Immigration Canada Minister Jason Kenney welcomed the concluding Royal Assent of legislation that will protect and improve the Canadian immigration system. “This legislation will help stop foreign criminals, human smugglers and those with unfounded refugee claims from abusing Canada’s generous immigration system and receiving taxpayer funded health and social benefits,” said Minister Kenney.He said that Canada’s immigration and refugee system is one of the most fair and generous in the world and that this will continue to be the case under the new and improved system.
The Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act brings changes to the old system that will provide faster and more efficient services to those who genuinely need it by reducing the time it takes to review and decide a refugee claim. The new measures also address the crime of human smuggling by making it easier to prosecute human smugglers and impose stiffer penalties. The new measures also require biometric data to be included as part of a temporary resident permit Canada application, Canada work permit, and study visas. Travelers, students and workers from certain visa-required countries and territories will be required to provide their fingerprints and have their photo taken before they arrive in Canada.
“With these changes, the integrity of Canada’s immigration programs and the safety and security of Canadians will be protected,” said Minister Kenney. Some of these new measures come into effect immediately, while others will be introduced later this year at a date that will be determined by the government. The new biometric measures will be implemented in 2013.