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

Growing Canada’s Economic Future – Historic multi-year immigration plan sets out highest levels in recent history – IRCC

November 1, 2017—Toronto, ON—For years, we’ve seen how immigration strengthens Canada by spurring innovation and economic growth, supporting diverse and inclusive communities.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the Government of Canada’s historic multi-year immigration levels plan that will responsibly grow the number of permanent residents Canada welcomes annually.

Beginning with 310,000 new permanent residents in 2018, and growing to 330,000 in 2019 and 340,000 in 2020, this plan sets out the most ambitious immigration levels in recent history. This measured, gradual increase will trend towards one percent of the population by 2020, spurring innovation and representing a major investment in Canada’s prosperity, now and into the future.

Supporting both Canadian businesses and labour market needs, the multi-year immigration plan will foster economic growth in the face of slowing labour force growth and an ageing population. With approximately 60 percent of the increase, over the three year period, in the economic category, this plan helps distribute the benefits of immigration across Canada, responding to a unanimous call by provinces and territories earlier this fall.

Increased levels will create the space needed to reduce backlogs and decrease processing times for families sponsoring spouses, children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers. The 2018-2020 multi-year immigration levels plan also fulfills our commitment to offer protection to those in need.

Canada’s well-managed immigration system is unique in the world. It places great emphasis on providing assistance to recently arrived newcomers to weather their migration transition period, learn English or French, find meaningful employment, and establish themselves in their communities.

Ensuring that newcomers integrate and contribute to our economy and our communities remains our priority, which is why this historic growth is being managed through a gradual annual increase over three years. This will allow settlement and integration partners time to plan and work with all levels of government to ensure that our world-class results for newcomers continue.

This past summer, Minister Hussen traveled across the country and heard from a variety of stakeholders, including businesses, labour, provinces and territories, families and advocates. They all sent a resounding message that increased immigration is a necessity for economic growth, community sustainability, and keeping Canada globally competitive.

– Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Image source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

New definition of age of dependants now in force – IRCC

Expanded definition of dependent children will help more families stay together in Canada

October 27, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – The Government of Canada has changed the definition of the age of dependants from “under 19” to “under 22,” fulfilling a key mandate commitment of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. This change will help more immigrant families stay together. When newcomer families are able to stay together, their integration into Canada, and their ability to work and contribute to their communities all improve.

This change applies to all new applications received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on or after October 24, 2017. Parents who want to see if their child qualifies should first check our web tool.

To help even more families stay together, the government has introduced a public policy that would allow for the addition or sponsorship of some children whose parents had existing applications in process on May 3, 2017, or who have applied since that time.

Permanent residence applicants who wish to add or sponsor a child under the public policy can also check our web tool to see if their child qualifies – specifically, if they were 19, 20, or 21 years of age on May 3, 2017, or on the date we received the parents’ application, if between May 3, and October 23, 2017. Applicants should notify IRCC as soon as possible, using a web form, as the notification period will end on January 31, 2018.

Once IRCC has been advised, we will contact applicants directly to tell them what they need to do to sponsor or add their child to their application.

Those who do not qualify as dependants may still have several other options. Visit IRCC’s website to find out the ways someone may be eligible to immigrate to Canada.

Sources: Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. 

Government of Canada implements new legislative changes to the Citizenship Act – IRCC

October 4, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide greater flexibility in meeting requirements for those who wish to obtain Canadian citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today a significant milestone in implementing changes to the Citizenship Act through the adoption of Bill C-6.

Further to changes introduced upon Royal Assent which repealed certain provisions of the former government’s Bill C-24, important changes to physical presence and the age required to meet language and knowledge requirements for permanent residents who are applying for citizenship will come into effect on October 11, 2017. The new requirements will give more flexibility to both younger and older eligible immigrants to obtain citizenship. They will also help individuals who have already begun building lives in Canada achieve citizenship faster.

Citizenship applicants who meet the new requirements must wait until October 11, 2017, before applying for citizenship. This is the date when the changes come into effect, and when the new citizenship application forms and guides will be available.

More changes to the Citizenship Act are expected to take effect later this year and in early 2018. For a complete list of past, current and future changes to the Citizenship Act and their effective dates, please read the Bill C-6 Backgrounder

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Source: Government of Canada implements new legislative changes to the Citizenship Act – IRCC

Citizenship requirements will change on October 11

Citizenship requirements for physical presence, language and knowledge will change on October 11, 2017. Applicants can apply for citizenship under the new rules using updated forms available October 11. The following changes will be expected to come into effect:

  1. Physical presence in Canada requirements will be reduced to three out of five years.
  2. A portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status will count towards residency requirements.
  3. Age range for language and knowledge requirements will be reduced to 18-54 years old.

The changes are part of the amendments that received Royal Assent in June. For a complete list of changes, please read the Bill C-6 Backgrounder.

Timeline of Citizenship Act changes

On June 19, 2017, Bill C-6 passed Parliament. Some immediate changes include:

  • Intent to live in Canada once granted citizenship is no longer required.
  • Citizenship revocation provisions only applying to dual citizens are repealed.
  • Minors can qualify on their own without the need to have a Canadian parent.

 

During the summer of 2017, IRCC will conduct the required regulatory process, train staff, and make the necessary technology changes for the fall of 2017.

 

The following changes are expected to come into effect in the fall of 2017:

  • Physical presence in Canada requirements will be reduced to three out of five years.
  • A portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status will count towards residency requirements.
  • Age range for language and knowledge requirements will be reduced to 18-54 years old.

For a complete list of changes made to the Citizenship Act and when they take effect, please read the Bill C-6 Backgrounder

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.