Parents and Grandparents Program reopening in new year – IRCC

December 22, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – Canadian citizens and permanent residents will soon be able to take the first step in applying to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada, when the Parents and Grandparents Program reopens in 2018.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a new process in 2017 for application intake for sponsoring parents and grandparents to make it fairer and more transparent for applicants. Now, potential sponsors must first notify IRCC that they are interested in sponsoring their parents and grandparents by submitting an “Interest to Sponsor” form. Using a random selection process, IRCC will then invite potential sponsors to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that the “Interest to Sponsor” form will be available at noon EST on January 2, 2018. Those who wish to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents in 2018 must first fill out this online form. It will be available until noon February 1, 2018.

To help ensure the efficiency of the system and to allow as many eligible sponsors as possible to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada, it is important that only those who meet the sponsorship eligibility requirements submit an “Interest to Sponsor” form. Additional questions have been added to the 2018 version of the “Interest to Sponsor” form to help potential sponsors self-assess whether they are eligible to sponsor.

 Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website.

2017 Syrian Refugee Holiday Fun Event

On Saturday, December 16, Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) was host to 96 Syrian Refugees (including 59 children) for a Family Holiday Fun Event. We had an excellent 93.5% turnout engaging in info-sessions, fun games, and food.

We conducted workshops that included topics on positive thinking & job search for men’s group as well as ‘Starting a day home’ for women’s group, which was well appreciated. Youth enjoyed activities such as bracelet making, cookie decorating and board games, while children had storytelling and toys for entertainment.

“Thank you so much for the invitation and the amazing and beautiful gifts. You are very thoughtful indeed. Have a great holiday.” One of our guest’s feedback to ISC.

We thank all who attended the event and made it a success.

IRCC expands its presence in China through new VACs

 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expanding its Visa Application Centre (VAC) Network in China, increasing its geographic reach as Canada looks for new ways to support the growth in applications. So far this year, more than 500,000 applications have been received from China, a 15 per cent increase from 2016.

By offering greater flexibility and accessibility for Chinese travellers, Canada continues to demonstrate its commitment to a growing cultural exchange between the two countries.

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, attended the opening ceremony of a VAC in Nanjing this week to mark the opening of seven new centres located in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Nanjing, Shenyang and Wuhan. They join the existing network of VACs in Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

These new VACs will play an important role in meeting the growing demand for visas for Chinese residents.

VACs offer support to applicants before, during and after their temporary resident visa application is assessed by an IRCC officer. VAC service agents are available by phone, email or in person to answer questions in local languages and to make sure that applications are complete.

As ties between Canada and China continue to grow, IRCC remains committed to making it easier than ever for Chinese residents to apply for a visa.

To this end, a new pay option will also be put into place beginning in early 2018. IRCC will begin accepting payments through UnionPay, one of the largest payment processing providers in China.

This improved flexibility will make it easier for travellers to come to Canada, and by extension, open the door to new opportunities for economic and cultural exchange.

Source: IRCC expands its presence in China through new VACs – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Where to mark Remembrance Day in Calgary

Remembrance Day is observed by Commonwealth Nations, including Canada, on November 11th. In Canada, many people will wear a red poppy in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day and observe a moment of silence on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to commemorate those who have died in war. The red poppy was inspired by the poem written by Canadian medical officer Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae called “In Flanders Fields”, which is often recited on Remembrance Day.

In Calgary, there are a number of options for those who want pay their respects:

Field of Crosses Memorial Project Official Remembrance Day Ceremony

Where: Memorial Drive between 3 Street NW and Centre Street.

When: 10:20 a.m.


Jubilee Auditorium

Where: 1415 14 Ave NW

When: 10:30 a.m., doors open 9:30 a.m.


Central Memorial Park

Where: 1221 2 Street SW

When: 10:30 a.m.


Military Museums

Where: 4520 Crowchild Trail SW

When: 10:30 a.m.


YYC Calgary International Airport

Where: 2000 Airport Road NE, Departures Level in Domestic Terminal

When: 10:45 a.m.


Battalion Park

Where: 3001 Signal Hill Drive SW

When: 10:30 a.m.


Hanger Flight Museum

Where: 4629 McCall Way NE

When: 10:30 a.m.


Kerby Centre

Where: 1133-7 Ave SW

When: 10:50 a.m., doors open 10:30 a.m.


Canadian Pacific Remembrance Day Ceremony

Where: 7550 Ogden Dale Road SE

When: 10:40 a.m.


Fort Calgary

Where: 750 9 Ave SE

When: 10:30 a.m.


Burnsland Cemetery

Where: 27 Avenue and Spiller Road SE

When: 2:00 p.m.

Deloitte Impact Day 2017 – Networking Event

Over 53 professional newcomer clients from Immigrant Services Calgary participated in our annual networking event with Deloitte professionals. This year’s topic is “Tools to help you in your job search”. During the event, Deloitte staff shared their insights and experiences about the Canadian work culture, job search techniques, interview skills, resume writing, and work search process in Canada. Participants also had the opportunity to network with Deloitte staff.

November is Financial Literacy Month

November is Financial Literacy Month! This year’s Financial Literacy Month’s theme is “Take charge of your finances: It pays to know!” It encourages Canadians to take concrete actions to better manage their money and debit, including making a budget, have a savings plan and understanding their rights and responsibilities.

Immigrant Services Calgary is also hosting a Financial Planning 101 workshop at Nicholls Family Library on November 9 to help newcomers learn about Canadian pension systems (please note that the workshop will be delivered in Korean).

For more information about the Financial Literacy Month, please visit Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s website.