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This edition of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Newsletter includes:
- Changes to Citizenship Act this fall
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot continues to gain momentum
- IRCC launches Global Skills Strategy
- Did you know…? ATIP requests, IRCC’s accomplishments and authorized representatives
- Featured video – How the Atlantic Immigration Pilot works
- Upcoming events and important dates – Women’s History Month, Citizenship Week and more
Changes to Citizenship Act this fall
On June 19, Bill C-6 received Royal Assent, resulting in changes to the Citizenship Act. These changes give more flexibility for applicants to meet the requirements for Canadian citizenship. Some changes to the Citizenship Act were effective immediately upon Royal Assent, while others come into effect this fall.
In the fall of 2017, citizenship applicants will be able to apply if they have been physically present in Canada for three out of five years instead of the former requirement of four out of six years. Further, they will be able to count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person as a half day towards meeting their physical presence requirements for citizenship, up to a maximum of one year.
The Bill also amends the age range of the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship from 14-64 years to 18-54 years. Effective this fall, only applicants between 18 and 54 years old will have to show that they have an adequate knowledge of English or French. This change helps reduce barriers for both younger and older applicants, so that they may continue building successful lives in Canada.
- News release – Citizenship Bill Receives Royal Assent
- Backgrounder – Bill C-6 Receives Royal Assent
- Read a copy of Bill C-6
Atlantic Immigration Pilot continues to gain momentum
Since the Atlantic Immigration Pilot was launched last January, interest from both immigrants and employers has steadily grown. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Atlantic Provinces to attract and keep skilled immigrants, as well as recently graduated international students from Atlantic universities and colleges, to meet the unique workforce needs of the region.
As of July 2017, more than 280 candidates have been recruited. Of these candidates, more than 200 have been endorsed by an Atlantic province, the first step in using the Pilot to immigrate to Canada. These candidates can now move on to the next step, applying for permanent residence. There are also more than 400 employers in Atlantic Canada that are eligible to use the Pilot to recruit immigrants to fill job vacancies.
To help employers and immigrants take advantage of the Pilot, IRCC has also launched a dedicated service channel. It provides support and information to help them get through the immigration process more easily. IRCC will also be fast-tracking temporary work permits for candidates so they can start working in Canada while they wait for their permanent residence application to be processed.
Federal ministers, including the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Premiers of the four Atlantic provinces, discussed the Atlantic Immigration Pilot as a part of their meetings on the Atlantic Growth Strategy in July.
- News release – Canada and Atlantic Provinces Launch New Tourism Partnership
- Backgrounder – Continuing progress with the Atlantic Immigration Pilot
- Hire an immigrant – Atlantic Immigration Pilot
- How to immigrate to Canada through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot
IRCC launches Global Skills Strategy
On June 12, IRCC announced the launch of the Global Skills Strategy. The Strategy aims to provide a faster, more predictable process for attracting top talent to Canada, while in turn creating economic growth and middle-class jobs for Canadians.
Foreign workers coming to Canada temporarily can have their applications processed in two weeks. This includes work permits and, when necessary, temporary resident visas. Open work permits and study permits for families will also be processed in two weeks.
The Global Skills Strategy also introduced work permit exemptions for highly skilled workers and researchers working in Canada for a short time, making it easier for them to quickly bring their skills to a short-term work or research project in Canada. With this exemption, highly skilled workers can come to Canada for a 15-day period every six months or a 30-day period every 12 months, and researchers can come for a 120-day period every 12 months without needing a work permit. This took effect on June 12.
The Global Skills Strategy gives businesses access to the talent, skill and knowledge of workers around the world. It benefits them by making it easier to bring in the talent they need to grow and flourish as a business and, in return, create jobs for Canadians.
IRCC announced the Global Skills Strategy jointly with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and Employment and Social Development Canada.
- News Release – Government of Canada launches Global Skills Strategy
- Backgrounder – Global Talent Stream
- How to benefit from the Global Skills Strategy
- Find out if you are eligible for two-week processing through the Global Skills Strategy
Did you know...?
In 2016-2017, IRCC received 63,333 formal Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests. That’s roughly 50 percent of all requests made to the federal government, making IRCC the most accessed department for ATIP requests.
IRCC has an online Help Centre to help you find answers to immigration and citizenship questions. The Help Centre has more than 1,200 questions and answers on a broad range of topics, including application status, application fees, work permits, electronic travel authorizations and citizenship.
If you decide to hire an immigration representative, protect yourself against fraud. Use only representatives that are authorized by IRCC.
The IRCC video team produces informative and creative videos on a wide range of subjects of interest to the Department, Canadians and our clients. In each issue of our newsletter, we highlight one of their productions.
In this issue, we bring you How the Atlantic Immigration Pilot works: (3) – Immigration Application and Post-Arrival Support. Part three in a series, this video outlines the roles and responsibilities for employers and employees during the application process under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. It also describes post-arrival support that is available. You can also watch Part 1 and Part 2.
Upcoming events and important dates
Mark your calendar! Below is a selection of upcoming special events and national celebrations.
September 21 is the International Day of Peace, dedicated to bringing peace to the world by ending war and violence.
September 27 is World Tourism Day, which raises awareness about the effects of tourism on the international community.
October is Women’s History Month in Canada. Celebrate the achievements of women and girls as trailblazers throughout Canada’s history.
Seniors Day is October 1, paying tribute to the seniors who have helped build Canadian communities, workplaces and society.
October 11 is the International Day of the Girl, which is dedicated to creating more opportunity for girls and increasing awareness of gender inequality worldwide.
October 18 is Persons Day, celebrating the historic decision to include women in the legal definition of “persons” on October 18, 1929. This decision paved the way for women’s increased participation in public and political life.
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