Through our Community Awareness initiatives, mainstream service providers, faith groups, and all Calgarians can gain a better understanding of immigrant needs, become more knowledgeable about diverse cultures, and become better equipped to welcome and assist new immigrants.

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.

Regulated Occupations in Alberta

As a newcomer to Alberta, the first step to working in your occupation is to find out if your occupation is regulated. In Alberta, some occupations are regulated, meaning there are legal requirements and restrictions which you have to meet work in that occupation. The Government of Alberta has compiled a list of regulated professions in Alberta, along with information on regulatory organizations responsible for licensure in those occupations. The list and guides for some regulated occupations are available at:

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