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.
Q&A: the Federal Skilled Trades Program
Eric Byrne is one of the first successful immigrants under Canada's new Federal Skilled Trades Program. Eric Byrne currently works as a plumber for University Plumbing and Heating in Toronto, ON. He first arrived in Canada through the International Experience Canada program, which provides opportunities for international youth between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in Canada. (Read the news release.) We asked Eric some further questions about his experience in Canada so far.
1) Why did you choose to come to Canada?
I came to Canada because of the lack of work in Ireland due to the recession. It was a couple of hours on a plane away and seemed to have job opportunities.
2) How was your experience with the International Experience Canada (IEC) program?
My experience with the IEC was pleasant. The process was fairly simple and it gave me an opportunity to get my foot in the door in Canada.
3) Why did you decide to apply for permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)?
I applied through the FSTP for permanent residency because I had heard the goal was quick processing times and looking through the criteria to apply, I felt I was a good candidate.
4) How did you find the FSTP application process?
I honestly found the process easy and very straightforward. Applying for permanent residency can be a very stressful process but with the speed and simplicity of my application I could not find any fault.
5) What's the best thing/worst thing about living in Canada?
The best thing about living in Canada for me is the summer. The weather is amazing and living in Toronto there is so much to do. The worst thing would have to be being so far away from my family back in Ireland.
6) Now that you have received your permanent residence status, what are your future plans?
My future plans now would be to work hard and one day buy a nice home. And to win the Lotto Max!
Support for newcomers
Moving to Canada is an exciting opportunity but also a great challenge. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is committed to helping newcomers integrate into their new communities.
In Ontario, CIC and the Ontario government have opened seven Welcome Centres. The Welcome Centre is a proven and successful model for delivering services to newcomers, by offering a "one-stop shop" approach to CIC-funded settlement and integration services. The diverse services offered include language training and job search workshops, with specific programs for youth and seniors.
Hit the ground running with an educational credential assessment
Canada's Federal Skilled Workers Program chooses permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and take part in our economy. As part of this program, non-Canadian education credentials must be assessed by a designated organization before coming to Canada helping internationally trained workers succeed by putting their skills to work more quickly.
The required Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to verify that a foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada.
More visa application centres opened
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is happy to announce that a total of 23 visa application centres (VACs) opened during the months of July and August. With the exception of two, all are new locations added to the network. CIC now has 99 VACs in 71 countries and the network will expand to over 130 VACs in 96 countries by 2014.
VACs make the process of applying for a visa to enter Canada easier and more convenient. CIC is expanding its VAC network around the world to provide valuable administrative support to applicants before, during and after their temporary resident application is assessed by a CIC immigration officer. VACs do not play a role in the decision-making process and are expressly forbidden to provide any visa-related advice to applicants.
For more information VAC services and locations, visit cic.gc.ca/vac.
Canada launches new ePassport
Canada's new ePassport was launched on July 1, 2013. With the introduction of this enhanced passport, adult Canadian citizens now have the option of applying for a 5-year or a 10-year passport.
The ePassport looks similar to a traditional passport, but it contains an embedded electronic chip that stores the client's name, date of birth, nationality, expiry date, passport number and photo. The data on the e-chip is read by placing the passport near (within 10 centimetres) an ePassport reader. As part of the authentication process, the expiration date, passport number and the client's date of birth need to first be entered into the reader before the information on the chip is accessed. It is therefore extremely unlikely that personal data stored on the ePassport chip could be read without your knowledge.
The ePassport is electronically locked so that your information cannot be tampered with. No additional information about you or your travels will be stored on the e-chip.
Canada's new ePassport reduces the risk of tampering and identity fraud, by adding another layer of security to this internationally respected travel document. ePassports are now the norm in travel documents; over 100 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France, have been using ePassports for several years.
Celebrate Canadian Citizenship
Get ready for Canada's Citizenship Week 2013 happening October 21-27. Citizenship Week is a chance to reflect on the value of citizenship, what it means to be Canadian, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Visit our Citizenship Week page for ways you can celebrate, including how you can attend a citizenship ceremony in your community, reaffirm your citizenship and read about what being a Canadian means to others. What does being "a good Canadian citizen" mean to you?
Canada and the U.S. making progress on the Entry/Exit Initiative
As part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, Canada and the United States (U.S.) are working together to establish and coordinate entry and exit information systems, including a system that permits sharing information so that a record of a land entry into one country can serve as a record of exit from the other.
This key initiative is aimed at helping identify threats as early as possible through a common approach to perimeter screening and will allow both countries to: identify persons who potentially overstay their lawful period of admission; better monitor the departure of persons subject to removal orders; verify that applicants are meeting their residency requirements for continued eligibility in immigration programs; and better manage the border, including making more focused policy decisions.
Phase I established that a traveller's record of entry in one country can serve as a record of exit from the other. Phase II, which began on June 30, 2013, builds off this success. Now, entry data is exchanged on third-country nationals, permanent residents of Canada who are not U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are not Canadian citizens.
Initial results of the information exchange for Phase II are positive. By the end of July, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) had successfully sent about 362,000 entry records to the U.S. and received approximately 400,000 U.S. entry records in return. There have been no delays to travellers at the border as a result of Phase II.
For more information on the Entry/Exit Initiative, please visit the CBSA Web site.
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