April 30, 2013
Countries and Territories Whose Citizens Will Soon Need to Provide Biometric Information to Enter Canada as Visitors
The Government of Canada has proposed to introduce biometric identity screening for nationals of 29 countries and 1 territory when they apply for a temporary resident visa, study permit or work permit. Once final, this change would take effect in 2013.
If you are a national of a country or territory listed below, you will need to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken when you apply for a:
- temporary resident visa,
- study permit, or
- work permit.
CIC will start to collect this information from people on a mandatory basis in September 2013. By December 2013, biometric screening will be mandatory for all temporary resident applicants who are a national of a country or territory listed below. The following are the proposed dates when mandatory collection of biometric information will begin:
September 2, 2013:
October 15, 2013:
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
December 7, 2013:
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Sri Lanka
- Palestinian Authority
These dates are subject to change. Visit this website in spring 2013 to confirm when this will take effect for you.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to introduce the following changes in 2013:
- If you are a national of a country or territory from which Canada will need biometric information, you will need to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph taken when you apply for a temporary resident visa, study permit or work permit starting September 2013.
- Most people will have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (VAC). CIC is adding new VACs around the world to give better access to people who need to apply for visas and give biometric information.
- VACs are managed by private companies or international organizations. These organizations are contracted by CIC to give certain services to visa applicants.
- Client service agents at the VACs can explain, in local languages, how to fill out forms and make sure that applications are complete. This will help you avoid having your application delayed or refused due to an incomplete application.
- The Government of Canada has proposed a biometrics fee of $85 CAD per person, $170 CAD for a family, and $255 CAD for performing artists and their staff applying together for a work permit. This would be in addition to the normal temporary resident visa, work permit and study permit application processing fees. This proposed fee is similar to what other countries charge for biometrics, such as the U.S. and the U.K.
- Children, the elderly, and government officials and their family members travelling to Canada on official business may be exempt from having to give their biometric information.
- Over the next year, CIC will be setting up VACs with biometric collection services. If you are an affected national, you will be able to have your fingerprints and photograph taken on a voluntary basis as soon as there is one established in your area. This service will be free of charge before the biometric requirement becomes mandatory. Check this website starting in May 2013 to find out where the VACs with biometric collection services are located.
- Taking biometric information would not increase the time it takes for CIC to process your application. But, if you need to travel to get to a VAC in order to give your fingerprints and photograph in person, this could add to the time it takes to prepare and submit your application. You should plan ahead for this.
April 22, 2013
American Homeland Security Wants Canadians to Pay to Cross at Land Borders
The call to study a new levy – contained in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed budget for 2014 – is needed to defray increased security costs, proponents say.
In its proposal, the Department of Homeland Security urges a study of setting up and collecting a crossing fee for both pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the Canadian and Mexican borders.
Ottawa “will vigorously lobby against” the proposal to charge every vehicle and pedestrian at any land border crossing, says a spokeswoman for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade thinks a fee to simply enter the U.S. would be bad for business between the two countries.
April 22, 2013
Graduates of the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program
This year, close to 70 graduates of the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program can look forward to a better shot at success in the Canadian job market, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced at a graduation ceremony in Ottawa today.
“The Government of Canada is committed to helping newcomers successfully integrate into the Canadian economy as quickly as possible,” said Minister Kenney. “Obtaining Canadian work experience is a key part of success in Canada’s labour market and the FIN offers newcomers that valuable experience.”
Since the FIN Program was first launched in 2010, almost 200 newcomers in several cities across Canada have taken part and benefited.
The Program has a high success rate. Preliminary results indicate that over 70 percent of those who have participated in the Program were then able to enter the work force in their chosen profession.
The FIN Program provides permanent residents and new citizens temporary placements to gain the Canadian work experience they need to enter the Canadian work force. Newcomers who participate complete internships in fields such as policy, administration, finance, computer science, project management and science.
Employers who are interested in participating in the Program should contact FINPInbox@cic.gc.ca.
April 18, 2013
Canada has been welcoming not only the highest sustained level of immigrants in Canadian history, we also have, on a per-capita basis, among the highest immigration rates in the world,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “
Immigration is a key part of the government’s plan to grow our economy, spur job creation, and ensure long-term prosperity for all Canadians.”
Over the seven years from 2006 to 2012, Canada averaged approximately 30,250 more admissions per year than in the decade previous, from 1996 to 2005.
The government is continuing to move toward a modern and effective immigration system that attract the skilled immigrants that Canada’s economy requires,” said Minister Kenney. “
This new fast and flexible system will respond more effectively to Canada’s labour market needs, support family reunification, and provide protection to genuine refugees.”
Canada welcomed a record number of international students in 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. Last year was the first time in Canadian history that Canada has welcomed over 100,000 international students, an increase of 60% from 2004.
Attracting and retaining the best and brightest immigrants from around the world is part of the government’s commitment to grow Canada’s economy and ensure long-term prosperity,” said Minister Kenney. “
The steady growth in numbers confirms that Canada remains a destination of choice for international students because of the remarkable educational opportunities that exist in our world class institutions.”
According to a 2011 report by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) entitled International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity, international students contribute more than $8 billion every year to the Canadian economy. In addition to significant economic benefits, international students also enrich Canadian society with their ideas and different perspectives.
Canada’s universities are pleased to see increasing numbers of international students attracted by our reputation for excellence in education,” said Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “
In addition to making a significant contribution to our economy, international students bring new perspectives and cultures to our campuses, enriching the learning experience of all students.”
International students are also a future source of skilled labour, as they may be eligible upon graduation for permanent residency through immigration programs, such as the Canadian Experience Class which the Government introduced in 2008. International students are well-prepared to immigrate to Canada as they have obtained Canadian credentials, are proficient in at least one of our official languages and often have relevant Canadian work experience.
Canadian colleges and institutes, with a focus on applied higher education and unparalleled placement rates, are magnets for international students,” said Association of Canadian Community Colleges President and CEO, James Knight. “
Canadian college credentials are a passport to employment success not only in the students’ country of origin, but also in Canada where their skills are in high demand.”
Recently proposed changes to the International Student Program would streamline work permit access to international students attending designated institutions, and provide certain study permit holders with the authority to work part-time off-campus.
The proposed changes would also better protect international students as provinces and territories designate the institutions qualified to receive them and Citizenship and Immigration Canada eliminates abuse of the program by ensuring program participants are genuine students. These changes would safeguard the world-class reputation of Canada’s post-secondary education system, as it strives to become ever more competitive in the global search for talent.
Canada competes globally for the best and brightest minds, so we are continually working to make studying in Canada an attractive choice,” added Minister Kenney. “
Through our proposed improvements to the International Student Program, we will further improve Canada’s already strong reputation.”
January 2, 2013
“The new Skilled Trades Program will address serious labour shortages that some regions of the country are facing, and will help grow Canada’s economy,” said Minister Kenney.
“These long-overdue changes are part of the government’s plan to build a fast and flexible immigration system that is responsive to the needs of Canada’s economy. Canadian employers have long been asking for ways to get the skilled tradespeople they need to meet demands in many industries across the country. We’ve listened to their concerns and created this program in response.”
In the program’s first year, CIC will accept applications from up to 3,000 people in specific trades. The occupation list was designed to reflect current labour market needs and ensure the program delivers a diverse range of skilled tradespeople to fuel Canada’s economy. Within the 3,000, there will be no limit on 26 in-demand occupations, while 17 occupations will be subject to sub-limits of 100 applications each. In total, there are 43 occupations eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Applications are expected to be processed within 12 months.
“The Federal Skilled Trades Program is yet another tool in the Canadian employer’s toolkit to find the workers they need to build Canada’s future economy,” said Minister Kenney.
“This new program, along with all other changes we are introducing, will help us move towards an immigration system that better supports Canada’s economic growth and long-term prosperity.”