17 September 2008

70 years of historic Canadian immigration records now online

Ancestry.ca has launched a world-first website that provides more than 7.2 million names from the Canadian Passenger Lists 1865 – 1935 and includes 5.6 million immigrants.

The Canada Passenger Lists are the official immigration records of Canadian arrivals by ship and overland during this period, and it is estimated that 37 per cent of the current Canadian population are descended from these people. 

The records include vacationers and travellers, business people, crew members and historical figures such as foreign leaders, scientists and celebrities (including Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Prince Henry and Alexander Graham Bell).

Today, Canada relies on immigration to support its rapidly expanding economy, and the Government is trying to build its skills base using overseas workers and students in its Canadian skilled migration program.  The Canadian Department of Immigration and Citizenship announced this month the details of the proposed Canadian Experience Class, which helps temporary foreign workers and foreign student graduates get residency visas in Canada.

"The Canadian Experience Class is one more measure this government is proposing to make our immigration system more attractive and accessible to individuals with diverse skills from around the world, and more responsive to Canada’s labour market needs," said the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Diane Finley. "This new proposed avenue for immigration would also go further to spread the benefits of immigration into smaller centres across Canada."

"International students and skilled workers would be more likely to choose Canada if they knew their time in Canada and contribution to Canadian society would assist in their eligibility to apply to stay permanently," she added.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for Canada visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Canadian Visa Bureau.

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