Additional Designated Countries of Origin announced

Posted on May 30, 2013

Effective May 31, 2013, the list of Designated Countries of Origin (DCOs) is expanding to include Chile and South Korea. DCOs are democratic countries that offer state protection, have active human rights and civil society organizations, and do not normally produce refugees. Under Canada’s new asylum system, all eligible claimants from designated countries continue to receive a full and fair hearing on the individual merits of their claims at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada within 30-45 days. Claimants from non-designated countries receive a hearing within 60 days. Failed claimants from designated countries may still appeal to the Federal Court to review a negative decision, but they do not have access to the Refugee Appeal Division at the IRB.

For more information, please click here.

Changes to Canadian Passport

Posted on May 29, 2013

The following changes are taking effect as of July 1, 2013:

  1. Canada’s new 36-page ePassport becomes available. 
  2. New fee structure takes effect.
  3. Applicants age 16 and up can apply for a 10-year passport. (5-year passport will still be available and children’s passports will be issued for a max term of 5 years)

Application requirements will not change with the new ePassport.

For more information, please click here.

CBSA removes two “Wanted” individuals

Posted on May 27, 2013

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced the removals of Kenroy Clifford Davis and Wasford Uriah Steer, who has been featured on the “Wanted by the CBSA” list. Davis is inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality for being convicted for possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, obstruction of a peace officer and robbery. Steer was also inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality, for being convicted on a number of charges including possession of counterfeit money, fraud and assault causing bodily harm.

As a result of the “Wanted by the CBSA” program, 40 individuals have been located, and 31 removed.

For more information, please click here.

Three Appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board

Posted on May 24, 2013

There have been three new appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). Timonthy J. Crowhurst, George F. Pemberton and W.J. Sterling Sunley were appointed for three-year terms in the Vancouver Regional office. These appointments were made in accordance with the IRB’s merit-based selection process, in which candidates must demonstrate by way of a written exam, interview and reference checks, the competencies required for this role.

The IRB was created in 1989 as an indepedent administrative tribunal that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. The Board has 4 divisions: the Refugee Protection Division, the Refugee Appeal Division, the Immigration Division, and the Immigration Appeal Division. The IRB determines refugee protection claims made in Canada, hears immigration and refugee appeals, and conducts admissibility hearings as well as detention reviews.

For more information, please click here.

Additional NEXUS lane opens at Queenston-Lewiston Bridge

Posted on May 23, 2013

The Canada Border Services Agency has announced the opening of an additional NEXUS lane at the Queenston-Lewiston bridge, which will provide more efficient border clearance for low-risk travelers entering Canada. The new second lane will be used to process NEXUS members during high-volume periods and used as a regular lane at other times.

For more information, please click here.

Minister Kenney promotes Canada’s new Start-Up Visa in Silicon Valley

Posted on May 21, 2013

Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney concluded a productive visit to Silicon Valley to promote Canada’s new Start-Up Visa, the first of its kind in the world. Minister Kenney met with foreign entrepreneurs and influential figures in the start-up and tech communities including founders of start-ups, accelerators, other business leaders, venture capitalists, angel investors and immigration experts to promote the Start-Up Visa and explain why Canada is a great place to start a business.

The Start-Up Visa program is the first of its kind in the world. It provides Canadian private sector organizations with access to a broad range of entrepreneurs in whose ideas they can invest.

For more information, please click here.

New Citizenship Judge Appointment for the Greater Toronto Area

Posted on May 14, 2013

Marian Sami has been appointed as a Citizenship Judge for the Greater Toronto Area. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Sami practiced law in Toronto. Citizenship judges are responsible for making decisions on citizenship applications, presiding over citizenship ceremonies and administering the oath of citizenship to new citizens.

For more information, please click here.

New Parent and Grandparent Program re-opens January 2, 2014

Posted on May 10, 2013

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will re-open the Parent and Grandparent program for NEW applications on January 2, 2014. Some key features include:

  1. In 2012 and 2013, Canada will admit 50,000 parents and grandparents as permanent residents. In 2014, Canada will maintain high levels of admissions for parents and grandparents.
  2. The Super Visa will become permanent and will continue to provide flexibility for families.
  3. New qualifying criteria for permanent residency sponsorship of parents and grandparents will increase the financial responsibility of sponsors to ensure they have the means to support those they sponsor, while limiting the program’s cost to taxpayers and Canada’s strained health and social programs.
  4. 5,000 new sponsorship applications will be accepted in the program in 2014.

Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programs in the world. The United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand do not allow grandparents to be sponsored at all or only in limited circumstances, and they have very restrictive criteria for the sponsorship of parents.

For more information, please click here.

Improving Passport Services for Canadians

Posted on May 8, 2013

Effective July 2, 2013, primary responsibility for Passport Canada will move from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Canadians will not experience an interruption in services. They will be able to continue accessing passport services through all of the same service locations currently available in Canada. Service Canada will assume responsibility for passport operations, and, over time, services will expand to more Service Canada Centers. Ultimately, Canadians will be able to apply for a passport online.

It is important to note that Canadians who need consular services while traveling overseas, to replace a lost passport for example, will continue to be supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

For more information, please click here.

Increasing Number of Families Reunited in 2012

Posted on May 7, 2013

In 2012, there was a 15% increase in immigration under the family class. In 2012, Canada admitted 65,000 permanent residents in the family class, an increase of 15% since 2011.This includes a 60% increase in the number of parents and grandparents admitted to Canada. These numbers do not include family members that immigrate to Canada under other immigration streams, including the Federal Skilled Worker and Provincial Nominee Programs.

The Super Visa has provided flexibility for parents and grandparents who want to be reunited with their families quickly. An average of 1,000 Super Visas have been issued each month and the approval rate is very high at nearly 90%.

For more information, please click here.

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