This edition of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Newsletter features:
- Passport services expanded to more Service Canada Centres
- IRCC reminds visitors to plan ahead
- Improvements to Express Entry introduced
- Did you know…? Name-blind recruitment comes to IRCC and more
- Fast Facts from Minister Hussen’s recent speech at the Canadian Club of Toronto
- Featured video
- Upcoming events and important dates
Passport services expanded to more Service Canada Centres
It is now more convenient than ever for Canadians to submit a passport application. In May, IRCC and Employment and Social Development Canada announced that passport services have expanded from being available in 151 Service Canada Centres to more than 300 across the country.
Canadians can now bring their application to any of the Service Canada Centres offering passport services and have their citizenship documents – including birth certificates and certificates of citizenship – validated and returned to them while they are in the office. These Service Canada Centres also help citizens by reviewing standard passport applications on site for completeness, accepting payment and forwarding applications for processing.
- News Release - Government of Canada expands passport services to Service Canada Centres across Canada
- Find a passport service location near you
IRCC reminds visitors to plan ahead
IRCC has launched a campaign encouraging visitors coming to Canada to avoid delays and apply early for their travel document. People visiting Canada for tourism, business, or studies are reminded to review Canada’s entry requirements to make sure they have what they need, such as a visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).
The campaign is in response to the increasing number of visitors coming to Canada each year. In 2016, Canada received more than 2.6 million temporary resident applications – a 50 percent increase from 2011, when Canada received “only” 1.8 million applications. This upward trend is expected to continue in 2017.
People in Canada expecting visitors from outside the country are also encouraged to remind friends and family to plan ahead. Processing times are difficult to predict. They vary depending on the type of application and the number of applications currently being processed. IRCC offers a processing times tool to help visitors estimate application timelines.
- News Release – Expecting visitors? Plan Ahead
- Find out what you need to visit Canada
- Find application forms and guides
Improvements to Express Entry introduced
On June 6, 2017, significant changes aimed at the improved settlement and integration of skilled workers were introduced to Express Entry, the application management system for Canada’s economic immigration programs.
Additional Comprehensive Ranking System points are now available for candidates with strong French skills. French-speaking newcomers will contribute to the growth, vitality and prosperity of Francophone minority communities across Canada.
There are also new Comprehensive Ranking System points available for candidates with a sibling who is already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Having a sibling in Canada has been shown to accelerate a newcomer’s integration into Canadian society.
Other changes to the Express Entry system that have been introduced include adopting a new policy for breaking ties during invitation rounds, and making registration with the Job Bank voluntary for candidates rather than mandatory.
- News Release – Express Entry to begin awarding additional points to candidates with siblings in Canada and to candidates with strong French language skills
- Backgrounder - Express Entry improvements: Spring 2017
Did you know...?
- IRCC is participating in a pilot led by the Public Service Commission testing the technique of name-blind recruitment in some hiring processes. This can help reduce any unconscious bias in the selection process.
- If you apply for permanent residence, you and your family members (even if they are not coming with you) must get an immigration medical exam. Learn more about medical exams for permanent residents.
- IRCC is running a pilot project to test sending clients a text when the mailroom gets their sponsorship package. Clients can sign up to receive a text message when IRCC receives the package for their spouse, children, parents, grandparents, or other relatives. Subscribe now to receive text notifications from IRCC.
- Bill C-6 – An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and make consequential amendments to another Act – received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017. Learn more about the changes made to the Citizenship Act.
Here are some fast facts mentioned by Minister Hussen in his speech at the Canadian Club of Toronto on April 19:
- Canada is set to welcome a historic high of 300,000 permanent residents this year.
- 40,000 of these new permanent residents will be refugees.
- 25,000 refugees will be resettled by the government.
- 16,000 refugees will be sponsored.
- 172,000 will be economic immigrants.
- 80,000 will have entered using Express Entry.
- IRCC reduced wait times for spousal reunification to 12 months or less – down from previous wait times of 26 months to three years – by processing a backlog of spousal cases.
The IRCC video team produces informative and creative videos on a wide range of subjects of interest to the Department, Canadians and our clients. We highlight one of their productions in each issue of our newsletter.
In this issue, we bring you: Immigrate to Canada: How to create an Express Entry profile.
This step-by-step video tells you all you need to know to complete an Express Entry profile, including: how to find out if you are eligible, what you should include in your application, and useful tips on filling out your profile.
Upcoming events and important dates
Mark your calendar! Below is a selection of upcoming special events and national celebrations.
Events celebrating #Canada150 are happening all year. Check Passport 2017 to see of any events happening in your area.
July 11 is World Population Day, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues.
From July 21 to 30, the VIII Games of la Francophonie will be held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Team Canada will be participating in 12 cultural competitions and five sport competitions. Learn more about the Games of la Francophonie.
From July 28 to August 13, the Canada Summer Games will be happening in Winnipeg, with 2017 marking their 50th anniversary. Visit the Canada Games website and find out more about the Games, which feature 16 sports, 250 events and a major cultural festival.
Celebrate United Nations International Youth Day on August 12, and bring awareness to issues affecting youth.
August 19, 2017, marks the 75th anniversary of the raid on Dieppe, France. This battle was a pivotal moment in the Second World War, with the majority of the attackers being Canadian. Learn more about the Dieppe Raid.
August 19 is also World Humanitarian Day. This day honours the work of humanitarian workers and seeks to bring awareness of humanitarian needs around the world.
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