Get the latest updates on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s programs and services, including feature stories about citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism. A new edition each season – released four times per year.

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Latest edition – Fall 2014

A new era in economic immigration: Express Entry set to launch January 1, 2015

Canada is set to launch Express Entry, a new application management system that will help attract highly skilled immigrants to the country and get them working and contributing to the Canadian economy faster.

Express Entry will launch Jan. 1, 2015, and will change the way the Government of Canada manages applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of Provincial Nominee Programs.

Under Express Entry, candidates who qualify for one of these programs will be placed in a pool and ranked based on factors linked to projected economic success in Canada. The candidates who rank highest will be invited to apply to immigrate.

Express Entry will help match employers with skilled workers when Canadians can’t be found to fill positions. Candidates with a job offer, or with a nomination from a provincial or territorial government, will be given enough bonus points to be drawn from the pool.

In 2014, CIC has presented information on Express Entry at more than 35 events to more than 1,300 participants. Through roundtable discussions, speeches to local chambers of commerce and participation in many other events, we’ve been able to promote and discuss Express Entry. 

We invite employers who haven’t been able to attend one of our events to sign up to get Express Entry email updates.

For more information, please see www.canada.ca/ExpressEntry.

Ensuring Long-Term Prosperity and Economic Growth: The 2015 Annual Immigration Plan

This fall, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander released the Government of Canada’s annual immigration plan. It commits that in 2015, Canada will welcome between 260,000 and 285,000 new permanent residents. The plan features the highest planned level of admissions in recent history.

This immigration plan supports the government’s economic growth strategy by addressing labour and skills shortages, as well as helping to ensure labour force growth. The economic immigration category accounts for the largest segment of the plan, at almost 65 percent of overall admissions. The remaining 35 percent consists of family class immigrants, refugees and others admitted under humanitarian programs.

The increase in admission levels in 2015 assists with the implementation of the new application management system, Express Entry, coming soon in January 2015. Increased levels in the economic immigration category create the conditions for the success of the new system by providing enough space to accommodate pre-Express Entry cases while providing flexibility to admit higher volumes under Express Entry as soon as possible.

The 2015 levels plan also builds on the success of the actions taken by the government in an effort to reduce backlogs, reunite families sooner and improve client service.  Since 2009, the backlog of permanent resident applications has been reduced by nearly 45 percent, paving the way for a faster and more flexible immigration system. Continued focus on reducing the application backlog will help to better manage the intake of applications to support a smooth transition to Express Entry.

For more information:

Improvements to Canada’s Caregiver Program

On October 31, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced major improvements to Canada’s Caregiver Program. The reforms address many of the concerns raised by caregivers in consultations across the country.

These improvements will mean faster processing, faster family reunification, better career opportunities, better protection against potential workplace vulnerability and abuse.

Specifically, CIC will:

  • Accept 30,000 permanent residents through the caregiver category, an all-time high, in 2015, to bring down the backlog and processing times for applicants,
  • End the live-in requirement for caregivers who wish to apply to two new pathways to permanent residence, and
  • Expand the occupations that caregivers may work in to qualify to apply for permanent residence, with an aim of ensuring that caregivers are able to transition into established, well-paying careers and integrate into Canada’s labour market.

For more information, please see the news release about the improvements to the Caregiver Program.

Passport Program – Two new requirements are now in force when applying for a passport

On October 20, 2014, new requirements came into effect for adults who are applying for a passport using the general application process.

1. Supporting identification document

The new requirements state that the federal or provincial/territorial identification document (ID) submitted to support identity must contain not only the applicant's given name, surname and signature, but also the applicant’s sex, date of birth and a photo. If they are unable to meet the requirements with a single piece of supporting ID then additional pieces of ID, which when combined fulfil the requirements, may be accepted.

Municipal/local identification documents will no longer be accepted to support identity.

Also, Old Age Security (OAS) cards issued prior to 2008 and Social Insurance Number (SIN) cards are no longer accepted. For more information please see: Directive on Social Insurance Number

2. Name requirement

Under the new requirements, passports are issued in the same name that is on the proof of Canadian citizenship for all children under 16. For adult applicants, there are a few specific exceptions to the new requirements.

If applying for a passport and your surname has changed in the context of a relationship, the new policy requires that you also submit one of the following:

  • a marriage certificate;
  • common-law relationship certificate;
  • court order (separation/divorce);
  • certificate to dissolve a registered common-law relationship; or
  • a resumption of surname certificate.

If the applicant or child has had a legal name change, they must first obtain an updated proof of Canadian citizenship to reflect the new legal name.

For more information on these new requirements, please visit our web pages:  Personal information  and Documents to support identity.

Citizenship Week celebrations across the country show we are #CanadaProud

Photo described below

(back row, centre) Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, welcomed 13 new Canadians at a special citizenship ceremony hosted by the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 18. The new citizens took part in the traditional singing of O Canada before the Canucks’ game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Citizenship Week 2014 – themed “Our Citizenship: #CanadaProud” – took place from October 13-19 and saw more than 6,500 new citizens welcomed to the Canadian family at more than 90 citizenship ceremonies across the country.

Among those events, special citizenship ceremonies were held prior to National Hockey League (NHL) games in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. The new citizens welcomed at these ceremonies were invited to ice level to participate in the traditional singing of the national anthem prior to the games.

Photo described below

(third row, centre) Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander poses with some of the country’s newest citizens following a citizenship ceremony Oct. 17 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The ceremony saw 35 new Canadians take the Oath of Citizenship. The new citizens later took part in the signing of O Canada on ice prior to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Promoting Francophone immigration to Canada

For the second year in a row, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, and the President of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) du Canada Marie-France Kenny, jointly marked National Francophone Immigration Week at an event in Ottawa.

National Francophone Immigration Week took place from November 2 to 8, and close to one hundred activities were held in French-language speaking communities across the country.

National Francophone Immigration Week is a time to celebrate the contribution of newcomers to the vitality of Francophone and Acadian communities that are open, inclusive and diverse, and to showcase all that these communities have to offer immigrants and their families.

This past September, Minister Alexander announced consultations with key stakeholders to find ways to further increase Francophone immigration across Canada, and to strengthen the vitality and vibrancy of Francophone minority communities.

Find out more about Francophone immigration and communities at: canada.ca/francoimmigration.

Veterans Week celebrated at citizenship ceremonies

Citizenship and Immigration Canada welcomed more than 4,800 new Canadians at citizenship ceremonies during Veterans’ Week, including 40 from 24 countries during a ceremony at Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Taking part in the Fort York ceremony were:

Photo described below

(back row) Wayne Reeves, chief curator for Toronto Museum Services and citizenship ceremony keynote speaker; Sgt. Adam Winnicki, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 344, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada; Michelle MacIntosh, assistant to Trinity-Spadina MP Adam Vaughan; Brian Phoenix of RCL Branch 344; and Fort York program development officer Ewan Wardle, dressed in a First World War uniform;

(front row) Dorothy Phoenix of RCL Branch 344; Sandrina N. Ntamwemezi, a Fort York citizenship committee member; and Citizenship Judge Rafiq Rokery.

For more information please see news release on Veterans’ Week.

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