Speaking Notes - Statement from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on Surnames on Permanent Resident Applications

Ottawa, Ontario, July 26, 2007

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The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC), issued the following statement today regarding CIC’s longstanding policy which asks permanent resident applicants with the surname “Singh” and “Kaur” to provide an additional surname on their application.

“It has been brought to my attention that a letter was sent to an applicant telling him that unless he provided an additional surname in addition to other documentation, his application for permanent residence may not be processed. This letter does not reflect the policy of Canada’s New Government, and I can assure you I have directed the department to ensure that this type of erroneous letter is not sent out again.

“The practice of asking applicants with the surname “Singh” and “Kaur” to provide an additional surname was designed to help identify and differentiate applicants who shared the same first and last names. Providing an additional surname is entirely voluntary.  The policy of Canada’s New Government is that applicants with the surnames “Singh” or “Kaur” may, but are not required to, provide an additional surname. No application for permanent residence will be rejected if the applicant chooses not to provide an additional surname.”

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