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
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.