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A guide to Canadian immigration law

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is the branch of the Canadian Federal Government that is responsible for executing labour laws. The federal laws which determine CIC's programmes, services, policies, and activities are the Constitution Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Citizenship Act, and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. This article describes the implications of each of these Acts of legislation for immigrants to Canada.

The Consititution Act, 1867 to 1982

Responsibilities Section 95 of the Constitution Act defines immigration as a joint federal and provincial responsibility. The Government of Canada works with provincial immigration departments to ensure that both national and regional needs are met. Quebec The Canadian Constitution Act makes special exceptions for the Province of Quebec, allowing it a greater say in which immigrants are admitted. A greater number of guaranteed immigrants are allowed than those of other provinces. Reference (eng Const)

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 2001

Immigration The bulk of Canadian law on immigration can be found in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of 2001 (IRPA). The Act defines who is eligible for entry into Canada, as well as the process for legally immigrating and remaining in Canada. Individuals interested in immigrating to Canada must make a formal application with CIC, be admitted under the federal regulation outlined in IRPA, and must pass the citizenship examination. Refugees Special provisions are outlined in IRPA for refugee protection. Refugees are given special permission for entry if a showing can be made that they need the protection of Canada from unstable or unhealthy situations or persecution based on race, gender, religion or political opinion. Enforcement The Act also describes the enforcement of immigration-related legal problems, such human trafficking, fraud and other general offences. Reference (eng acts 2.5)

The Citizenship Act, 1985

What is a citizen? The Act describes who is eligible for a Canadian citizenship, and the process for obtaining, re-obtaining, or renouncing one's citizenship. Fraud The Act takes a strong position against fraud. Knowingly, falsifying documents, printing forfeit certificates of citizenship or selling issued certificates to others is punishable by jail. Reference (eng acts C-29)

The Canadian Multiculturalism Act, 1985

Mission The mission of CIC is to augment the needs of the Canadian economy by encouraging immigrants from all over the world to move to Canada by fostering a multicultural environment to welcome them. This mission is guided mainly by the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1985. Policy The Government of Canada is dedicated to building understanding, awareness, and education of culture, and ensures all Canadians have the right to "preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage."
(The Canadian Multiculturalism Act, 1985, Section 3) Reference (eng acts C-18.7)

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