Passport Canada has announced that Canada will start issuing e-passports by the end of next year after a delay due to an overhaul of the passport application process.
Chief executive Christine Desloges said that the new passports will feature a chip containing the owner’s face recognition data in order to make it easier for border guards to screen threats and detect fraudulent passports.
Canada will now join the rest of the G8 nations in issuing e-passports, along with nearly 100 other countries around the world.
Meanwhile prospective immigrants, visitors to Canada and newcomers are making good use of a new interactive Web tool launched recently by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The Come to Canada Wizard, which helps people determine if they are eligible to come to Canada, has recorded over 100,000 visits in its first three weeks of operation. The majority of the people using it, approximately 80%, are doing so from outside Canada.
‘By helping potential immigrants and visitors to understand the immigration process, this tool is reducing their dependence on immigration consultants,’ said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
‘It demonstrates how CIC is creating a responsive and efficient immigration system that benefits applicants, immigrants and Canadians alike. At this rate, we can expect more than a million users to benefit from the website by this time next year,’ he added.
The Come to Canada tool presents users with a series of questions and, based on their answers, matches them with the federal immigration option that best suits their specific circumstances. It then leads them to a page that breaks down the application steps and provides instructions and forms.
Come to Canada is proving to be both popular and user friendly. A majority of people using it completed all the steps to find the immigration option that suited them best. This success is reflected by the comments CIC has received from users of the tool.
‘Excellent tool, very user friendly and straightforward,’ wrote one user. ‘This is the best way to get everyone to answer whether they are eligible or not,’ noted another. ‘The most important thing is that people will stop going to fraudulent consultants and they can save their money and their parents’ money. Thanks to Canada for launching this,’ said yet another user.