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CAN+ program to facilitate trade and travel with India

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New Delhi — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced the launch of the CAN+ program in India, which will result in more efficient processing for Indian visitors coming to Canada.

CAN+ is open to Indian nationals who have travelled to Canada or the United States of America within the last 10 years. They will benefit from expedited processing, which will free up visa officers to work on other cases, improving overall processing times for all Indian travellers.

Alexander made the announcement during an event with representatives of India’s business, tourism and education sectors, where he highlighted a number of successful government initiatives that are increasing trade and travel to Canada from India. This includes: three visa “Express” programs for Indian businesspeople, students and tourists; 10 Visa Applications Centres (VACs) across India — a global record; and a standardized multiple-entry visa at a reduced fee of CAD $100.

All of these government initiatives are providing fast and easier options for international travellers to come to Canada to do business, learn, and support Canada’s tourism sector.

Quick facts

  • Indian nationals rank in the top 10 source countries of international visitors to Canada. In 2013, more than 130,000 visitor visas were issued to Indian citizens, and nearly 14,000 Indian citizens were issued student permits.
  • Between January and June 2014, almost 95 per cent of visitor visas issued to Indian nationals were multiple-entry visas, allowing travellers to visit Canada as many times as they want for up to 10 years.
  • A CAN+ pilot program in India delivered impressive results with visas issued within five days and an approval rate over 95 per cent. Individuals eligible for CAN+ visa processing do not need to provide as many supporting documents when submitting their applications.
  • Three visa “Express” programs that help Indian businesspeople, tourists and students come to Canada faster include:
    • Business Express expedites business travel fromIndia with visas issued within three days with a near-perfect approval rate for those registered in the program.
    • Tourist Partner Program offers a fast, simplified visa application process for tourists who use travel agencies registered with the Canadian Embassy.
    • Student Partners Program fast-tracks the processing of study permits with visas issued within 13 days or less for those who study at participating Canadian educational institutions.

Quote

“Our government is committed to facilitating trade and travel for genuine visitors and business people from India who contribute positively to the Canadian economy. We are pleased to officially launch the CAN+ program in India, making it faster and easier for Indians to come to Canada to do business, visit family and friends, or to bolster Canada’s tourism industry. We value our strong relationship with India and this initiative will further enhance our economic and cultural ties.&rdquo

Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

Canadian News

Canada’s Immigration Minister Says Commitments To Reuniting Spouses Quicker Have Been Met

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Canada’s Immigration Minister

The Sponsorship process improvements have led to backlog reduction and shorter processing times which had built up under the previous Conservative government which made spousal reunification a lengthy affair.

MISSISSAUGA – Over the past year, the Government of Canada has made significant improvements to the spousal sponsorship process, making it faster and easier for Canadians and permanent residents to reunite with their spouses.

The Sponsorship process improvements have led to backlog reduction and shorter processing times which had built up under the previous Conservative government which made spousal reunification a lengthy affair.

In December 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that it would reduce the backlog of spousal applicants by 80% and shorten processing times to 12 months. It also announced improvements to the spousal sponsorship application process to make it more efficient and easier to navigate.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that the government has successfully met these commitments.

“The Government of Canada is committed to family reunification. We understand how important it is to reunite couples. It also makes for a stronger Canada. Canadians who marry someone from abroad shouldn’t have to wait for years to have them immigrate or be left with uncertainty in terms of their ability to stay,” Hussen said.

  • More than 80% of those who were in the global spousal sponsorship backlog on December 7, 2016, have now received final decisions for their applications. We reduced the spousal inventory from 75,000 applications to 15,000 as of December 31, 2017.
  • As of December 31, 2017, we met our commitment to process 80% of spousal applications that were received in December 2016.

In addition, after introducing a new spousal sponsorship application package in December 2016, IRCC continued to respond to client and stakeholder feedback to further improve the application process, and make it simpler and easier for sponsors and applicants to understand and navigate. As a result, we made a number of improvements to the application package in June 2017. And today, we introduced further updates to the application kit and process to improve the client experience and make sure we can process applications as quickly as possible.

  • To bring families together, IRCC plans to welcome 66,000 spouses and dependants in 2018, well above the average over the past decade of about 47,000.
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New Immigration program allows applicants to be process under six months

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New Immigration program allows applicants to be process under six months

Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander confirmed it’s one month and counting until Express Entry launches a new phase of active immigration recruitment to meet economic and labour market needs. Potential candidates can create their profile on January 1st, 2015, with the first Invitations to Apply issued within weeks.

Express Entry will help select skilled immigrants based on their skills and experience. Those with valid job offers or provincial/territorial nominations will be picked first. Details published  in the Canada Gazette explain how candidates will be ranked and selected, based on these factors that research shows are linked to success in the Canadian economy. Minister Alexander also highlighted that additional information was published on the CIC website to help potential immigrants and employers understand the new system, and to  promote Canada as a destination of choice based on a strong economy, low taxes and job opportunities.

Express Entry will result in faster processing and will allow the Government of Canada to be more flexible and respond better to Canada’s changing labour market needs.

 Express Entry will manage applications for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class.

Provinces and Territories will be able to use the Express Entry system to select a portion of candidates for their Provincial Nominee Programs.

Express Entry will launch at 12 noon EST January 1st, 2015. The first draw for an invitation to apply is scheduled for the last week of January.

Once candidates have been selected from the pool they will need to complete the immigration process, which includes health and security checks. Applications will be processed in six months or less.

“With the launch of Express Entry in January, our Government will build on our strong and proven record of helping immigrants succeed, and helping Canada’s economy thrive. Starting January 1st, we will be able to select the top economic immigrants who will contribute to our economy, labour market and communities.”

The following is a  list of Eligible Occupations under the National Occupational Classification:

   
  Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services 17
0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c. 53
0111 Financial managers 306
0112 Human resources managers 201
0113 Purchasing managers 168
0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers 84
0311 Managers in health care 46
0711 Construction managers 50
0712 Home building and renovation managers 10
0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing
0911 Manufacturing managers 158
1111 Financial auditors and accountants 450
1112 Financial and investment analysts 1,000
1113 Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers
1114 Other financial officers 133
1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations 385
1212 Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers 164
1224 Property administrators 18
2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers 45
2131 Civil engineers
2132 Mechanical engineers 624
2133 Electrical and electronics engineers 452
2145 Petroleum engineers 35
2171 Information systems analysts and consultants 1,000
2172 Database analysts and data administrators 172
2173 Software engineers and designers 1,000
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers  1,000
2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians 25
2234 Construction estimators 16
2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics 40
2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety 147
2281 Computer network technicians 430
3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors 14
3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 613
3111 Specialist physicians 22
3112 General practitioners and family physicians 42
3132 Dietitians and nutritionists 15
3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists 6
3142 Physiotherapists
3143 Occupational Therapists 6
3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists 6
3215 Medical Radiation Technologists 10
3216 Medical Sonographers 15
3233 Licensed practical nurses 44
3234 Paramedical occupations 7
4011 University professors and lecturers 357
4151 Psychologists 15
4214 Early childhood educators and assistants 57
5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters

 

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Residents urged to apply for Canadian citizenship to avoid hurdles

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Residents urged to apply for Canadian citizenship to avoid hurdles

Some measures — raising residence requirement to four years and age exemption of the citizenship test to 65 — won’t come into force for another year.

Residents in a working-class Rexdale neighbourhood slowly stream into a community centre, many with English-speaking teenage children in tow, or baby strollers. Each of these future-but-not-yet citizens looks anxious and confused.

“How many of you have heard of Bill C-24, the new Citizenship Act?” asks community legal worker Aytaj Aliyeva, drawing blank looks and silence as a settlement worker translates the question into Arabic amid whispers in other languages.

“We are here to talk about the changes that are about to take effect. We are advising you to file your application as soon as possible if you are already eligible.”

This free citizenship workshop, offered by the Rexdale Community Legal Clinic, is one of many being presented by legal clinics in the GTA to explain to immigrants what recent changes to the citizenship law mean to them.

When Ottawa enacted the new law in June, many, including frontline immigrant settlement workers, assumed it would take effect immediately and that little could be done to beat its more restrictive criteria.

In fact, some of the most controversial changes — requiring citizenship applicants to be present in Canada for four years out of six (rather than three years out of four), and raising the age of exemption from language and citizenship tests to 65, from 55 — won’t come into force until next June, immigration officials confirmed to the Star.

“We want to tell people it’s not too late, and they should take advantage of the old rules,” said Ann McRae, executive director of the Rexdale legal clinic, a member of the Inter-Clinic Immigration Working Group.

At the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, staff have reached out to community groups to deliver workshops and help clients file citizenship applications.

“All the changes were rushed through so quickly that people are confused,” said clinic lawyer Karin Baqi. “Those who are eligible today may not be eligible tomorrow. We have to get the word out.”

Remon Kirkor came here from Iraq with his wife and three daughters in 2007. The family met the three-year residence requirement in 2010. Yet, Kirkor, 44, hasn’t applied for citizenship, because he knows that as a high school dropout he would have a tough time passing the language test or the citizenship knowledge exam offered only in English and French.

“I work 20 hours a day to support my family. By day, I am a window installer. At night, I work as a dishwasher,” Kirkor, a former truck driver for UNICEF, said through his daughter, Mariam. “I have no time to sleep. I have no time to study English.”

Immigrants and refugees without a lot of education or language proficiency are most likely to be disenfranchised by the new law, said Avvy Go of the Metro Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. The clinic runs an ongoing citizenship clinic and has had more than 70 clients since the end of June.

“Many people have lived here for a long time. They have jobs, families and are well-integrated in the community but must wait till they turn 55 to apply for citizenship because they know their English is not good enough to pass the test,” said Go.

“Starting in June, they will have to wait another 10 years before they can become full citizens without having to take the exam. If they came as refugees, that means they can’t get a passport and travel. So many things could happen and people could lose their permanent resident status while waiting.”

Chinese immigrant Xiao Gang Yin, who turns 55 in August, has lived in Toronto since 1999 and said he had planned to wait a few more years before applying.

“I work in construction and I don’t have time to take English lessons or citizenship classes. As soon as I heard they were going to change the age requirement to 65, I decided to apply right away before they’d change the law again,” he said.

Imed Iziz, an auto mechanic from Iraq who turns 55 in January, said he felt like he’d won the lottery when he learned from Aliyeva he still has time to qualify for the citizenship test exemption under the old rules.

“All these changes worry me. Who knows when they would change everything again?” Iziz, who came here in May 2011, said through a translator. “It is really important for me to get my Canadian citizenship. This is my home now. My life is here.”

Citizenship by the numbers

2009201020112012 2013

Applications232,960208,800223,040317,440 333,860

New citizens156,356143,680181,421113,148 128,996

Backlog259,709290,854280,233367,372 396,227

Source: Government of Canada

~ by  Immigration reporter

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