awareness month in Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada is recommending that immigrants become familiar with immigration fraud.

Although there are many legitimate companies out there designed to help immigrants, there are also individuals out there who are simply looking for a quick payoff and getaway.

By knowing more about how fraudsters trick people, immigrants and citizens alike are better equipped and less likely to be exploited.

Just like many other industries and organizations there are some people who try to sneak through the cracks and trick some unsuspecting people into giving them money. Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Minister Jason Kenney, of the CIC, is focusing on marriage fraud for this year. Marriage fraud can be a particularly cruel and sad form of fraud. Canadian citizens are sometimes tricked into marriages of convenience with an immigrant so that they can get citizenship, however, the whole thing is just a ruse and the immigrant spouse will leave their Canadian citizen spouse as soon as they think it is safe to.

This isn’t to say that marriage fraud is the most frequent or only type of fraud perpetrated in Canada, but rather it is just the focus of this year’s fraud prevention month. There are many other fraud schemes out there that Citizenship and Immigration Canada are working toward eliminating.

CIC has been focused on making immigration easier for legitimate applicants and simultaneously making it harder to cheat the system and valid newcomers to Canada.

A news release from Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that the organization will be focusing on four different things to prevent fraud.

The plans are to end fraudulent immigration consultants, to find and bring to an end marriages of convenience, discover residency fraud (where someone claims residency, but does not live in Canada), and the continued development of the International Student Program.

Name Change on PR Card

Immigrants who have had their name legally changed since they first got their Permanent Resident Card will need to have a new one issued.

A PR Card is the official proof of permanent residence in Canada and is absolutely necessary when travelling abroad so that you can return easily to Canada. Immigrants should notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada whenever their personal information changes.

There are a variety of reasons for why a person’s name has changed, but normally it has to do with the change of a name during marriage. Changed Name

To change the name on your Permanent Resident Card you will need to file Form IMM 5445. This form is supposed to be used when a Permanent Resident Card is about to expire, is lost, stolen or damaged, or if your personal information has changed.

If you need to renew your Permanent Resident Card, remember that you cannot do so until there is less than a year left until it expires, otherwise it will be rejected.

Required Documents for a Name Change

There are several important documents that you will need to submit alongside your application for a new PR Card. All of the below documents should be copies unless otherwise stated

  • You should not send your Permanent Resident Card in with your application unless it is damaged, otherwise you should keep it with you to present to an immigration official in case they need to see it during an interview.
  • A primary ID such as a passport or other certificate of identity.
  • Secondary ID such as a driver’s license.
    NOTE: The above IDs should have the name change already effected.
  • Proof of Residence for the past five years. Income tax documents will fulfill this requirement quite nicely.
  • Your marriage certificate which identifies your new name as well as your maiden name.

CIC Citizenship Calculator

In order to become a citizen in Canada, Permanent Residents must meet certain residency requirements. These include both physical presence and residency (a distinction we will make clearer in this blog). Citizenship and Immigration Canada provides immigrants with a useful calculation tool to help you to understand whether or not you are eligible.

Calculating time

The residency calculator is available online at the CIC’s website and it will ask you three questions, to which your answers will come in the form of dates.

  1. The first question will want to know when you first entered Canada. Unless you became a Permanent Resident upon entry to Canada this date will probably be the date that you were admitted under a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).
  2. Next you will be asked when you became a Permanent Resident. If you can’t quite remember when you became a Permanent Resident you can simply refer to the back of your PR Card, the date will be written there. If you don’t have your PR Card anymore you should look into having it replaced.
  3. Lastly you will enter the date that you decide to sign the citizenship application. You can always choose to use today’s date to simply estimate how long it will take for you to become eligible.

When you click calculate (you can also click save if you are registered with the CIC and it will remember your specifications for future eligibility checks) the CIC website will return the number of eligible days you have resided in Canada.

If this number is greater than 1,095 you have sufficient residency to apply for citizenship. However, you should keep in mind that any trips outside of Canada can count against this number as you are not “physically present” within Canada.

Make sure you consider every day that you may have been travelling before applying for citizenship to avoid a rejected application.

IMM 5257

The Canadian immigration form IMM 5257 is the application for a Temporary Resident Visa. By applying for this set of benefits one can apply for entry in Canada for a limited period of time.

Temporary visas are given to foreign citizens and permanent residents to visit Canada either on work, tourism, vacation or to visit family. However, upon entering Canada there is a limited period of time that visitors are allowed to stay before they have to leave.

TRV recipients

There are some circumstances where foreign travelers do not need to file for a visitor visa. Many countries have agreements with Canada that allows their citizens to travel to Canada without needing to file for a visa. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has a list of these countries on their website.

There are some requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a Temporary Resident Visa if you need one:

  • You will have to prove that you intend to leave Canada on the date that the immigration officer says that you must.
  • You must also prove that you have the funds to take care of yourself and your accompanying family while in Canada. You must also be able to secure return transportation to your country of origin.
  • Unless you also apply to work or study in Canada you cannot do either. Classes of very short duration are sometimes accepted.
  • While in Canada you must obey all of the laws established by the government.
  • Being healthy is also a requirement for coming to Canada temporarily and you may have to have a medical examination conducted before entering the country.
  • People who present a risk to the state of Canada or the well-being of its citizens are not allowed into the country.

There are many great reasons to come to Canada, but it is important to pay close attention to obeying the law and following the necessary requirements. After all, after you come to Canada you will most certainly want to come back and visit again!

National Occupation Classification System

The National Occupation Classification system is designed to standardize job descriptions for work related immigration in Canada.

Immigration Direct has descriptions of some of these classifications in the website’s article section.

By specifically stating what the job is, employers and employees are better able to connect on an international level: for employees to find jobs and for employers to find employees to fill certain positions.

There are job descriptions for almost every type and class of job or profession that one can think of.

These descriptions are numbered and usually follow a general format. The various names of the position are listed at the top. Then the duties of the job are described. This generally includes what the worker is expected to do while on the job. The requirements for the job (such as education, experience, certification, qualification or others) are last on the page. Often, the employer will ask for proof that the applicant has put actually achieved these requirements.

An added benefit of the National Occupation Classification is that it gives employers a basis for work appraisals. When performance reviews come around you, as the worker, will be glad when your job is well-described, because that way the person assessing you will have an objective scale to base your performance on.

Say you don’t have a clear job description. Are you doing your job correctly? How would one know if it has never been clearly defined?

Also, when immigrating, at some point during the process you will have to find a company to hire you and to then explain to the CIC how, exactly, you are qualified for the position. With a ready job description in your hand you can simply mark off the bullet points to show your qualifications.

Be sure to check back in with Immigration Direct for more information about the National Occupation Classification and the jobs it contains!

Permanent Resident Card Misplaced

The Permanent Resident Card is the document issued to Permanent Residents of Canada as proof of their immigration status. If this card is misplaced or lost it is a very good idea to have it replaced.

Hopefully no one will try to use this document to steal the identity of the legal card holder, but there is always that risk. By notifying the CIC immediately and applying for a new card, one can ensure that the damage to be caused will be minimal.

Canadian PR Cardholder

“Where did I leave my PR Card?”

Generally, immigrants can leave their Permanent Resident Cards at home where they can be safe. Occasions where the card is necessary is when one is applying for government benefits or trying to re-enter Canada after a trip abroad. However, it is understandable that the PR Card can become lost.

In order to apply for a replacement Permanent Resident Card one needs to file IMM 5444.

The application process is as follows:

  1. Gather all necessary supporting documentation to be included in the application.
  2. Fill out all the required fields of the application.
  3. Pay the processing fees. Total fees for applying for a replacement PR Card is $50 in Canadian dollars.
  4. Mail the application to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Ontario.
  5. The CIC will then see if your application is correctly filled out.
  6. If the application is complete and accurate, the CIC will send your new PR Card to your current address.

It is very important to make sure that they have your updated address at all times during the process so that they can contact you and eventually send your PR Card.

CIC News Update — Super Visa

The Super Visa designed to let more parents and grandparent of Canadian citizens into Canada has turned out to be quite popular and successful.

Of the total number of applications that have come in for the Super Visa since its inception in December of 2011 a vast majority of these have been approved for hopeful parents and grandparents.

Over 15,000 Super Visas have been issued with acceptance rates at almost 90%. Grandparent visitors

Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, is particularly proud of the program that he nurtured over a year ago into fruition.

“I am pleased to see that more and more parents and grandparents are getting the opportunity to spend longer periods of time with their loved ones in Canada,” Minister Kenney said in a press release on Wednesday.

The Super Visa allows qualifying grandparents visas that last up to ten years which enable them to enter Canada for periods of time up to two years at a time. This same visa can  also be used with parents in the exact same way.

This program is much more helpful for parents and grandparents due to its flexibility. Tourism visas don’t give visitors enough time to stay in Canada and permanent resident visas may in fact be too much for visiting grandparents or potentially impractical.

Applications will continue to be accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices throughout Canada.

CIC Study Permit Extension

Temporary residents with student visas are allowed to renew their student permits before they expire in order to extend their course of study. By extending one’s visa, one is not allowed to stay in Canada permanently.

Immigrants who wish to stay in Canada permanently should look into one of the many immigration programs offered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, for example, the Canadian Experience Class program.

Students have the choice to either apply online or on paper for their new student visa status, but either way it is important to start the process more than 30 days before the visa expires. The expiry date is included in the study permit itself. Student Permit

If you have already lost your student status you can renew this status within 90 days of the expiry date through a slightly different process. However, you will be allowed to stay in Canada as this application is processed.

Most of the study permit extension paperwork is self-explanatory and included online at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website.

Students who wish to work as well as study in Canada will have to file for a work permit. This will be particularly relevant application for those who wish to eventually immigrate as a Canadian Experience Class permanent resident.

Permanent Residency is an immigration status in Canada that allows immigrants to live, work, study and travel throughout the country at will and indefinitely. After a few years of permanent residency, immigrants have the chance to become full citizens.