• + 1 778-564-3555

Category Archives: Citizenship

Canadian immigration policy ranked fourth in the world

The Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) released its international scorecard, which ranks the immigration policy performance of 52 countries across five continents, after measuring eight areas of integration policies through categorical Principal Component Analysis. The top five countries hitting the international benchmark are Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Canada, and New Zealand.

Canada stood fourth and received a score of 80, in recognition of its comprehensive, immigrant-friendly policies that emphasize equal rights, opportunities, and security for the newcomer’s future. Canada ranked sixth overall in the last MIPEX index held in 2015. Due to improvements in access to healthcare for asylum seekers and improvements to the 2017 Citizenship Act, the overall score of Canada increased by two points.

According to MIPEX research report, integration policies come into view as one of the strongest factors shaping both the public’s willingness to accept and interact with immigrants and the immigrants own behavior, sense of belonging, participation in the job market, and educational opportunities.

Anti-discrimination policies are the greatest strength of Canada according to the report. This is because Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom encompasses multiculturalism supportive policies, and world-leading laws which result in high level of awareness, trust, and discrimination reporting.

Canada gained points as permanent residents can have the opportunity to attain citizenship, and gain voting rights faster than other countries. However, lack of permanent resident representatives in policy-setting bodies led to deduction in points as people without citizenship status, such as permanent residents, have limited opportunity for political participation at the local or national level. The report also states that Canada is less experimental in local democracy consultative structures.

The report mentions Canada’s family reunification policies as “favorable” and highlights that greater obstacles are faced by adult children, parents, and grandparents to reunite in Canada as opposed to top ten countries.

Canada’s Labor market mobility has room for improvement and potential to learn from other countries, as limited health care facilities can be availed by migrants without legal documents. Canada also lost points as permanent residency pathway is lengthy and frustrating process for most of the temporary foreign workers.

Canadian education system fetched points for its multicultural education policies that ensure safety, security, and equality in academic institutes. Canada faced limitations as better representation is needed across the curriculum, teaching profession, and higher education.

What makes Canada a great destination for immigrants?

10th largest economy in the world

Canada is a thriving country that claims the 10th largest GDP worldwide, fueled in part by its vast natural resources, significant industrial base, tourist attraction, and vibrant seafood industry. According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s economy is extremely service-oriented, with 78.9% of Canadians working in a service-related job, though it is perceived that Canada is growing due to its natural resources. Though the manufacturing sector is relatively small in comparison to the service sector, it is the cornerstone of Canadian economy, with 68% of its exports constituting merchandise exports.

World-class education system

Canada tops the list as the most educated country in the world. According to the OECD over 56 percent of adults in the Great White North have earned some education after high school. Canada’s high academic standards and rigorous quality controls assure that you will be earning a high-quality education that will open doors for your future and benefit your career over the long term. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is globally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or Commonwealth countries.

The quality of education and living standards in Canada are amongst the highest in the world, but the cost of living and tuition fees for international students are generally lower than in other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Under Canada’s highly dynamic and hands-on academic environment, you will not only acquire knowledge and skills in analysis and communication, but you will also learn how to express yourself, demonstrate your creativity, and develop your self-confidence.

Canada has world’s top universities, such as McGill University, the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and the University of British Columbia which rank among the world’s top 100 academia.

Booming tech industry

Canada’s evolution over the years as a fount of technology is mirrored by the growth of the Tech sector. Toronto and other parts of Canada have been feasting on tech talent as immigrants are diverting from the U.S. due to stringent immigration policies like temporary suspension of H1B1 Visa which facilitated immigration for thousands of skilled immigrant workers every year. Even during coronavirus outbreak, immigrants in the U.S. faced unusual threat to employment, where in the U.S. is closing doors for immigrants while Canada is attracting an impressive flow of technology jobs and investment.

Tech companies with global footprint are setting up hubs and expanding operations in Canada. The number of tech jobs in Toronto has risen steeply with an increase of 54% from about 148,000 to 228,000 in the past since 2013. Canada certainly displays compelling potential with its mix of talent, technology, and universities together with highly skilled immigrants possessing STEM degrees even before arrival into the country.

Vancouver and Calgary are booming towards clean tech innovation, while Montreal has established itself as a hub for innovation in Artificial Intelligence and game development. Overall, Canada is attempting to attract highly skilled foreign professionals through visa programs like the Global Talent Stream with fast processing time where you move to Canada as quickly as a month as well as provincial tech programs that offer an expedited immigration pathway for people with tech skills .

Multiculturalism and immigration supportive

Over several decades, multiculturalism has evolved from a humanitarian approach to an official policy which became a defining part of Canada’s national identity. Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau government’s mantra is “diversity is our strength” which depicts the characteristic Canadian willingness to include various ethnic groups towards the cultural enrichment of Canada.

Canada has been accepting more immigrants per capita than any other developed Western countries. Particularly 310,000 new permanent residents were welcomed by Canada in 2018 and further it is expected that Canada will welcome nearly one million immigrants over the next three years.

In Canada, multiculturalism has always been a form of integration where people respect the diversity of languages, religions, and cultures. Multiculturalism exists when people accept and encourage many cultures to thrive in a society which can be seen particularly in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in modern history and this is because of a unique mix of various dominant groups like the British, Irish, Indian, Chinese, Italian and smaller groups like the Dutch, Japanese and Romanians.

Most inclusive country in the world

Canadians have always prided themselves as being open and inclusive. According to Ipsos recently released research, Canada ranks 1st among 25 countries on inclusiveness. Canada stood 2nd on LGBTQ Inclusiveness Score after France as the country has strong support for the LGBTQ community which is evident as Canada became the 4th nation worldwide to legalize same-sex marriage and the first nation outside of Europe in 2015.

Canada actively promotes inclusion and respect for diversity at home and abroad. Establishing equality is a top challenge that the entire human society is facing at the moment, but Canada seems to manage this challenge efficiently in social, economic, cultural, and civic inclusion. In Canada it is apparent that women have a strong voice, along with this basic women’s rights such as voting, birth control access and abortion are long-established and safeguarded in the country.

Universal health-care system

Canada’s health care system has prominent features that distinguish it from virtually all other high-income countries providing universal health care coverage. Firstly, healthcare in Canada is delivered through the provincial and territorial systems called Medicare, which is publicly funded. Canada has one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates and stands at 18th position in the world for life expectancy.

Canadian citizens have the second highest quality of life in the world, according to The World Economic Forum ranking, which ranks countries by quality of life using criteria like access to medical care, sanitation, and shelter, as well as education, life expectancy, and personal freedoms.

Employee entitlements

Canada is exceptional as “provincial law governs annual paid leave, unless the employee falls under federal jurisdiction.” All provinces guarantee two weeks paid vacation, except for three weeks in Saskatchewan. Along with this the employees receive statutory holidays depending on the province.  Canadians also have secured access to a variety of monetary protections including Employment Insurance (EI), old age security, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), and a federal childcare benefit.

The minimum wage in Canada ranges from $11 to $15 among different provinces and it stands among one of the highest in the world.  Canadian workers also have access to new family-friendly benefits and progressive workplace policies that allow up to 18 months of parental leave, with the mother and father able to share the leave however they choose.

Beautiful and safe place

The landscapes of Canada range from arctic tundra and BC’s snow-capped mountains, to beautifully desolate prairies and PEI’s rugged coastlines along with interesting architecture in Montreal’s historic buildings. From coast to coast to coast, the country is home to vibrant and culturally rich cities, along with incredible natural wonders.

According to the Global Peace Index of 2018, Canada was ranked the 6th most peaceful nation in the world. Be it protection of citizens on the streets, guarding them against misconduct, or even shielding them against online crime, Canada has done it all. Canada is also known for their strong gun control as they have a comparatively peaceful approach to foreign diplomacy.

Stable democratic political system

The Economist ranked Canada as third-most democratic nation according to its Democracy Index in the year 2006. Canada’s political system is a parliamentary democracy, with its own social and political institutions. Though Canadian governments shift between various liberal and conservative parties depending on the political climate; there is no moral shift as core values and ideologies like women’s and LGBT rights, environmental concerns, and immigration, are shared by the political parties.

Immigration application processing system set for massive revamp by the Canadian Government

A complete overhaul of Canadian immigration application processing system is in the works as the government braces for post-pandemic demand for migration to Canada. When travel restrictions begin to ease, a significant surge of applications and support requirements is anticipated, putting tremendous demand on IRCC’s global operations, and supporting branches.

Meanwhile, the government has closed or significantly scaled back many of its immigration operations, including all in-person interviews and the collection of biometrics, while many private visa centers around the globe that have contracts with Canada are also closed. In the face of so many challenges, IRCC has made great efforts to adapt, for instance, by prioritizing applications from Canadians returning to Canada, vulnerable people and people who perform or support essential services.

 How the government is looking to improve application processing system?

The government is seeking to be proactive by developing new strategies, processes, and digital systems to enable it to better fulfill its mandate. For an example, IRCC would like to adapt digital processes whenever possible to minimize the need for in-person or paper-based applications. This would not only protect the safety of IRCC and the public but could also result in more efficient and faster application processing.

Ways to modernize application processing system

Develop Digital Intake Solutions: Including the provision and implementation of digital intake tools to reduce/replace physical presence and paper-based requirements for client services and processing with digital alternatives

Develop and Implement Physical Distancing Required Digital Tools: Including the provision and implementation of tools to address new physical distancing requirements, reducing physical presence requirements of both our clients and employees with digital alternatives (i.e. online citizenship testing, virtual interviewing, etc.)

Implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Including RPA solutions to rapidly automate simple, high volume processes, dealing with employee shortages as well as allowing employees to focus on more complex and sensitive cases.

Analytics Solutions: Including data analytics solutions to provide insights into operational volumes and processing capacities to allow IRCC to effectively respond to rapid changes in the Canadian and Global situation.

Cyber security Strategy and Services: Including the provision of tools and strategic advice to address IRCC’s increased Cyber security threat because of COVID-19.

Legacy Integration Solutions: Including the provision of technology solutions to integrate digital tools and solutions with IRCC’s case management system environment (GCMS Integration)

Advisory Services: Including the provision of advisory services to help manage the initiatives and respond to emerging operational challenges because of COVID-19.

Canada will see a major spike in permanent and temporary resident arrivals once the global health and economic situation improves. Prior pandemic, Canada was welcoming record numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and international students. By modernizing the application processing system, the IRCC should be in a stronger position to accommodate even more immigrants once the pandemic is over.

Canada will begin virtual citizenship ceremonies soon

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) temporarily cancelled all citizenship ceremonies and tests more than two months ago as a part of special measures introduced in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. The government stated that these events would be rescheduled “in the near future” but did not provide a date for their re occurrence. However, newcomers to Canada who were about to officially become Canadian citizens and whose ceremonies have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic may soon be able to take the oath of citizenship virtually. The virtual citizenship events would be designed to “protect the integrity of the legal process and reflect the importance of the occasion”.

Benefits of Canadian citizenship

The Canadian passport is among the strongest in the world. There are several advantages of being a Canadian Citizen. Becoming a Canadian citizen comes with benefits and advantages those are not usually available to temporary and permanent residents.

Freedom to travel other countries without visa: For the most part, Canadians can travel anywhere in the world without worrying about visa restrictions. Canada recognizes dual citizenship, so if your country of birth also recognizes dual citizenship, then you may find yourself in the privileged position of holding two passports.

Right to vote and run for political office: Canadian citizenship comes with the right to vote in federal and provincial elections. Canadian citizens may play a vital role in influencing federal and provincial politics. Canadian citizens may hold a political office and represent Canadian constituents on issues like taxes, education and foreign policy.

Not to worry about losing status: Permanent residents must comply with certain residency requirements to maintain the status whereas, Canadians citizens can spend as much time as they like outside of Canada with no immigration and/or Canadian residency requirements and/or consequences. In addition, Canadian citizens will not ordinarily lose citizenship if convicted of a crime, while permanent residents will face deportation if the crime is considered serious enough to merit this consequence.

More job opportunities: Canadian citizens may qualify for certain federal and provincial jobs those require citizenship as well as jobs requiring security clearances. On the other hand, permanent residents may find themselves with employment choices that are limited by their status.

Don’t need to renew the immigration documentation: Permanent Resident cards are valid only for five years. Permanent Resident (PR) cards are required for international travel and may be requested by employers or other government agencies as a proof of permanent resident status. Therefore, permanent residents are in the unenviable position of needing to file a new application for a Permanent Resident Card and pay a new fee every five years. Canadian citizens have no similar obligation. A Citizenship Certificate is valid for indefinitely and Canadian citizens who wish to travel internationally need only renew their passports every ten years.

Citizenship fee set to be waived

An application fee of $530 and a “Right of Citizenship Fee” of $100 are required as part of the application process. However, the currently ruling Liberal Party of Canada has promised to ensure that permanent residents can apply for Canadian citizenship free of charge.

In order to be eligible for Canadian citizenship the following requirements must be met:

  • Applicants must have Canadian permanent resident status and have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) out of the past five years before applying (unless there are exceptional circumstances). Children under 18 must also have permanent resident status, but do not have to satisfy the three-year requirement.
  • Applicants must be able to speak either one or both of Canada’s two official languages (English or French) well enough to communicate in Canadian society. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 54 must submit proof of language proficiency.
  • Applicants cannot have a criminal history considered prohibitive to granting Canadian citizenship (as decided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or IRCC).
  • Applicants must be aware of the rights and responsibilities of citizens and have a basic knowledge of Canada’s geography, political system, and history.
  • Applicants must submit a formal application to IRCC and pay a government processing fee and a right of citizenship fee.

Eligible candidates can apply for Canadian citizenship. Once approved, they will be required to take a citizenship test (for applicants between 18 and 54 only). Successful applicants must then attend a citizenship ceremony where they receive a certificate of Canadian citizenship and officially become new Canadian citizens.

Canadian citizenship will not be granted to applicants who:

  • Do not meet the minimum required residency days in Canada;
  • Cannot speak either English or French;
  • Do not pass their citizenship test and/or interview; or
  • Cannot provide the required proof of residency documentation.

There are also multiple legal and criminality issues that may make you ineligible for Canadian citizenship. If any of the following apply to you, you may not qualify for citizenship:

  • You have had your citizenship taken away within the past five years;
  • You have been convicted of a criminal offence in the past three years;
  • You are in prison, on parole or on probation;
  • You are under removal order from Canada;
  • You are under investigation for or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity.

Check if you are eligible to apply for Canadian Citizenship!

Contact us for assessment and more information

Need help staying in Canada!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging times in Canada and around the world. Many people are under distress and anxiety. We understand! Can-X is here to help you figure it out, so you can have peace of mind. You could be an international student, worker, or visitor looking to extend your stay in Canada. You may be seeking a pathway to permanent immigration. You may be looking to reunite with a loved one. Or you may want to be a Canadian Citizen. Whatever the reason, contact us to discuss your immigration needs, and we’ll provide our insights and help as much as we can during these difficult times.

We Care!

 

IRCC policy updates for international students amid Coronavirus pandemic

Canada introduced travel restrictions and temporary changes to immigration policy to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) remains committed to serving the needs of international students and other temporary and permanent residents. Summary of important developments related to international students and immigration during the current coronavirus pandemic is as follows:

I have a study permit or work permit that will expire in the coming weeks and I am unable to obtain a new passport or access required documents. Will I be given an extension?

International students in Canada should apply online to renew their permit in order to trigger implied status. This would allow them to continue studying or working in Canada while their application is being processed.In addition, applicants who are unable to access required documents or get their biometrics, must attach a explanatory letter detailing the situation. If the application is incomplete, it will not be refused, and the applicant will be given 90 days to submit their documents.

Will my study permit take longer to be processed with all the service disruptions in place due to COVID-19?

IRCC will still process study permit applications, but there may be some processing delays.

I have had my May intake acceptance deferred to September. Will I need a new Letter of Acceptance?

If you are in Canada at the time of deferral, you must begin your studies within 150 days from the date of deferral, or the following semester, whichever comes first. If this is not possible, you will have to change your status (for example, to a visitor status), or leave Canada.

I have a study permit or have been approved for one, and will start online courses in summer or fall 2020. Will this affect my future Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility?

You may begin your classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50% of your program. In this case, you will remain eligible for the PGWP and you will not have any time deducted from the length of your future PGWP, up to December 31, 2020.

I do not have a study permit. Can I still start my studies online from abroad?

Yes! You may start your studies online from abroad without having a study permit. However, in relation to your studies contributing to your future PGWP eligibility, you would need a study permit or a study permit approval.

If I am starting my courses online, do I have to be a full-time student to maintain future PGWP eligibility?

Yes! You are expected to study full-time unless your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is currently unable to offer full-time study.

I am a new graduate with implied status awaiting a decision for my PGWP application. I also have a job offer letter. Will I be allowed to come to Canada?

If your study permit is no longer valid, you will need to have a Letter of Introduction to be exempt from the travel restrictions. A Letter of Introduction is the letter you receive from IRCC once you have been approved for the PGWP.

What would be the impact to my PGWP eligibility if my courses moved online and will now account to more than 50% of my overall study?

If you were already in Canada and your course or program has moved online due to COVID-19, you may still be eligible for the PGWP, even if your online study now accounts for more than 50% of your overall study.

If I start my studies online from abroad without an approved study permit, will this time be included towards a future PGWP application?

No! Time spent studying online from abroad without a valid study permit or approval will not count towards your eligibility for PGWP.

I am an international student and I have accessed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Will I still be eligible to apply for PGWP or Permanent Residence (PR)?

If you have accessed CERB, this will not affect your eligibility for PGWP or PR.

My son, daughter or dependent is a minor with a valid study permit. Am I allowed to come to Canada?

Immediate family members of residents who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents are exempt from the travel restrictions and may be able to come to Canada. However, before coming to Canada, you must first obtain authorization from IRCC to be able to board a flight. To do this, submit a request by sending an email to: [email protected].ca. In addition, if you do not already have a temporary visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), you will first need to apply for one.

Can I work full-time if my semester is suspended?

A suspended semester is not considered a scheduled break. Therefore, you will only be able to work the same number of authorized hours detailed on your study permit.

Need help staying in Canada!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging times in Canada and around the world. Many people are under distress and anxiety. We understand! Can-X is here to help you figure it out, so you can have peace of mind. You could be an international student, worker, or visitor looking to extend your stay in Canada. You may be seeking a pathway to permanent immigration. Or you may be looking to reunite with a loved one. Whatever the reason, contact us to discuss your immigration needs, and we’ll provide our insights and help as much as we can during these difficult times.

We Care!