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New changes to Canadian immigration

Mr. Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has discussed and clarified the various changes which is the part of new Immigration Plan 2010 of Canada.

Canada is adjusting its 2010 immigration plan to put even greater emphasis on economic recovery and further reduce the federal skilled worker backlog.

The government is also proposing new eligibility criteria for the immigrant investor program so it makes an even greater contribution to the Canadian economy. Proposed regulatory changes will require new investors to have a personal net worth of $1.6 million, up from $800,000, and make an investment of $800,000, up from $400,000.

The minister clarified at the outset that these changes were not in any way a reduction of immigration numbers, but a way to bring in more transparency, controls and lastly a speedier more efficient processing system. One of the most important factors contributing to an immigrant’s economic success is the ability to speak one of Canada’s official languages. Under changes to the federal skilled worker program and the Canadian experience class, all new applicants are required to include the results of an English or French language test as part of their application. The language requirements themselves, however, are not changing.

According to the minister, “With the results of a language test, FSW applicants will know before they apply exactly how many points they will be awarded for language ability on the federal skilled worker selection grid. Canadian Experience Class applicants will also know in advance if they meet the minimum language requirements necessary as part of their application.”
He added: “In keeping with the Action Plan for Faster Immigration, processing times are expected to improve because the visa officer simply assigns points based on the language test result instead of taking the time to review a written submission. Finally, many regulatory bodies and industry sectors require language testing or other proof of language assessment, so in taking the test, applicants are one step further on the path to integration into the Canadian labor market.”
On the federal skilled worker category, Canada still receives thousands more applications each year than can be processed and accepted. This is true even when you consider that Canada has the highest relative level of immigration in the developed world, with a quarter million permanent residents admitted every year. Effective immediately, to be eligible to apply as a federal skilled worker, applicants must either have a job offer, or they must have experience in one of 29 in-demand occupations. These occupations were identified through analysis of updated labour market information and consultations with provinces, territories, stakeholders and the public. The government will limit the number of applications considered for processing to 20,000 per year as a way to better manage the supply of applications with labour market demand. Within the 20,000 limit, a maximum of 1,000 applications per occupation will be considered. The limit does not apply to applicants with a job offer.

Arranged employment is one of the six factors under Canada’s new points system for selecting immigrants under the skilled worker category. It is essentially a genuine job offer by a Canadian employer that is validated by Human Resources & Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). According to the minister, this category ensures that immigrants are not stuck in the “survival job conundrum” and will be given priority at all times.

The minister also confirmed that there would be a comprehensive review of the provincial nominee program in conjunction with provinces to design a more standardized program that would benefit all provinces. Additionally, the Auditor General has asked for more information on the program as there is a lack of data on whether it meets its objectives and whether immigrants who come in under this program get jobs commensurate with their education and previous careers and lastly whether they move out of the province after landing.