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Biography / Administrative history
The Immigration program of the Government of Canada administers entry into Canada by immigrants and non-immigrants, and assists in the settlement of immigrants in Canada.
Responsibility for immigration in the federal government has resided in several different departments since Confederation. From 1868 to 1892, Canadian immigration services were the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture. In 1892, these services were transferred to the Department of Interior, and became known as the Immigration Branch of that Department. An independent Department of Immigration and Colonization was established in 1917, which took over the work previously undertaken by the Department of the Interior. Immigration was reduced to Branch status again in 1936, however, under the newly-formed Department of Mines and Resources. Yet another reorganization occurred in 1950, with the creation of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. This Department was given the responsibility for such disparate programs as Immigration, Indian Affairs, Citizenship Registration, and a number of federal cultural agencies. At that time, Immigration services remained at the Branch level.
In 1966 the growing relationship between employment and immigration policy was formally recognized with the creation of the Department of Manpower and Immigration. At that time the Immigration Branch was moved from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to the newly-formed Department, and retained Branch status.
Yet another reorganization of the immigration responsibility occurred in 1977 with the creation of the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission and Department. Federal government immigration, employment, and unemployment insurance programs were united under these institutions, known collectively as Employment and Immigration Canada (EIC). At that time, EIC was responsible for immigration matters including the admission to Canada of visitors, permanent residents and refugees. It also assisted permanent residents and refugees to settle in Canada.
The most recent change with respect to immigration functions occurred in 1992-93 with the creation of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, ratified under the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act of 1994 (42-43 Elizabeth II, C. 31). This new Department is currently responsible for the federal government's immigration program. For additional information concerning immigration records, please consult the administrative histories for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Fonds, the Immigration Appeal Board Fonds, the Immigration and Refugee Board Fonds, and the Immigration Branch Sous-Fonds.
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