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Series consists of records created and/or maintained by various Canada Immigration Centres (CICs) and Ports of Entry. The ports of entry are offices at the first point of contact between immigrants or visitors and the immigration service at the Canadian border. The first ports of entry were the ocean ports described under the Records of Entry and the "border ports of entry" first established in 1908. The present practice of officially designating these offices by Order in Council did not begin until some time after this date. The number of ports of entry has varied from just under one hundred in 1908 to 687 in April 1986. Ports of entry perform the first inspection (now referred to as the PIL or Primary Inspection Line) and if necessary refer the immigrant to the next or secondary inspection at an office "inland" - now the Canada Immigration Centre. Many port of entry offices have been and are staffed not by Immigration employees but by Customs officers performing immigration duties by formal arrangement between the two departments. Generally speaking, short-term visitors to Canada are documented, if they are recorded at all, only at the port of entry. The Canada Immigration Centres or CICs grew out of the port of entry offices, and were first established in their present form shortly after 1966 (date of the creation of the new Department of Manpower and Immigration and the counterpart Canada Manpower Centres). They provide a wider range of services to immigrants than the ports of entry, generally after the immigrant has passed the primary inspection at the port (some ports of entry are, however, combined with or adjacent to the CIC, in contrast to the "inland CICs" which serve more than one port and may be located away from the border area). The CIC thus is responsible for the reception of persons who cannot be dealt with in a final way at the border without further examination - what is now called "secondary" inspection. It also provides some types of advice and documentation needed by immigrants and visitors already within the country. The CIC may also have enforcement staff to deal with immigration irregularities; in a few major centres partially independent "enforcement CICs" have been set up to deal with large volumes of illegal cases. The CIC is not, however, responsible for settlement/ adjustment services for immigrants already accepted and living in Canada; these since 1966 have been provided separately through the Canada Manpower/Employment Centres. Generally speaking, therefore, the CIC is the main responsibility centre and office of record for the acceptance of immigrants and control of immigration irregularities at the field office level. The records in this series relate to the functions and activities of a variety of CICs from across the country.
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