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Monday, March 16, 2009

Minister Kenney Announces Changes To Canada’s Immigration System

In an article published at, a summary of the new Canadian Experience Class for immigrants and the new "Action Plan for Faster Immigration" was summarized:

"For those who have worked in Canada on a work permit for at least two years, the new Canadian Experience Class promises completion within about 6 months, and with only two real criteria (beyond good health and no criminal record). The candidates must have very good/excellent english skills and two years of skilled work experience under a valid work permit in Canada within the three years preceding the application. Previously, under the points system, some excellent candidates had difficulty immigrating due to their age or the fact that they had not earned a bachelor's degree. Now, neither of those criteria would be a factor.

"The second change to the permanent residence system under the Action Plan is that people working in Canada (who don't qualify for the CEC because they have not been in Canada long enough) who apply for permanent residence will be given fast-tracking and improved service (a decision within 12 months), while those who have never worked in Canada may have their applications turned back. Canada no longer wants to hold on to a "backlog" of cases."

This last sentence is troubling: "...while those who have never worked in Canada may have their applications turned back." Is this to imply that for skilled workers, the only way into Canada will be through an employer offering a job in advance? Surely this can't be the case.

Think of the impact on the economy if you have a shortage of labor, need a professional as soon as possible, but have to wait on the CIC for a visa for that worker. I'm hoping the reporter's language here is simply vague, because that sort of change would have to make Canadian employers very, very nervous.

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