Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expanding its Visa Application Centre (VAC) Network in China, increasing its geographic reach as Canada looks for new ways to support the growth in applications.
So far this year, more than 500,000 applications have been received from China, a 15 per cent increase from 2016. What’s more, China is Canada’s fastest-growing tourism market, already its third-largest overseas source market for tourists, and Chinese visitors contribute more than CDN$1 billion annually to Canada’s economy.
Last week, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, attended the opening ceremony of a VAC in Nanjing to mark the opening of seven new centres. These centres are located in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Nanjing, Shenyang and Wuhan. They join the existing network of VACs in Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
“Canada has a long and proud history with China which our department continues to play an integral role in,” said Hussen. “At IRCC, we are committed to improving client service for applicants and to being more efficient. These improvements will better serve Chinese applicants as we continue to create stronger business and personal ties between our two countries and welcome new immigrants to the Canadian family,” he added.
VACs offer support to applicants before, during and after their temporary resident visa application is assessed by an IRCC officer. VAC service agents are available by phone, email or in person to answer questions in local languages and to make sure that applications are complete.
A new pay option will also be put into place beginning in early 2018, with IRCC set to accept payments through UnionPay, one of the largest payment processing providers in China. This improved flexibility will make it easier for travellers to come to Canada, and by extension, open the door to new opportunities for economic and cultural exchange.
Canada now has 137 VACs in 95 countries.
Article published 20th November 2017