The Canadian government has announced it will soon be introducing a new immigration system for foreign citizens, who currently receive a temporary visa for the duration of their stay.
In a press release, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that all green card holders will have their application processed on the new system.
The new system will allow Canadian citizens to apply online for permanent residency and will also allow permanent residents to apply to live in Canada for an indefinite period of time.
The minister said the new approach will provide for an enhanced level of information sharing with foreign governments, which is currently lacking in the current system.
“Our approach to the protection of foreign nationals is consistent with our approach to Canadian citizens and citizens of the U.S. and other countries,” Kenney said.
“We will continue to ensure that Canadians are able to continue to visit their loved ones and enjoy their lives in Canada.”
Canada is the only major country that does not currently have a permanent resident program, meaning people living here for a short time or for a limited time are considered to be permanent residents.
Kenney said Canada has an obligation to make it easier for foreign visitors to stay in Canada, but also said Canada is committed to protecting the national security of its citizens.
“We want to ensure the security of our citizens in Canada and that Canadians can continue to do what they are doing in Canada,” he said.
“In a democracy, the government has to act in the national interest, not to benefit an individual at the expense of Canadians.”
Kenney also said Canadians will continue their work to make the system more accessible to the public.
“There is no longer a requirement for applicants to provide an employer’s or business’s Social Insurance Number,” Kenny said.