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Most Popular Topics on CIC.GC.CA

Citizenship and Immigration Canada maintains a section on their website called the Help Centre. Here you can find articles about all aspects of immigration and learn more about the process of coming to Canada.

If you already know what you need, say a Permanent Resident Card, you can quickly skip to the part you need to access.

Here we’ll briefly answer the most popular questions at the Help Centre.

How can I check the Status of my application?

Immigrant sponsors, immigrants or Permanent Residents can all check the status of their application online at the CIC’s website.

Who is a federal skilled worker?

Immigrants who are part of the Federal Skilled Worker program are permanent residents who were able to immigrate to Canada to work.

What is a complete application package?

A complete immigration application will have a properly filled out application, proper supporting documentation and a receipt for the appropriate payment.

If I apply today, will the processing times show how long it will take to finalize my application?

Processing times are guidelines. Your application may take more or less time depending on your situation.

How do I fill out an application?

Be absolutely sure to fill out every question on the application and to examine the instructions very closely. Each application is different.

How long will it take to process my application?

The length of time it will take to process your application is entirely dependent on what benefits you are applying for and whether or not you have any complications to your application.

How do I renew my PR Card?

You can renew your PR Card by mailing in Form IMM 5444 to the appropriate CIC office.

What are the requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen?

  • Permanent Residency.
  • Residency in Canada for 1,095 days of the past four years.
  • Proficiency in French or English.
  • Knowledge of Canadian government and history.
  • Able to take the Oath of citizenship.

What happens after I send in my application?

Your application will be examined by a Canadian immigration officer to see if it is complete first, if it is, it will then be assessed.

Do I need a visa to visit Canada?

Not everyone needs a visa to visit Canada. There is a list of countries whose citizens do not need to apply for a visa.

How can I find out about jobs in Canada?

Canada has three tools for immigrants to find jobs: job banks, labor market information from the government or the working in Canada tool.

What is a UCI?

A UCI (Unique Client Identifier) is the number that the CIC uses to identify you within their systems when you apply for immigration benefits.

How do I help a family member or friend apply to visit Canada?

Help a friend or family member into Canada by sending them a letter of invitation and encouraging them to apply with the Canadian Visa Office in their region.

Immigration Statistics of Canada

The Canadian government, in order to better track the success and reactions of immigrants to Canada, collects a number of statistics and publishes them for public consumption and consideration.

These statistics vary in subject  and sample greatly. Some of the more interesting ones examine the feelings and opinions of recent immigrants. Immigrants are people who have moved to Canada and hold Permanent Resident Cards, documents issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada which allow them to live, work and travel throughout Canada. crunching numbers

Here, we will discuss some of the most recent findings of these studies. This piece of research was conducted by the Angus Reid Public Opinion online survey. This study is a part of HSBC Bank and was reported on by the government of Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Why do people move to Canada?

Apparently, people move to Canada most frequently for the lifestyle they can lead there, to be with family members or for jobs. This is reflected in the popularity of family immigration plans and the work immigration pathways.

What do immigrants have the biggest problems with?

Weather made up one of the most difficult challenges to new immigrants in Canada, and it is no wonder that northern winters can be a little difficult to get used to. Making friends and missing family back home are also concerns of new immigrants.

How are immigrants faring in their new country?

A full 82% found Canada to be a welcoming country. Banks and the Canadian society turned out to appear to be the most welcoming part of the country. Approximately half of new immigrants said they would recommend their friends to immigrate to Canada.

This study was conducted in 2012 and the results were published in March of 2013.

Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada is the department of the Canadian government which handles the creation and management of statistics regarding many different aspects of Canada. Below are some of the categories of statistics available from the Canadian government:

  • Agricultural numbers such as how much of a certain crop is produced in a certain region.
  • Construction statistics. How much is being built in Canada? How many jobs are being created by this building?
  • Crime Statistics track what kind of crimes are committed, how many convictions are carried out and various attributes of prisons in Canada.
  • Environmental statistics track pollution such as the production of greenhouse gasses which contribute to global warming.
  • Labor statistics track how many people in Canada are employed and in which field they are employed.
  • Tourism is also analyzed by this bureau.

Checking out the Statistics Canada webpage is a great way to learn about the country and to help you immigrate more successfully.

Immigration through Asylum

Most people who immigrate to Canada do so either through a job offer or through family members already in the country. The Canadian immigration system largely supports the process of having people or organizations in Canada sponsor immigrants into the country.

However, the above pathways are not the only ways to immigrate to Canada.

Immigrants can apply for political asylum in Canada as a way to avoid prosecution and unfair treatment in their countries of origin. The Canadian government is quite proud of the large number of refugees and asylees it accepts into the country every year to protect from persecution abroad. If you have a valid claim, applying for asylum in Canada can be a very good idea.

After receiving asylum status and the accompanying permanent resident status, immigrants should keep in mind that maintaining one’s PR Card is essential when travelling abroad. Immigrants who need to replace their PR Cards should do so as soon as possible.

Asylum vs. Refuge Refuge of Asylees

The difference between what an asylee and a refugee is can be somewhat difficult to understand because the two terms are so closely related and they share a number of connotations, and even definitions sometimes.

Asylees are people who are already in Canada and who are applying for permanent residency because they would be persecuted if they returned to their country of origin.

Refugees are people who are currently outside of Canada (but not necessarily in their country of origin, the country where they are being persecuted) who are applying for Permanent Residency in Canada.

During the application process, there isn’t much difference between the two, but it can be informative to know the difference.

Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act

As a part of Canada’s progressive immigration reforms, on December 15, 2012, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act was put into place. This act is designed to ensure that refugees who really need to enter Canada are able to come and stay. It also intends to make it more difficult for fraudulent applications to go through the system.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) intends to accomplish this with reformed hearings and a list of countries which will experience extra scrutiny.

People from countries on the Designated Countries of Origin list will still be afforded fair and speedy hearings, but because they are from countries that have a low possibility of genuine refugee applications, they do not have full access to the Immigration and Refugee Board’s (IRB) appeal division.

On May30, 2013, the list of Designated Countries of Origin (DCOs) was expanded. Countries considered to be DCOs are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Demark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Countries are placed on the list of Designated Countries of Origin because they are democratic societies with track records of acceptable human rights organizations. These countries do not typically produce refugees.

Important Documents for Immigrants in Canada

When you enter Canada there will be a variety of documents that you will need to obtain. However, you will also need some documentation from your home country to be able to obtain these documents. You can learn more about the documents you will need to bring with you on our helpful blog page.

Permanent Resident Card

The Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) is one of the most important documents that a Permanent Resident gets when they enter Canada because it is used to get most of the other important documents.

The PR Card is a plastic card that is very similar in size to a credit card and is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as an identification card for Canadian immigrants.

The PR Card is also necessary if you wish to travel abroad and is the easiest way to identify yourself as a Permanent Resident of Canada. Without a PR Card you will have to obtain travel documents, which are more temporary in nature and somewhat difficult to get.

The best idea is to simply get a PR Card when you first arrive in Canada and make sure that you keep it up-to-date.

Social Insurance Number

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is the national identifier for all residents of Canada, which ties them into the many social assistance programs available.

In order to get this document you will need to apply for it at a Service Canada Centre with your Permanent Resident Card. The Service Canada office will only accept original documents. It is likely that if your papers are in order you can leave with your SIN card on the same day as applying.

Canadian Health Card Canadian Health Card

As a Permanent Resident you may have to wait up to three months before you can apply for a Canadian national health card and national health care. The Canadian government strongly recommends that you purchase private health insurance until you are eligible for a health card.

When you are eligible you can get applications for the health card online, at a doctor’s office, hospital or pharmacy. When applying for a health card you will need to provide identification such as birth a certificate and your PR Card.

Every family member should have one of these cards and you should present it to a health care provider when you receive medical treatment.

Driver’s License

Many people in Canada have cars and in order to drive one you will need to have a driver’s license. Each province or territory is responsible for issuing driver’s licenses and you should contact the local governmental body that concerns itself with driver’s licenses.

Territorial Certification

Some professions require that workers in their field be certified. Many of these professions have provincial certification bodies, but there are a few national bodies.

Use the National Occupation Classification website to determine whether or not your profession requires you to hold certification to practice your profession.

Emigration Canada

Emigration is the process of leaving a country to go live in another permanently. If you are coming into a country to live you could be said to be immigrating. These two very similar words in English have very different distinctions.

Leaving Canada is relatively simple since there is not an exit visa program in place. Arrangements should be made with the immigration department of the country that you plan to move to. However, we sincerely hope that you do not intend to leave Canada. We would much prefer you come to Canada and become a Permanent Resident!

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is the governmental department of Canada which handles all of the immigration programs for the federal government.

The department is headed by the Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister. The current head of the department is Minister Jason Kenney, who was appointed by the Harper government.

The CICs duties usually involve the implementation of various immigration programs such as:

  • Issuing temporary visas for tourism, study, work, visits or business.
  • Issuing landing documents upon the arrival of immigrants in Canada.
  • Issuing Permanent Resident Status and Permanent Resident Cards.
  • Administration of the Canadian Citizenship Oath and citizenship documents.
  • Developing programs that aids immigrants entry and continued success in the country.
  • Developing programs that encourage multiculturalism in Canada.
  • Processing immigration applications.

The CIC also conducts other business, but the above are the primary purposes of the department.

History of Immigration in Canada

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes: The traditional southern border of Canada

Canada, for its entire history, has had a reputation as a destination for immigrants all over the world. This has become such a part of the country’s tradition that Canada is sometimes referred to as the Land of Immigrants. When you apply to become a citizen of Canada after a period of time as a Permanent Resident, you will be asked to take a test on the history and culture of Canada. This brief history primer can serve as your starting off point for studying for the test.

The original inhabitants of Canada belonged to many different tribes, some of which also existed in the United States as well. Inuits, also sometimes known as Eskimos, lived in the more northerly reaches of Canada. Tribes like the Iroquois lived closer to the border with the United States to the south.

The earliest immigrants to Canada were likely Vikings who landed in Nova Scotia over 1000 years ago! Although they did not create very large settlements and their presence was not very significant, they were still there many years before Christopher Columbus reportedly “discovered” the Americas.

In the 15th century, Canada experienced an influx of French immigrants who came to the country’s shores to trap and trade furs. The influence of these early French immigrants is still evident today in certain insular areas in Canada, like Quebec, where the official language has always been French.

Canada eventually became a colony of Britain. During this time the country expanded significantly as British folks immigrated to the country and began to move west, towards the Pacific Ocean.

In the 1960s Canada became the only country in the world to explicitly place a clause in their governing documents to make itself a multicultural state. What this means that instead of practicing cultural assimilation (the process of having immigrants conform to the culture of the country) it recognizes all cultures as being independent and sovereign within Canada.

Most recently, the majority of immigrants coming into Canada are from Asia and the country is accepting record numbers of immigrants every year. Canada is truly an immigrant friendly place.

New Guide to Canada from CIC—Transportation

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced the release of new information designed to help immigrants adjust to living in Canada. The many chaptered e-book is available on the CIC’s website and covers many different and diverse subjects.

Here we will discuss some of the topics that may help you to enter Canadian society in a smooth and manageable manner.

Cross Country Travel

If you are looking to travel across the country, you have many options to choose from with their own benefits and drawbacks.

Taking a plane to places in Canada is most assuredly the fastest way to travel the great distances of the world’s third second largest country by landmass, Canada.

A much more scenic form of travel would be by train. The Trans Canadian railroad is known for the beautiful sights that you can see from the specially built train cars with bubble windows.

Bus lines provide an economical pathway for trips across Canada provided by Greyhound busses. Travel to Canada

Rural Travel

There are many places in Canada which are somewhat hard to get to by traditional means. Roads do not extend to some of the towns in more northerly parts of the country because they are either on islands or they lie behind impassable mountains. Yet, there are still plenty of ways to get to where you need to go.

Ferries run all times of the year in certain parts of Canada to take you to the beautiful and wild islands off the pacific coast, among other places.

Bush planes, small airplanes designed for quick take-off and landing for extremely rural areas are an incredibly popular way to get around in some of the more wild places of Canada.

Public Transportation

Public Transport is largely available within cities throughout Canada and can include buses, trolleys, subways, trains or ferries. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has some suggestions for courtesy while you use public transportation:

  1. If all of the seats have already been taken you should give up your seat for pregnant women or the elderly. If you think that a person is under a greater burden while standing that you would be if you were standing you should give up your seat.
  2. If you are carrying bags or a satchel and you need to walk down a narrow aisle, try your hardest to carry your things so they don’t hit other people.
  3. At public transportation stops, let people get off of the vehicle first before you step on.
  4. Expect public transportation to get somewhat crowded and allow for others to have personal space as well. Don’t push or touch people to get more room.
  5. When using stairs, hallways or escalators keep in mind that you should stay to the right, much like how people drive within Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Offices part two

Centralized Intake Offices

The Sydney CIC office also handles applications for immigrant work visas.

  • Applications regarding the Federal Skilled Worker Program should be sent to:
    P.O. BOX 7500
    Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 0A9
  • Applications regarding the Federal Skilled Trades Program should be sent to:
    P.O. BOX 8600
    Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 0G1
  • Applications regarding the Provincial Nominee Program (except Quebec) should be sent to:
    P.O. BOX 1450
    Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 6K5
  • Applications regarding the Immigrant Investor Program should be sent to:
    P.O. BOX 8500
    Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 0C4
    (NOTE: This program, as of March 2013, is not accepting applications. Normal operation should resume shortly.)
  • Applications for the Canadian Experience Class program should be sent to:
    P.O. BOX 4000
    Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 1J3PR Card Holder
  • For Quebec Skilled Workers apply to:
    P.O. BOX 8888
    Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 0C9
  • Self-employed persons looking to immigrate on the self-employed visa should apply to:
    P.O. Box 7200
    Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 0E9
  • Applicants for the Quebec Business Class program should mail their applications into:
    P.O. Box 7100
    Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 0E8

In-Person Offices

The CIC prefers to not do business in person, but there are some circumstances where you may need to make an appointment or come for a visa interview. If that is the case you will need to go to an in-person office.

Unless otherwise noted, the below office locations are by appointment only. The exception to this rule is for refugee applications. Hours for when refugees can apply for status are listed below the address.

Be sure to remember to submit your application before contacting the CIC in person or through correspondence, except in the case of refugee status.

  • Harry Hays Building
    220 4th Avenue, SE, Room 210
    Calgary, Alberta
    T2G 4X3
    Refugees: 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday.
  • 9700 Jasper Ave., Suite 240
    Canada Place
    Edmonton, Alberta
    T5J 4C3
    Refugees: 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday.
  • 1148 Hornby Street
    Vancouver, British Colombia
    V6Z 2C3
    Refugees: 8am to10am.
  • 200 – 877 Expo Blvd.
    Vancouver, British Colombia
    V6B 8P8
    No refugee claims accepted.
  • Central City, 290 -13450 102nd Ave
    Surrey, British Colombia
    V3T 5X3
    No refugee Claims accepted
  • 25 Forks Market Road, Room 400,
    Johnston Terminal
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    R3C 4S9
    Refugees: 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday.
  • 495 Prospect Street
    Fredericton, New Brunswick
    E3B 9M4
    Refugees should contact office for appointment.
  • 21 Hallett Crescent
    St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
    A1B 4C2
    Refugees should contact office for appointment.
  • 5101 – 50 Avenue,
    3rd Floor
    Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
    X1A 3Z4
    Refugees should contact office for appointment.
  • 1741 Brunswick Street, Suite B110
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    B3J 3X8
    Refugees should contact office for appointment.
  • 55 Bay St. North – Ground Floor (Market St. entrance)
    Hamilton, Ontario
    L8R 3P7
    Refugees: 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
  • 29 Duke Street East, 1st  Floor
    Kitchener, Ontario
    N2H 1A2
    Refugees: 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
  • 417 Exeter Road
    London, Ontario
    N6E 2Z3
    Refugees: 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
  • 4318 Portage Road,
    Niagara Falls, Ontario
    L2E 6A4
    Refugees: 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
  • 200 Catherine St.
    Suite 101
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K2P 2K9
    Refugees: 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
  • 3085 Glen Erin Drive
    Mississauga, Ontario
    L5L 1J3
    Refugee claims are not accepted.
  • 200 Town Centre Court,
    Scarborough, Ontario
    M1P 4X8
    Refugee claims are not accepted.
  • 5343 Dundas Street West, 3rd Floor
    Toronto, Ontario
    M9B 6K5
    Refugees: 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
  • 55 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 200
    Toronto, Ontario
    M4T 1L8
    Refugee claims are not accepted.
  • 1250 Walker Road
    Windsor, Ontario
    N8Y 4T4
    Refugees: 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
  • 1010 St-Antoine West,
    2nd Floor
    Montréal, Quebec
    H3C 1B2
    Refugees: 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.

410 22nd Street E, Room 660
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 5T6
Refugees: 9am to 12pm and 1pm and 3pm Monday through Friday.


Citizenship and Immigration Canada Offices (CPCs)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada maintain many offices from coast to coast in Canada for everything from visas to Permanent Residency to citizenship. Find the right office for your needs here!

Case Processing Centres (CPCs)

Together, the case processing centers take care of most requests, but each of the offices has their own specialty and specific forms to process.

Vegreville, Alberta Office

The Vegreville office is responsible largely for temporary cases such as

  • Work permits for new applicants:
    6212-55th Avenue – Unit 555
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1X6Work Permits
  • Work permit extensions with the same employer:
    6212-55th Avenue – Unit 202
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1X6
  • Some Permanent Residency applications:
    6212-55th Avenue
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1W3
  • For Protected Person Status Document applications:
    6212-55th Avenue
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1W7
  • Travellers looking to apply for visitor or temporary resident status should sent their applications to:
    6212-55th Avenue – Unit 303
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1W1
  • Student visa applications should be sent to:
    6212-55th Avenue – Unit 101
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1X5
  • Students looking to work should send their work permits to:
    6212-55th Avenue – Unit 555
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1X6
  • Students looking to extend their work permits should mail into:
    6212-55th Avenue – Unit 202
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1X6

All applications should also be addressed to “CPC Vegreville”.

Missisauga, Ontario Office

If you want to sponsor a relative for immigration and Permanent Residency in Canada, but your relative lives abroad you should send in your application to the Mississauga office in Ontario.

  • If you are sponsoring a spouse (or other valid relationship) or dependent children send in your application to:
    P.O. Box 3000, Station A
    Mississauga, ON
    L5A 4N6
  • If you are sponsoring another qualified relative for immigration mail to:
    P.O. Box 6100, Station A
    Mississauga, ON
    L5A 4H4
  • To pay for the Right to Permanent Residence (a specific immigration fee) mail to:
    P.O. Box 6100, Station A
    Mississauga, ON
    L5A 4H4

All applications should be addressed to “CPC Mississauga”.

Sydney, Nova Scotia Office

The Sydney, Nova Scotia, office handles many different immigration issues for Canada including Permanent Resident Cards, Citizenship applications and immigration classification applications. Below are some of the more common addresses:

  • The main address for the citizenship application office is:
    P.O Box 12,000
    Sydney, NS
    B1P 7C2
  • To apply for a grant of citizenship mail into:
    P.O. Box 7000
    Sydney, NS
    B1P 6V6
  • To obtain proof of citizenship send in your application to:
    P.O. Box 10000
    Sydney, NS
    B1P 7C1
  • To search for citizenship documents for either you or another qualified person mail to:
    P.O. Box 10010
    Sydney, NS
    B1P 7C1
  • To mail in Permanent Resident Card applications (such as for new cards, renewals or replacements) mail into:
    P.O. Box 10020
    Sydney, NS
    B1P 7C1
  • To contact the CIC to discuss your Permanent Resident Card through the mail, send to:
    P.O. Box 9000
    Sydney, NS
    B1P 6K7

Ottawa, Ontario Office

The Ottawa Case Processing Pilot exclusively handles Temporary Resident Visas from within Canada and the United States. Applications should be sent to:

  • CPP – Ottawa
    P. O. Box 9640
    Ottawa, ON, K1G 6T2
    (If by standard mail).
  • CPP – Ottawa
    Temporary Resident Visa Section
    365 Laurier Avenue West
    Ottawa, ON K1A 1L1
    (If by private shipping company).

Immigration Fees

Almost every immigration form available through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will require a fee for processing. The amounts for the fees vary widely, just as there are many different ways to pay these fees.

Whether you are renewing a Permanent Resident Card, Applying for citizenship or trying to get a tourist visa there will be an associated, nominal fee that must be included in the application package. CIC Fees

If you are applying for immigration outside of Canada you will have to contact the CIC visa office that serves your area. Often, this is the office within your country, but in some cases in may be in an adjacent country. You will need to conduct some research to find out which jurisdiction you are in. Visa offices may have different preferences for payments.

Applying within Canada can be done in two ways: online or at a Canadian financial institution.

Paying Online

The online payment system is relatively simple and very much similar to other online payment systems for commercial businesses. You will need to use a PDF reader to get a receipt after you pay with one of the accepted credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express).

An email address is necessary for maintaining contact with the CIC. After you receive your receipt, you will need to print it to be included in your application package. There are a few different ways to do this:

  • Print it at home. If you have your own printer, you can just print the receipt from the comfort of your own home.
  • Print your receipt at a printer away from home. You may know a friend or relative with a printer. Libraries and LAN centers may also have printers available to the public for a small fee. You can transport your data by email or flash storage device, but be sure to delete all temporary files and to protect your data from potential hackers.

Paying at a Canadian Financial Institution

An alternative to those who aren’t so computer savvy is to pay for your forms through a brick-and-mortar institution. You will need to first order Form IMM 5401 for the payment receipt, then you pay at either a bank or a wire service. Form IMM 5401 must be included in your application submission.

In some cases this is the only way that you can pay your application fees.

  • Federal Skilled Workers,
  • Federal Skilled Tradespersons, or
  • Federal Investors

Must all submit their applications and payments to the Centralized Intake office in Sydney, Nova Scotia. There is no online option for these immigration types.

How Much Are the Fees?

Here are some of the more common fees:

  • Right of Citizenship—$100
  • Grant of Citizenship—$100
  • Work Permits—$150
  • Study Permits—$125
  • Permanent Resident Application Processing Fee—$50
  • Permanent Resident Renewal or Replacement Fee—$50

Expanded List of Designated Countries

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the leadership of Minister Jason Kenney, has taken a very serious look at the way that Canada accepts refugees and asylees.

By not investigating claims thoroughly and preventing fraud, the department is doing a disservice to the people and government of Canada and as a result Kenney has been very proactive in the implementation of anti-fraud policies.

Permanent Residency in Canada is looked on as being very valuable and its integrity is to be protected.

The CIC has created two lists of designated countries where citizens from those countries who try to apply for refugee status in Canada will need to undergo thorough examination.

These countries are marked for being democracies with reasonable levels of governmental redress and are therefore unlikely to produce true refugees.

New list of Designated Countries of Origins includes:Expanded List

  • Australia,
  • Iceland,
  • Israel,
  • Japan,
  • Mexico,
  • New Zealand,
  • Norway,
  • Switzerland.

Countries from the previous list include:

  • Austria,
  • Belgium,
  • Croatia,
  • Cyprus,
  • Czech Republic,
  • Denmark,
  • Estonia,
  • Finland,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Greece,
  • Hungary,
  • Ireland,
  • Italy,
  • Latvia,
  • Lithuania,
  • Luxembourg,
  • Malta,
  • The Netherlands,
  • Poland,
  • Portugal,
  • Slovak Republic,
  • Slovenia,
  • Spain,
  • Sweden,
  • The United Kingdom, and
  • The United States of America.

People from these countries will still receive asylum hearings within 30-45 days, the accelerated hearing process is to get ingenuous claims out of the way for more legitimate refugees.

This type of program is in no way unusual in western countries. The United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium and Finland all have similar programs according to a Citizenship and Immigration Canada news release.

Refugee claims are largely handled by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) which is somewhat separate from the duties and responsibilities of the CIC.

Successful Refugee claimants will be able to submit to the CIC for Permanent Residency. Permanent Residency is an immigration status that is half-way in between non-immigrant and citizenship. It grants immigrants the right to live, work, study, and travel throughout Canada indefinitely, or as long as they care to maintain their status. Practically the only thing they cannot do is vote in national elections.