Earlier this month, the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered governments to stop automatically charging individuals, who have sponsored relatives to come to Canada as permanent residents, for social assistance debt sustained by those relatives.
Archives for November 2009
Earlier this month, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) Minister Jason Kenney introduced Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, a new study guide for permanent residents applying for Canadian citizenship. The new guide is intended to give new Canadians a more comprehensive look at Canadian history and values than its predecessor.
Permanent residents who have lived in Canada for at least three years in the past four can apply to become Canadian citizens, which then gives them the right to vote, run for public office and obtain a Canadian passport. As part of the application process, candidates between the ages of 18 and 55 must take a test, and prepare for it using this study guide.
Discover Canada replaces a guide entitled A Look at Canada that had been in place since 1997. The new booklet contains more information about the Canadian military, Canada’s political history, the Confederation and First Nations than the previous one.
“By strengthening the guide, we are increasing the value of Canadian citizenship,” Kenney said.
Also included in the guide is information on common values in Canada such as freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the equality of men and women.
“We want to ensure that newcomers appreciate that citizenship is not just obtaining legal status, that it confers certain privileges and rights. It’s joining the Canadian community and it’s joining Canadian history,” Kenney said.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) consulted with respected Canadian historians, authors and public figures as Discover Canada was being developed, in order to ensure that the guide was as comprehensive and informative as possible.
“People come from all over the world to seek Canadian citizenship. It is highly valued. We expect people who want to become Canadians to have a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and the values and institutions that are rooted in Canada’s history,” Kenney said.
Citizenship applicants taking their citizenship tests before the end of February 2010 should study A Look at Canada, while applicants who will be taking their tests in March 2010 or later should study Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.
Do you qualify for Canadian permanent residency? Find out by completing our new assessment form that evaluates your eligibility across more than 60 different Canadian immigration programs.
Every fall, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism gives an annual report on immigration to the Canadian Parliament, detailing the state of immigration to Canada over the past year as well as the immigration plan for the coming year. In this year’s report, Minister Jason Kenney announced that Canada expects to maintain the number of permanent residents it welcomes in 2010, but highlighted that a greater proportion of Economic immigrants to Canada will be nominated or selected by the provinces and territories than before.
Kenney prefaced his report by pointing out that Canadians can be proud of Canada’s tradition of openness to newcomers around the world.
“We have maintained the highest relative level of immigration of any major western country, attracting nearly a quarter of a million permanent residents in 2008,” he said.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) stated goal was to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents each year in both 2008 and 2009. Kenney’s report indicates that that target will be maintained for 2010 as well.
One dramatic difference between the immigration plans for 2009 and those for 2010, however, is the number and proportion of newcomers that are expected to immigrate under a Provincial Nomination or Selection Program.
In his 2008 report to parliament, Kenney had announced that an expected 20,000 to 26,000 Provincial Nominees would be arriving in Canada in 2009. One year on, the expected number of immigrants in those categories has increased to 37,000 to 40,000. This reflects the increasing responsibility provinces are taking on with regard to selecting their own immigrants.
The province of Quebec, which selects all its own immigrants under an agreement with the federal government, is also expected to welcome a greater proportion of the Economic immigrants Canada is expecting in 2010—a ten per cent increase over 2009.
Given that the provinces are progressively playing a larger role in their immigration programs, it is important for candidates to consider all the Canadian immigration options available to them.
Do you qualify for Canadian immigration under any of the Provincial immigration categories? Our new assessment form allows us to assess your eligibility across the more than 60 different Canadian immigration programs that are currently in place. Find out which option is right for you.
Newcomers to Canada have a large number of settlement services available to them once they arrive, most of which are provided to them at no cost. In recent years, the Canadian government has consistently increased funding to provinces and municipalities, to enable them to provide as well as improve settlement services for their immigrants. This month, we look at a few of the wealth of new initiatives that benefit new Canadians and ease their settlement process.
Throughout September and October, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced multiple local immigration partnerships with municipalities in Ontario such as Hamilton and York. The municipalities received funding from the federal government to develop settlement strategies that will help their newcomers integrate.
In Manitoba, immigrants can get ahead on their settlement process with the ENTRY program, a four-week program designed to help newcomers learn about life and work in Manitoba. A new aspect of the settlement process, such as finding employment, is covered each week, and a one-week express program covering all the topics is also offered.
Last month CIC revealed that it would be sending language training vouchers, which would enable individuals to take classes in one of the official languages free of charge, to newcomers chosen at random as part of a pilot project.
WelcomeBC, a settlement resource for new Canadians in British Columbia, recently enhanced their online services portal with the help of funding from the provincial and federal governments. The enhanced website includes task wizards in six languages: English, Punjabi, French, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, and Korean.
These are just some of the recent developments in settlement services in Canada that immigrants can take advantage of upon their arrival. The federal and provincial governments are constantly working to maximise the benefits these services provide to new Canadians.
Get a head start on your settlement in Canada! You can connect with people who are already in Canada, in the process of immigrating to Canada or who are thinking of immigrating to Canada on LoonLounge. Learn more about the settlement services in your intended destination from people who have experienced them. Make friends with people in your intended community. Prepare for work in Canada before you arrive. Visit www.loonlounge.com and join the community today!
Depending on their nationality, Canadian landed immigrants receive different treatment when it comes to residency requirements.