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Policy behind the proposed Regulations to the new Immigration Act

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On October 22, 2000 a federal election was called in Canada to take place at the end of November. The dissolution of Parliament put an end to all pending legislation including the new Immigration Act. However, the polls suggest a return to power for the Liberal Party of Canada and so it is likely that the Act will soon be revived. With this in mind now is a good time to preview the policy proposals for the Regulations that will accompany the Act.

Whereas the Act sets out the core principles and components of the various immigration programs, the Regulations contain the procedures, exceptions and other details which allow for the Act’s implementation.

In this issue we are summarizing the proposed Regulations as they pertain to the Economic Classes of Immigrants – Skilled Workers, Investors, Entrepreneurs, and Self-Employed Persons. Our next issue will look at the proposed Regulations from the perspective of Family Class Sponsorships.

Skilled workers

The Canadian Government plans to:

· Introduce an improved, objective point system which was developed following extensive research and consultation with key immigration stakeholders and provincial governments (the number of points required to qualify has not yet been determined);
· Select the skilled immigrants Canada needs based on their flexible skills rather than intended occupations;
· Emphasize experience in any skilled occupation rather than designating particular occupations;
· Highlight the importance of selecting skills tradespersons and respond to concerns about over-emphasis on advanced educations;
· Recognize the importance of informal job offers from Canadian employers, including family and small business, as an element of adaptability (however, an applicant who receives 10 points for a validated job offer will not also receive points for an informal job offer);
· Preserve the ability of an immigration officer to exercise discretion when they believe that the total points awarded do not properly reflect an applicant’s potential;
· Provide the Minister with the authority to set and amend the pass mark;
· Specify funds required for initial establishment while recognizing that supporting documentary evidence may be provided through various means’
· Provide authority for a negative occupation list to exclude certain occupations for which a public policy decision has been made to protect the Canadian labour market;

Proposed Points Grid

AGE

Maximum 10

21 – 44 years of age at time of application

10

Lose 2 points for each year of age over 44 years or under 21 years

EDUCATION

Maximum 25

Doctorate & Master’s Degrees

25

Bachelor’s Degree involving equivalent of at least 3 years full time studies

20

3-year equivalent full time studies/training leading to a diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship

20

2-year equivalent full time studies/training leading to a diploma

15

1-year equivalent full time studies/training leading to a diploma

10

High school

5

LANGUAGE *

Maximum 20

Fluency in first official language

16

Abilities in first official language at the “well” level

8

Poor or no abilities in first official language

0

Fluency in second official language

4

Abilities in second official language at the “well” level

0

Poor or no abilities in second official language

0

*points will be awarded on the basis of English and French abilities in four skills: speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension.

EXPERIENCE

Maximum 25

One year of recent skilled work experience

10

Two years of recent skilled work experience

15

Three years of recent skilled work experience

20

Four years of recent skilled work experience

25

VALIDATED ARRANGED EMPLOYMENT

Maximum 10

Arranged employment in Canada validated by HRDC

10

ADAPTABILITY

Maximum 10

*Spouse’s (including common-law partner’s) education

– Masters or Ph.D.

5

– Bachelor degree or three year diploma

4

– one – two years post-secondary education

3

*Minimum one year full time authorized work in Canada

5

*Minimum two years full time post-secondary study in Canada

5

*Informal job offer in Canada in keeping with past experience or education

5

*Family member in Canada

5

TOTAL

Maximum 100

Investors and Entrepreneurs

The Canadian Government plans to:

· Define Investor to mean an immigrant who:

a. has business experience;
b. has a net worth of at least $800,000;
c. indicates to the Minister, in writing, and establishes to the satisfaction of a visa officer, that they have made an investment in Canada.

· Define Entrepreneur to mean an immigrant who:

a. has business experience;
b. has a net worth of at least $300,000;
c. indicates to the Minister, in writing, and establishes to the satisfaction of a visa officer, that they intend to and have the ability to control and provide active and ongoing participation in the management of a qualifying Canadian business for a minimum of one year, where at least one incremental full time job equivalent is created for one or more Canadian Citizens or permanent residents, other than the entrepreneur and his dependants within three years of landing in Canada; and
d. has entered into an irrevocable letter of credit with a Canadian financial institution obligating the institution to make an investment on the entrepreneur’s behalf in the event that the entrepreneur does not meet the requirement in “c” above.

· Use common elements in the investor and entrepreneur definitions to assess business experience (entrepreneurs will need to demonstrate experience in ownership or management of a business);
· Drop the current requirement that net worth be created by the investor’s own endeavours;
· Allow for the inclusion of spousal assets when assessing net worth;
· Allow entrepreneurs to invest in the Immigrant Investor Program after two years of landing if they are unable to satisfy the terms and conditions of admission.

Self-employed persons

The Canadian Government plans to:

· Redefine “self-employed” to include only immigrants who can make an artistic or cultural contribution, farmers and world-class athletes.
· Assess self-employed persons under the economic class regulations.

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