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CORRECTION FROM SOURCE/Overseas Orientation Program Celebrates 20,000 Graduates

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/12/13 --

This document corrects and replaces the press release that was issued today at 12:41 PM EST.

More than 20,000 people are arriving in Canada better prepared for the labour market, thanks to the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney announced today.

"Our Government is committed to helping newcomers succeed" said Minister Kenney at an event celebrating the graduates today. "By giving immigrants a better understanding of what to expect before they arrive in Canada, we can help ensure they can more quickly contribute fully to Canada's economic growth and long-term prosperity.."

The Canadian Immigrant Integration Program, which has been funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) since 2010 is managed by the Association of Community Colleges (ACCC). CIIP serves newcomers in up to 25 countries through offices located in the Philippines, China, India, and the UK. It prepares Federal Skilled Workers and Provincial Nominees for the Canadian labour market while they are still in their home country.

A recent evaluation found that 91 per cent of participants strongly agreed that CIIP services were useful and 99 per cent agreed that the services had improved their understanding of how to find suitable work in Canada.

"This program eliminates the guess work for new immigrants by equipping them with essential information and tools needed to live, find work and establish ties in Canada," said ACCC President James Knight. "Employers who are trying to address increasing demand for skilled workers also benefit."

The orientation session focuses on credential recognition, the labour market and basic settlement information and provides one-on-one counseling sessions so that participants develop a personal action plan.

"Coming to CIIP was the best decision I have ever made," said Patricia Soyao, a 28-year old nurse from the Philippines and the 20,000th graduate of the program. "Though I totally believed in my choice to go to Canada, getting there and knowing what to do was better laid out to me by CIIP," added Ms Soyao who will arrive in Canada in April. Immigrants receive referrals to colleges or organizations serving newcomers in the province of destination, as well as information on labour market and settlement support while still in their home countries. They also receive referrals to employers and regulatory bodies in their field.

A couple who attended CIIP sessions in Shanghai joined the Minister today at the announcement. Yeubin Ding and Weizhi Huang also said that what they learned in the program helped them to settle in Canada.

Since 2010, CIC has invested $15 million in the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program.

For more information about this program, visit the ACCC website.

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CitImmCanada

A photo of Minister Kenney will be available later today.

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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