Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced the Canadian Immigration Plan 2014. The main target for 2014 is to drive economic growth and position Canada for success in the future.
In 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada plans to welcome 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents, with record admissions under programs: Canadian Experience Class and the Provincial Nominee Program.
The Economic Class will be the main focus
It is expected for the Economic class to increase to 63% in 2014, which totals 164,500 new immigrants. 37% will consist of the Family class immigrants, refugees and others under humanitarian programs.
New Intake System for Economic Immigration
The Citizenship and Immigration Canada is moving from passive economic immigration to active recruiting by introducing a new intake system named the Expression of Interest System (EOI) tentatively. This system will be examined in the year of 2014, with expected launch in 2015.
The EOI is similar to New Zealand’s immigration program and consists of two steps. Applicants will submit details of their experience, skills and other attributes electronically to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. If they meet the eligibility criteria, they will be part of a pool of candidates and ranked against others under “Expressions of Interest”. Immigration Canada will invite the best candidates to apply for visas, including those with in-demand skills or job offers. Those that are not chosen will be removed from the pool over time. The aim is to choose the best economic class applicants, while avoiding backlog and minimizing processing times.
Canadian Experience Class
It is expected up to 15,000 economic class immigrants will become permanent residents under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) in 2014. The Canadian Experience Class allows people who meets the minimum language requirement and have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada to apply for permanent residency. CIC has welcomed more than 25,000 permanent residents through the program.
Provincial Nominee Program
Canada plans to welcome 44,500 – 47,000 permanent residents under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in the year of 2014. The PNP is Canada’s second-largest economic immigration program and grown from around 1,250 landed immigrants in 2000 to close to 41,000 landed immigrants in 2012. 42% of all economic immigrants in 2012 intended to settle outside of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
More details of the plan of 2014 will be released soon. For more information, please contact us.
News Release — Planning for Success, Putting Canada First
CIC: Expression of Interest (EOI): Preparing for Success in 2015
CIC: Provincial Nominee Program: Record Levels Planned for 2014
CIC: Canadian Experience Class: Reaching for New Heights in 2014
Have you heard other newcomers talking about how difficult it can be to get a credit score in Canada? A credit score is like a financial report card. Creditors (creditors provide short-term loans and mortgages to purchase a home) use this report when calculating your credit-worthiness. If you have a positive credit rating you will be able to obtain a loan, mortgage and other financial products.
How can you build and protect your credit score?
Get familiar with your credit score
Know your credit history and your credit score.
According to Fresh Loan, a credit score is a calculation of your reliability with credit. If you use credit responsibly and pay your bills on time then you should have a good credit score. The companies that send you monthly bills will record how promptly you pay your bills. This will affect your credit score. You can also increase your credit score by getting a small loan, line of credit or credit card, even if you don’t require one. Many immigrants do not borrow because they do not want to have debt, but it can be helpful to have one credit card and to use it for small purchases. Just remember to pay the full balance of the credit card bill on time each month.
There are some banks in Canada that provide a service which transfers your credit score from your home country to the bank in Canada. Check with banks in your area to see if they provide this convenient service.
Review your credit report regularly
Your credit report in Canada is available to look at when you want to. It is also a good idea to read your bank statements carefully. This can help ensure that there isn’t any incorrect information and that no one else is (fraudulently) using your credit. You can check your credit report for free at Equifax.ca. Your credit history matters, someday you may need money to buy a car, a home or start a business, so starting to build a good credit score when you arrive to Canada is a helpful idea.
Top tips for healthy credit habits
- Keep only one or two credit cards. It will be easier to keep track of spending and also remove some of the risk by fraudulent users. Be aware that different credit cards have different interest rates. If you pay your credit card bill late, you could incur interest which will be added to your monthly bill.
- Be careful of cash advances or cheques the credit card companies may provide to you, these can be costly and the credit card company can start charging you interest from the moment you withdraw or advance the cash from your credit card.
- Pay your credit card, household bills and loans by the due date stated on the monthly bill. This will help improve your credit score and help you with future banking in Canada.
Remember to be aware and cautious of who you give your credit card numbers to and who has access to your credit card. Credit card companies may provide some protection if your card is lost or stolen, but you are responsible for who has access to your credit.
Speak with a bank or credit union in Canada and they can provide you with more information about credit cards and your credit score in Canada.
Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.
Steps & Tips for obtaining your Citizenship
Note: The Canadian Citizenship Act recently changed, check out the new rules for obtaining the Canadian Citizenship.
How to obtain Canadian Citizenship is one of the most frequently asked questions by our clients. Here is a summary of the main steps and some tips on how to achieve Canadian Citizenship.
- Get your Permanent Residency – to be eligible for Canadian Citizenship, you must being born in Canada, have a parent that is Canadian or first be granted Permanent Residency. Canada has over 60 programs for Permanent Residency, most of which focus on Skilled workers with a job offer or experience in Canada or business investors and entrepreneurs. Once you are eligible and apply for permanent residency, processing times are between 1 to 3 years, depending on the program.
- Meet the Residency Obligation – Once you are approved and land in Canada as a Permanent Resident, To Maintain permanent residency, you must:
- Live in Canada for at lease 2 years (730 days) within a five-year period. Permanent residents must prove they’ve met this residency requirement when applying for Canadian citizenship.
- There are some exceptions, where you can count time spent outside Canada towards permanent residency. These include:
- Accompanying a Canadian spouse or parent outside Canada
- Working outside Canada for a Canadian business or Canadian public service
- Accompanying permanent resident spouse or parent outside Canada who is employed full-time by a Canadian business or Canadian public service
- Apply for Canadian Citizenship – to apply for citizenship, you must:
- Live physically in Canada 4 of the last 6 years prior to submitting an application for Citizenship. Part of the time spent as a permanent resident can count if it is within the 6 years.
- To calculate your residence for citizenship application, you can check out CIC ‘s guide form for calculating your residence. Click here, or Contact us for help.
- The Canadian Citizenship Act has been recently reformed by CIC, check out the new rules for obtaining the Canadian Citizenship.
Other conditions for applying Canadian Citizenship
To be eligible to become a Canadian Citizen, you must also meet other conditions besides the residence requirement:
- Age: You must be at least 18 years of age. For Children under 18, the children’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian would be able to apply for them.
- Permanent Resident Status: You must be holding a valid Permanent Resident, which means you must not be currently under review for an immigration fraud reason, or a removal order.
- Language Skills: You must show that you know at least one of Canada’s two official Languages – English and French. A proof of language skills may be required for a citizenship application.
- Criminal History: You must not currently under any kind of criminal charge, such as a offence under the Citizenship Act, or a removal order. This is a prohibition for Canadian Citizenship application.
- Understand Canada: By meaning Understand Canada, not only do you need to know the history, the values, the institution and symbols of Canada, but also, you must understand the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, such as voting in elections and obeying the law. You can have a quick review of these information by reading the study guide from CIC: Discover Canada.
You may already be a Canadian Citizen without applying to be one if :
- You were born in Canada
- Have a parent that was born in Canada or has Canadian citizenship
You can use the “Am I a Canadian Citizen” tool designed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or, simply contact us to access your situation.
For more information about Canadian Citizenship, please contact us.