Glossary of Terms
Adaptation: The first step in the settlement process is Settlement. Adaptation is the second step, where immigrants realize some benefits of settlement, such as accessing mainstream services independently, understanding Canadian social and cultural norms, improving language skills, developing and building friendships in the community, and reassessing personal goals. The third step is Integration.
Assimilation: Immigrants and refugees are incorporated into the receiving society, where they give up their linguistic and cultural characteristics in order to become part of the economic and social structure of mainstream society.
Astronaut Family: A family in which one or both parents live and work in their country of origin, such as India or Taiwan, while remaining family members reside in the host country, such as Canada or the US, to enable children to complete their education.
BC Settlement and Adaptation Program (BCSAP): Government of BC program that supports organizations to provide settlement services to newcomers and their receiving communities in order to support the successful settlement and integration of new immigrants and refugees to British Columbia. As of October 2011, this program has been modified and is now know as the BC Settlement and Integration Program - BCSIP.
Bilingualism: The ability of a person to communicate in two languages. In Canada, 'official bilingualism' refers to the ability to communicate in both of Canada's official languages, English and French.
Business Class Immigrant: A person who is admitted to Canada because of his/her business experience, and willingness and ability to invest in or start a business in Canada. There are three types of business class immigrants: investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed people. Investors and entrepreneurs must have enough money to invest in a business or start their own business. Self-employed people must be able to create jobs for themselves in Canada. The spouses and children of Business Class Immigrants are included in this category.
Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB): The Canadian standard used to describe, measure and recognize the English language proficiency of adult immigrants who plan to live and work in Canada.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC): Government of Canada program that allows selected temporary foreign workers and international students with Canadian work experience to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC): Government of Canada department that is responsible for immigration, refugees, citizenship and multiculturalism.
Convention Refugee: A person who meets the definition in the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. This definition is used by Canadian law and is widely accepted internationally. A person must be outside his/her country of origin and have a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
Deskilling: Systemic non-recognition of earned education and experience. Immigrants often take on survival jobs, far below their educational qualifications and skills, training and experience, to support themselves and their families.
Double Jeopardy: A woman who experiences differential treatment not only because of her gender but also because of her race and/or ethnicity.
Economic Class Immigrant: A person who is selected to come to Canada because of his/her skills or other assets (net worth) and who is able to make an immediate contribution to Canada's economy. Economic Class Immigrants include skilled workers, Provincial and Territorial Nominees, investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed people.
EmbraceBC: Government of BC program that supports organizations to enhance community understanding of multiculturalism and cultural diversity in order to prevent and eliminate racism. (This program was formerly known as the BC Anti-racism and Multiculturalism Program - BCAMP)
English Language Services for Adults (ELSA): Government of BC program providing basic and intermediate level English training for adult newcomers to Canada. Outside of BC, government-funded language training is called LINC.
Family Class Immigrant: A person who is sponsored to become a permanent resident of Canada by a close relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Government Assisted Refugee (GAR): A person selected abroad by the Government of Canada for resettlement to Canada as a convention refugee and who receives specialized resettlement assistance services.
Human Capital: A person's knowledge and abilities, such as educational level, literacy and work experience, correlated with socio-economic position and mobility.
Human Trafficking: The recruitment and international transportation of individuals by force, fraud or coercion into labour or sexual exploitation.
Immigrant: A person who leaves his or her country of residency to settle permanently in another country.
Immigrant and Refugee Board (IRB): Canadian administrative tribunal that is responsible for making decisions on immigration and refugee matters in accordance with the law.
Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA): Government of Canada legislation on immigration and refugee matters.
Inadmissible Person: A person who is not allowed to enter or remain in Canada. There are many reasons that a person may be inadmissible, including security concerns, serious criminal offences, human rights violations, health or financial reasons, and failure to comply with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Integration: A dynamic, two-way process in which newcomers and the receiving society work together to build secure, vibrant and cohesive communities. Integration is the third step in the settlement process, after Settlement and Adaptation.
International Student: A foreign national who is authorized to study in Canada.
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC): Government of Canada program that provides English as an Additional Language (EAL) for newcomers. In BC, the government-funded language training is called ELSA.
Live-in Caregiver Program: Government of Canada program that allows qualified people to come to Canada to work in private homes to care for children, the elderly or people with disabilities. A live-in caregiver must live in the employer's home, and may become eligible for Canadian permanent residency after three years if certain conditions are met.
Migrant: A person who leaves his/her country of origin to seek residence in another country.
Multilingualism: The ability of a person to communicate in two or more languages.
Naturalized Citizen: An immigrant or refugee who has acquired Canadian citizenship.
Newcomer: An immigrant or refugee in the initial years after arrival.
Non-Regulated Occupation: A profession or trade for which a licence, certificate or registration is not needed to work. Most occupations in Canada are non-regulated.
Permanent Resident (PR): An immigrant or protected person who is not a Canadian citizen but who has the right to enter or remain in Canada without any time limit on his or her stay. A permanent resident must live in Canada for two years out of every five years or risk losing his or her permanent resident status
Privately Sponsored Refugee: A privately sponsored refugee who is selected abroad for resettlement to Canada and receives resettlement assistance from private sources. Private sponsors are usually faith-based groups, though can include other types of groups.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): A program allowing provinces and territories to nominate individuals to come to Canada as provincial nominees. Provincial nominees are selected for specific skills that will contribute to the local economy.
Refugee: A person who has left their country due to a well-founded fear of persecution and who is unable or unwilling to return to that country for fear of torture, a risk to their life, or a risk of cruel or unusual treatment or punishment.
Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP): Government of Canada program that provides financial support to Government Assisted Refugees for up to one year after their arrival in Canada
Refugee Claimant: A person who has independently arrived to Canada and who seeks the protection of Canada based on refugee law.
Regulated Occupations: Professions such as nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers and electricians that set their own standards of practice or are regulated by government to protect public health and safety. A licence, certification or registration with a regulatory body is needed in order to work in a regulated occupation and use a regulated title.
Safe Third Country: The Safe Third Country Agreement is an agreement between the governments of Canada and the United States that requires persons seeking refugee protection to make a claim in the first country they arrive in (United States or Canada), unless they qualify for an exception to the Agreement.
Satellite Children: Young immigrants who are left behind in Canada to complete their education while their parents return to their country of origin to pursue employment or business activities.
Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program (SAWP): Government of Canada program that allows foreign workers to enter Canada and work on farms on a temporary basis during peak harvesting and planting periods. Under the program, workers are hired from Mexico, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago. Some provinces do not participate in the program.
Settlement: The first step in the settlement process following immigrant or refugee arrival to Canada, wherein basic needs are met, such as housing, food, registering children in school, signing up for language training, generally accessing mainstream services, and understanding basic rights and responsibilities. The second step is Adaptation and the third is Integration.
Skilled Worker: A person who is selected to enter Canada based on his/her skills, education, knowledge of English or French, and work experience. The spouses and children of Skilled Workers are also included in this category. Skilled workers must have enough funds to support themselves and their dependents in Canada during initial settlement stages.
Social Capital: The ability to gain access to resources by virtue of membership in social networks and other social structures. Social networks have value, and social contacts affect the productivity of individuals and groups.
Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW): A foreign national legally admitted to work in Canada for a temporary period of time, usually to fill labour shortages.
Temporary Resident: A foreign national who is in Canada for a prescribed period. Temporary residents include international students, temporary foreign workers and visitors.
Undocumented Migrant: A person residing in Canada without legal immigration status. This includes people who have entered without inspection or with a legal visa that is no longer valid.
Visible Minority: A person, other than Aboriginal, who is non-Caucasian or non-white. While this term is used in official Canadian Government policies and laws, its use is controversial. Some prefer to use the term "racialized" as it more clearly denotes race as a subjective human construct or concept.
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