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A session of Federal Internship for Newcomers program Citizenship and Immigration Canada makes more than two million decisions a year, about 7,000 a day, on who can come to live, visit, work or to study in Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is responsible for immigration, settlement, resettlement, citizenship and multiculturalism programs and services.

It is responsible for issuing visitors’ visas, selecting immigrants and granting citizenship, and works with key partners to carry out its mandate.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is an independent tribunal responsible for decisions on immigration and refugee matters. The IRB also decides which asylum claimants need refugee protection.

Canada relies on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to refer refugees from abroad to be resettled in Canada.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for carrying out enforcement in immigration and refugee matters. These include detention, removals, investigations and intelligence.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) works closely with CIC to manage Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program. HRSDC deals with employers while CIC deals with workers and the processing of work permits.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is responsible for student exchanges and repatriation of Canadian citizens in emergency situations abroad.

CIC has more than 50 visa offices around the world and 60 visa application centres (VACs) in 41 countries. VACs are primarily independent commercial service providers contracted by Canada to facilitate the submission of visa applications. VACs are managed by private companies or international organizations. These organizations are authorized to provide specific services to visa applicants under the terms of a formal agreement with CIC. CIC has not outsourced the “visa application process.”

Processing applications and making final decisions remain with CIC. VACs are helpful when individuals need assistance with the administrative side of their application: verifying that forms are complete, making photocopies, secure transfer of their application to the visa office, etc. The VACs play no role in the decision making and are explicitly forbidden from providing any visa related advice. All that is part of preprocessing the application that was previously handled by the applicant themselves.

Temporary residents may visit, study or work in Canada for a limited time. Visitors from certain countries need a visa to visit Canada. If admissible, they receive a temporary resident visa. Admissibility involves security and medical checks.

People can be refused entry for a number of reasons, including security, human rights violations, criminality, health or financial reasons. In some cases, visitors who are otherwise inadmissible may be issued a temporary resident permit if their presence does not pose a health or safety risk.

More than 90,000 international students come to study in Canada every year and even more come to Canada to learn English or French. International students need a temporary study permit issued by CIC.

A work permit is needed for most temporary foreign workers (TFWs). TFWs help Canadian employers address skill shortages. The TFW program is managed jointly by CIC and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). HRSDC supplies written confirmation that the employer can hire a foreign worker (a labour market opinion – LMO) and CIC issues work permits.

Once in Canada, some temporary residents can transition to permanent residency. Permanent residents are foreign nationals who may settle in Canada permanently.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a pathway to permanent residence for international students and temporary foreign workers. The CEC supports the economic success of immigrants by selecting those who are most likely to succeed in Canada’s labour market. Eligible candidates are familiar with Canadian society and have knowledge of English or French and qualifying work experience.

International students who have recently graduated or completed at least two years of study towards a PhD at a recognized private or public post-secondary institution in Canada can apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), which is a route toward permanent residency.

The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) allows Canadian families to hire workers from abroad to provide care to a child, an elderly person or an adult with disabilities when there is a demonstrated shortage of Canadians and permanent residents to fill available positions. Caregivers are obliged to work for two years, or 3,900 hours, and then become eligible to apply for permanent residence.

Live-in caregivers in the province of Quebec must obtain a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (certificate of acceptance).

Permanent residents in the Economic Class. Skilled workers are selected as permanent residents through the Federal Skilled Workers Program based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other criteria that have been shown to help them become economically established in Canada. The province of Quebec is responsible for selecting its own skilled workers.

Business immigrants are investors who make a financial contribution to Canada, such as:
• Entrepreneurs who will own and actively manage businesses in Canada.
• Self-employed people who will make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada, or have the intention and ability to purchase and manage a farm in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program. Persons who immigrate to Canada under the Provincial Nominee Program have the skills, education and work experience needed to make an immediate economic contribution to the province or territory that nominates them.

They are ready to establish themselves successfully as permanent residents in Canada.

To apply under the Provincial Nominee Program, applicants must be nominated by a Canadian province or territory. The provinces are responsible for the design of their individual programs, within the parameters of federal immigration law.

Permanent residents, Family Class. A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner or dependent children to come to Canada as permanent residents.

There are two different processes for sponsoring a family member. One process is used for sponsoring a spouse, conjugal or common-law partner and/or dependent children. Another process is used to sponsor other eligible relatives such as parents and grandparents.

Sponsors are responsible for supporting a relative financially when he or she arrives.

Sponsors must make sure a spouse or relative does not need to seek financial assistance from the government.

Permanent residents, humanitarian and compassionate grounds. People who would not normally be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada may be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. H&C grounds apply to people with exceptional cases.

Applications to become a permanent resident based on H&C grounds are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Factors that are considered include:
in Canada;
• General family ties to Canada;
• The best interests of any children involved; and
• What could happen to the applicant if the request is not granted.
Permanent residents and their dependants have the right to:
• Receive most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care.
• Live, work or study anywhere in Canada.
• Apply for Canadian citizenship.
• Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
CIC makes more than two million decisions a year – about 7,000 a day - about who can come to live, visit, work or to study in Canada.

• For more information, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website at www.cic.gc.ca.

Posted: Dec 31, 2012

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