Hon. Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussein, visits Surrey to discuss Bill C-6
Ahmed Hussen, Minister of IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship) was amongst the several members of the Members of Parliament present at Maharaja Restaurant Surrey on Oct,13, in order to address the predominantly South Asian Media. The purpose of the Minister visit was to reveal the changes made in Canada’s Citizenship Act as a result of Bill C-6. The minister stated that the Bill purpose is to eliminate any needless obstacles to citizenship for Canadians. The notable changes, which has come into effect since Oct, 11, 2017, include: Applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship, instead of previous four out of six years. • Applicants no longer have to be physically present in Canada for 183 consecutive days in four out of the six years preceding their application, so they can now travel for things such as work or education. Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days Applicants between 18 and 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship instead of the previous 14 to 64-year-old age range • Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three out of five years, matching the new physical presence requirement. .The Minister also took questions from the audience and addressed some of the concerns in reference to Government financial assistance to Syrian Refugees. The Minister reaffirmed Canadians that the assistance provided is only for 1 year and is in place to assist the temporary settlement of the Migrants to Canada. After this period, the Refugees are expected, and in most cases, become a productive part of the Canadian Economy and culture, such as the Honorable Minister himself. The Minister also mentioned the achievements of the Liberal Government in the past two years of government in which the there has been significant reduction in processing duration of Spousal immigration, in order to ensure Canadian families are united at the earliest. The Minister said: “together with the members of parliament in our government we have been able to do more in immigration system in less than two years of our government than the last government was able to do in 10 years”. Honorable Minister Ahmed Hussein expressed the importance and continuous need for Immigration in Canada as he stated “We need more tourists, businessmen and international students to come to Canada.” The Minister also took the time to discuss with Miracle Media some of the important concerns facing the Islamic community in Canada in reference to the rise of Islamophobia, which have gained popularity in the mainstream in the past few years not only in Europe and USA but amongst Canada as well and the solution that. The Minister suggested that it is important for Muslims to become more engaged in “leadership” roles in order to improve the image of Islam and Muslims in Canada and to show the constructive, productive and positive attributes of the Islamic Community. I also spoke to the others MPs present at the event who echoed the Minister opinion continued open and balanced Immigration in Canada in the future. “We have been able to eliminate 20 thousand cases from the spousal backlog. There have been significant changes in the amount of processing time that the application would take in the time of Harper’s government,” Hussen told South Asian media on Friday. According to Hussen, they have been able to decrease the processing time for most applications by more than double, some of which are: · The waiting period for citizenship acquisition · Renewal of Permanent Resident card in 52 days from 10-18 months · Visa approval rate of 69% from 40%in Chandigarh, India Spousal applications from 26 months to under 12 months. The minister said, he continued to engage himself with the visa offices to make sure genuine travelers are not denied entry into Canada. Speaking of the recent changes to Bill C-6, Hussen said, “together with the members of parliament in our government we have been able to do more in immigration system in less than two years of our government than the last government was able to do in 10 years” “Canadians welcome people from all over the world”. He Said Surrey as an example of the cities that received more Syrian-refugees in the last 2 years.“We need more tourists, businessmen and international students to come to Canada,” said Hussen. In reply to a question, whether the refugees get more money than an average Canadian, he said, “Refugees get income assistance during their 1st year only. They do not get more money than Canadians.” The minister gave an example of himself and said, “We do give income assistance to immigrants when they are in the process of settlement, but they contribute back to this country. We should be open-minded. These immigrants will be as successful as other Canadians will in the long term. According to Hussen the number of tourists, businesspersons and students applying visa, have doubled in the last 2 years. Canada gives the option of immigration to people but according to the immigration system.