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Monday, October 31, 2005

Open the door, then help immigrants succeed

Canada to open doors to 255,000
Oct. 31, 2005. 05:09 AM
Canada will open its doors to up to 255,000 immigrants next year, the federal government will announce today. But what the government won't announce is its plan to dramatically boost immigration levels by an additional 100,000 newcomers a year, writes Bruce champion-Smith.
[Full Story]

The above article was published today in the Toronto Star and gives an overview of Minister Volpe's plans to increase the levels of immigration, possibly up to a staggering 320,000 new immigrants a year.

But immigrants face problems coming into Canada, especially skilled workers who are trying to break into jobs that require Canadian certification or that are protected in some way. If the Minister wants to bring in more new Canadians in order to bolster an aging population with low national birthrates, then he has to clear the way for them to both enter the country and to succeed. Here are a few ideas:

Less cash - Lower the amount of money a skilled professional is required to have in the bank - currently, skilled professionals with no family support in Canada need to prove they have $10,000+ CAD in the bank in order to qualify for immigration. How many Canadians have that much in savings?

Revise qualifications requirements - Those with high marks from University and with years of professional practice should score higher than those who don't have those marks or experience, yet, there is no differentiation. What about points for the industry you have proven skills in? If Canada wants to build its pool of high tech professionals, for instance, then award more points for that.

Lower professional barriers - Eliminate restrictive practice requirements or develop equivalency measures. Doctors, engineers, and other professionals who immigrate to Canada should have a rapid, government supported path to validate their skills to Canadian employers. Don't ask them to come to this country only to tell them that they have to pay for new education or certification to prove to others what they already know. If they fail the tests, then absolutely they should get additional training at their own expense, but if Canada wants rapid assimilation, then they need to take down the walls.

Social assistance - Provide social assistance for those working outside their profession. Heresy, right? But if you are inviting people in to build a strong economy and your promises aren't true, shouldn't you take some responsibility for that?

Employer-sponsored immigration - Employers should be able to sponsor individuals and their families. They would assume the risk in this case, just like a regular sponsor. Talk about a direct path. Employers get the talent they desire, and immigrants get the assurances and support that they need.

Do you have some ideas about helping immigrants succeed? Drop a line and share them.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I found your blog via Expats directory. I read your archives. I sympathize with your loss, and congratulate you on finding strength to overcome it.

    As far as the skilled worked application goes, this should be easier than your marriage sponsorship. It took me a total of 7 months to complete it from the moment of first application to landing in Canada. The Quebec nomination program helped. You should look into provincial nomination programs as well, as it will cut down the immigration process time in half.

    Ok, so the immigration process was fairly easy for me, but the adjustment has been pretty tough, and yesterday I got laid off from my 5th job in the last four months in Canada. It's time for me to rebound.