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Latest edition – Spring 2016

This edition includes:

Visiting Canada? Important information travellers may need to know

Canada’s entry rules have changed and travellers may need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or through Canada.

What is an eTA?

An eTA is an authorization certain travellers need to enter Canada by air. These travellers can apply for an eTA at using their passport and a credit card. An eTA costs only $7 CAD and it takes just a few minutes to apply. Once approved, an eTA is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport and is valid for five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. An eTA is for short-term stays for visitors, businesses or tourism.

Why do people need an eTA?

It allows us to check that travellers are admissible to enter Canada before they travel, which, in turn could facilitate their entry into Canada.

Who needs an eTA and when do they need it?

Since March 15, 2016, citizens from countries that normally do not need a visa to enter Canada are expected to have an eTA to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with valid visitor visas. However, until September 29, 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents such as a passport.

As of April 18, 2016, more than 700,000 eTAs have been issued and the number of applications continues to grow.

Associated links

Budget 2016: What it means for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

On March 22, the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, tabled the federal budget 2016 Growing the Middle Class. Budget 2016 recognizes how vital newcomers are to Canadian society and the Canadian economy. The Budget also highlights the importance of family reunification and a continued commitment to assisting Syrian refugees.

So what does the tabling of Budget 2016 exactly mean for IRCC? Here is a snapshot:

Expanding immigration

Budget 2016 allocates $54.3 million to IRCC over three years to support IRCC’s target levels goal of 300,000 permanent resident admissions. This funding is dedicated to support comprehensive settlement services and programs, and processing of new permanent residents. The 2016 target levels represent a seven percent increase over the 2015 target levels.

Expanding Canada’s intake of Syrian refugees

The Budget includes the commitment to bring in an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees over the course of 2016 to meet the Government of Canada’s commitment of 25,000 government-assisted refugees. Additionally, Budget 2016 proposes to provide $245 million dedicated for the identification, transportation and resettlement of the additional 10,000 refugees over five years starting in 2016‒2017.

Reducing application processing times

Budget 2016 is also committed to quicker family reunification by supporting faster processing times for family sponsorship. In efforts to achieve this objective, IRCC will receive $25 million in 2016‒2017 to support reducing application processing times and shortening wait times.

Budget 2016 underscores that “Canada’s immigration system works best when it strikes a balance between Canada’s economic needs and Canadians’ core values of compassion and opportunity for all.” The above immigration-related commitments reinforce IRCC’s continued dedication to improve processes and service to clients and Canadians.

Check out the associated links below to learn more about Budget 2016.

Associated links

2017 immigration levels consultations on the horizon: striving for higher permanent resident admissions

Canada’s current target levels for permanent resident admission are the highest in recent history. The Government of Canada is now preparing to launch consultations on 2017 immigration levels and multi-year levels planning.

Immigration levels planning consultations occur every year to gather feedback from the public and stakeholders on setting immigration levels to Canada.

Stay tuned and have your ideas ready. Consultations are expected to take place in Summer 2016.

Did you know...?

Before arriving to Canada, individuals can take an online self-assessment language test. The self-assessment language test gives individuals an idea of their language level. Permanent residents and protected persons can take language classes funded by the Government of Canada, available at no cost.

IRCC feature video

The IRCC video team produces dozens of videos each year. We will highlight one of their many great productions in each newsletter issue.

In this issue, we bring you the Resettling to Canada: Welcoming Syrian Refugees video.

Syrian refugees are beginning to settle in Canada with the help of organizations like COSTI Immigration Services, funded by the Government of Canada. Reception centres provide refugees with access to health and counselling services, and orientation sessions that prepare them to find new jobs. Children can attend the art therapy sessions to help them cope with post-traumatic stress.

Upcoming events and important dates

In this section of our newsletter, we present a selection of special upcoming events and national celebrations.

On May 18, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will offer an apology in the House of Commons for the Komagata Maru incident.

June 20 is World Refugee Day. It is a day to commemorate the strength, courage and resilience of millions of refugees.

June 21 is National Aboriginal Day. It is a day to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

Have you experienced or attended a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony? Citizenship ceremonies occur across Canada and are open to the public to attend. Witness the last step to becoming a Canadian citizen by finding a citizenship ceremony!

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