St Kitts replaces passports for security measures
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June 23, 2014 — Effective August 1, 2014,
The definition of a dependent child is changing for Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) immigration programs.
The age at which a child will be considered a dependant is being reduced, from under 22 to under 19.
The exception for full-time students is also being removed. Children of applicants who are 19 or over but are financially dependent on their parents and are enrolled in full-time studies will no longer be eligible to be processed as dependent children.
In all cases, a child will continue to be considered a dependant, regardless of age, if they have depended on their parents for financial support because of a mental or physical condition.
Reducing the age for dependants to under 19 in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) will bring the IRPR in line with provincial definitions of “age of majority,” which is currently evenly split between 18 and 19 across provinces and territories.
Young adults will be able to apply to come to Canada on their own merits, as foreign students or through various economic programs.
All permanent resident applications in CIC inventories before August 1, 2014 will continue to benefit from the pre-amendment definition of dependent child.
Transitional measures will allow certain applicants under multi-step permanent resident immigration programs who are already in the immigration process at the time these regulations come into force on August 1, 2014, but who have not yet submitted their application for permanent residence, to have their applications completed based on the previous definition of dependent child.
These transitional measures will apply to certain groups, including:
In addition, as of August 1, 2014, to ensure that children who meet the definition of dependent child at the first stage of a multi-step permanent resident immigration program remain eligible throughout what can be a multi-year process; the child’s age will be “locked in” at the first formal step of the immigration process. For example, the age of a child whose parent applies to the Provincial Nominee Program will be “locked in” on the date that the application for nomination is made to the province.
On April 26, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will issue a new set of Ministerial Instructions to immigration officers regarding the processing of applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Effective May 1, 2014, the following measures will be in place:
Federal Skilled Workers are chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to prosper in Canada. They are assessed according to a selection grid made up of six factors, including language, education, work experience, etc.
This program is for people who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.
This program is for people who already have skilled work experience in Canada and want to immigrate permanently.
The new Ministerial Instructions will also re-confirm the existing pause of applications to the federal Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Programs.
Toronto, February 6, 2014—Today, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander unveiled the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act since 1977. Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, will protect the value of Canadian citizenship for those who have it while creating a faster and more efficient process for those applying to get it.
The government will also ensure citizenship applicants maintain strong ties to Canada. This act will provide a clearer indication that the “residence” period to qualify for citizenship in fact requires a physical presence in Canada. More applicants will now be required to meet language requirements and pass a knowledge test, to ensure that new citizens are better prepared to fully participate in Canadian society. New provisions will also help individuals with strong ties to Canada, such as by automatically extending citizenship to additional “Lost Canadians” who were born before 1947, as well as to their children born in the first generation outside Canada.
Since its creation in 2008, the CEC has welcomed over 25,000 new permanent residents. These individuals already posses Canadian experience, and therefore can continue to directly contribute to the country’s economy after receiving Canadian Permanent Residency. In order to be eligible for the program, applicants must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
-Have at least 12 months of full-time skilled work experience (or an equal amount in part-time)* in the past three years before applying; -Plan to live outside of the Province of Quebec; Have gained the Canadian work experience legally;and Meet minimum language requirements
The structure of this program makes it ideal for international graduates of Canadian institutions who remain in Canada on post-graduation work permits, as well as temporary foreign workers in general.
*Some restrictions have been placed on this eligibility criterion. Details follow:
Caps and Occupation Restrictions The overall intake cap of 12,000 applications came into effect last Saturday, November 9,2013.
All applications that are received on or after that date will be subject to this cap, as well as the other changes outlined in this article. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) noticed that a disproportionate number of CEC applications fell into a very limited number of occupations.
In an effort to maintain a more equal representation of occupations, the following 6 are no longer eligible for the CEC:
Food Service Supervisors
Administrative Officers Administrative Assistants
Accounting Technicians and Bookkeepers
Retail Sales Supervisors
Applicants with experience in one of the above occupations, who submitted to the CEC prior to November 9, 2013, will still be processed. To further ensure an even distribution of occupations, no more than 200 applications will be accepted from any occupations designated as ‘B’ level in Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) index. B level jobs are generally technical, administrative, or skilled trades. NOC levels ‘A’ and ‘0’, which are managerial and professional in nature, are not subject to the individual 200 cap, although they are subject to the overall cap of 12,000. Procedural Change To increase fairness and efficiency, applications to the CEC will have their proof of language proficiency assessed upon receipt of their file. This means that if an application does not meet language requirements, it will be immediately returned to the sender with a refund in processing fees.
This will help government officers quickly return files that are not eligible, therefore giving applicants ample time to consider other options for permanent residency. What this Means for Applicants The CEC remains a highly popular program due to its straightforward application procedures and fast processing times.
These changes have been made to make sure that the program keeps its reputation as an ideal option for temporary foreign workers from a variety of backgrounds.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is closing citizenship applications of unresponsive applicants in an effort to reduce its backlog and speed up application processing.
A new article by Postmedia News lists some factors that could be used to determine which applications are dormant:
Citizenship and Immigration will shut the files of those who fail to attend multiple scheduled citizenship tests or interviews. Applications submitted on or after April 17, 2009 will also be considered dormant and closed if applicants fail to provide proof of residency after receiving two notices to do so from the government.
CIC spokeswoman Andrea Khanjin told Postmedia News that 54,000 citizenship applicants did not show up for their citizenship test in just the last three years and that CIC estimates about 12,000 files will be closed soon under the new procedures.
Khanjin said that citizenship application processing will favour those who make an effort to comply with the process requirements over those who do not:
“Those who take their citizenship seriously will not have to wait in line behind those that don’t bother showing up to their citizenship test, interview, or who don’t respond to a residence questionnaire. The citizenship application process has been bogged down for too long by those that do not take Canadian citizenship seriously.”
Citizenship application processing times have increased in recent years, from 12 to 15 months in 2008 to 23 months in April of this year, leading to more funding being allotted by the federal government for citizenship application processing and, now, an effort to cut down the backlog of 350,000 applications by closing dormant files.
St. Kitts and Nevis has announced the suspension of Nationals of Iran and Afghanistan has been suspended from participating in the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program.
In announcement today Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Denzil Douglas said and I quote:
“I now advise of the Government’s decision to suspend with immediate effect, participation of all Iranian Nationals in our Federation’s Citizenship by Investment Program. This is regardless of their countries of residence. We advise also of a similar decision to suspend all Afghanistan Nationals from participating in the Program.He said the action is one in a series of several in support of his Government’s efforts to undertake further comprehensive reviews of the Program with the primary objective being to safeguard its integrity whilst at the same time actively contributing to the prevention of transnational organised crime and/or other illicit acts which threaten the safety and security of the global citizenry the vast majority of whom continue to embrace and pursue peace and security.
Last September 14th in a statement in the National Assembly, signalling St Kitts and Nevis’ support of the decision taken by Canada to suspend diplomatic relations with Iran, Prime Minister Douglas advised of his government’s own efforts to review the Federation’s Citizenship by Investment Program, specific to the further participation of Iranian Nationals.
The federal government announced a major cabinet shuffle on Monday which will see Jason Kenney, the current Citizenship and Immigration Minister, move to the Department of Employment and Social Development, which will be the new name for the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSDC).
Chris Alexander, who is currently the MP for the district of Ajax-Pickering, will become the new Citizenship and Immigration Minister. Alexander has never held a Minister position before, but has spent 18 years as a Canadian diplomat where he had proximity to Canada’s foreign visa missions.
During Kenney’s tenure as Immigration Minister, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) saw major reforms in immigration procedures and rules, that attempted to better match selected immigrants with skills in demand in the Canadian economy, reduce the backlog in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and reduce the processing times of applications.
Kenney also pushed to reduce fraud and abuse of Canada’s immigration and refugee programs through various reforms including new marriage sponsorship rules and expedited deportation of bogus asylum claimants from E.U. countries.
The federal minister responsible for immigration, Jason Kenney, made the prediction for local business during his visit to St. John’s (Newfoundland & Labrador).
“Immigration is going to, I think, I predict, continue to grow in importance in Atlantic Canada, including Newfoundland, because of the skill shortages, because of the aging of the population,” he said.
“We don’t really have much choice but to try to address that partly through immigration.”
Bringing in new workers from other jurisdictions is not a new idea. As The Telegram reported in September, temporary foreign workers have been gaining ground with local employers finding themselves facing immediate shortages.
For Newfoundland and Labrador, there is a financial incentive to see new Canadians hired over outside workers. There are tax considerations, and temporary foreign workers are likely to send more of their earnings outside the province, rather than injecting their paycheques into the local economy.
On the other hand, immigration provides both employees and potential new business owners who can fill labour market needs long term, adding to business growth and provincial coffers.
With this in mind, the provincial government published its strategy for immigration in 2007. At the time, Newfoundland and Labrador was attracting an average 400 new Canadians annually. The province set a goal of attracting between 1,200 and 1,500 immigrants a year within five years of publication.
The release of the immigration strategy was followed by the creation of the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism, the publication of a multiculturalism policy and the release of an “Employers’ guide to hiring immigrants and international students in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Ottawa, September 14, 2012 — Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today that Canada has welcomed its 20,000th permanent resident through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration stream, reflecting the success of the government’s efforts to attract as well as retain the world’s best and brightest skilled workers.
The Minister was joined at the announcement by Gaurav Gore, originally from India, who was recognized as the 20,000th permanent resident admitted under the CEC. Mr. Gore earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Toronto. He is applying his education as well as his experience as a business consultant with a major bank in Toronto.
“We are working hard to attract and retain the best and brightest students from around the world. Gaurav is an excellent example of the benefits of welcoming highly educated and skilled people to stay as well as work in Canada. Mr. Gore completed a challenging, competitive university program. He is now building a successful career, contributing to our economy and helping create jobs for Canadians here in Canada. Guarav is exactly the sort of skilled worker that Canada hopes to attract and retain through the CECprogram,” said the Minister.
“As a student, I saw the wealth of opportunities that are available in Canada,” said Mr. Gore, a Personal and Commercial Digital Channels Advisor with BMO Financial Group. “I felt welcome. I wanted to stay, pursue a career here, and contribute to the economy as well as to the country. I was happy to discover that it was possible through the CEC and that I could use my skills immediately upon graduating.”
“Canada’s universities are pleased to see the success of the CEC in helping international student graduates become permanent residents. The graduates contribute their knowledge, talent and global perspectives to our communities and to our economy,” says Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “These graduates contribute to economic growth and innovation in Canada and help Canadian businesses connect with new international markets.”
The CEC, Canada’s fastest growing economic immigration program, offers a pathway to permanent residency for international student graduates as well as others with skilled work experience in Canada. Those who are eligible may apply from within Canada and expect a quick decision. In the past, a brilliant student graduating from our top universities who wanted to stay in Canada and help create jobs would have had to return to their home country to wait at the back of a seven or eight year queue. They may have spent several years waiting in the immigration queue and may have been required to leave the country before applying for permanent residence. The goal of the CEC is to ensure that Canada retains talented and motivated people who have already shown that they can put their skills as well as their experience to work, grow the Canadian economy, create jobs and integrate easily into Canadian life.
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