Canada’s Immigration Policy : Recent Changes & Priorities
The Temporary Resident Program that captures students and Temporary Foreign Workers, received $42 million funding over a 2 year period. Both groups are seen as crucial to meeting Canada’s labour market demands. An additional $23 million over two years is assigned for the International Education Strategy for Canada, led by DFAIT.
Important work is happening in the world of Foreign Credential Recognition. Five trade occupations are added for the first time under the Pan- Canadian Framework for Foreign Qualifications Assessment. This complements the new Federal Skilled Trades Program. Pre-arrival educational credential assessment is now a requirement for all Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications, and there is a focus on pre-arrival programming, including licensing processes before arriving in Canada.
A major change to the FSW program is the introduction of the Expression of Interest (EOI) System. A centralized pool of all FSW applications, including EOIs will be available to Canadian employers, Government and the Provinces. Applications will be processed only after they are picked from the pool on a “just-in-time” basis, ensuring that only the people with the right skills are recruited.
The Canada Job Grant is another proposed program to direct skills development to available jobs that will impact immigrants. The model includes matching contributions by the Federal Government, Provinces/ territories, and Employers towards a $15,000 grant per person for training in demanded occupations.
Investor and Business Immigration categories are under major reconstruction to attract more active investment in high growth industry areas. The new Start-Up Visa pilot program will allow entrepreneurs with cutting-edge business ideas and commitment for financial backing by Canadian investors to obtain permanent residence in Canada.
There have also been changes to the Citizenship file, $45 million over two years was provided to fast-track the processing of applications, while maintaining rigorous anti-fraud measures of filtering citizenship fraud.
The last step of finalizing the architecture of the new immigration policy is the Settlement Program. The National Settlement Conference, to be held in Ottawa November 13 – 15, 2013, will allow for sector consultation and discussion.
This article is a summary of a presentation made by Mme. Corinne Prince–St-Amand, Director General, Integration and Foreign Credentials Referral Office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) at the OLIP Council meeting on May 6th, 2013. Mme. Prince –St- Amand has been a Director General for CIC since joining the organization in 2008. She has spearheaded numerous initiatives, including the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program, the Federal Mentorship Pilot and the International Qualifications Network.
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The current issue of the OLIP PIN Newsletter focuses on the economic integration of immigrants. The articles feature good practices in the community to remove systemic barriers to access good jobs, such as new local initiatives providing internships, supports for those interested in self-employment, perspectives on the remaining challenges and ways to address them, as well as policy updates from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. News, events, tips…