If you have been contemplating immigration to Canada, you would be wise to submit your application as soon as possible. Citing economic uncertainty and rising unemployment numbers in the country, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced that Canada is considering reducing its immigration targets for 2009.
At the present time, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) plans to maintain its 2009 immigration numbers of between 240,000 to 265,000 new Permanent Residents. This makes it one of the only developed nations that has not contracted its immigration plans in the face of current global economic turmoil.
However, that may change by the end of March, once Minister Kenney meets with federal, provincial, and territorial officials to review economic data and to determine if modifications to immigration levels are needed.
“We don’t want people coming to Canada and facing unemployment. We need to be sensitive to the changing labour market, and if we need to make modifications, we will,” stated Minister Kenney.
Taking a longer-term perspective, he has expressed his preference to maintain current levels, noting that immigrants will be greatly needed to help fuel Canada’s economic growth once the economy turns around.
“We need to be flexible, prudent and ensure that our response to short-term conditions does not counter out long-term goals, in which immigration will play a significant role,” he said. “We don’t want to turn off the tap of the future growth that is represented by immigration.”
The Immigration Minister has the authority to make changes to the immigration selection system without any advance warning. In this case, he has signaled that an imminent reduction of immigration targets is a real possibility.
If you would like to immigrate to Canada, you should take the Immigration Minister’s words seriously. Now is the time to submit your Canadian immigration application. After the Immigration Minister’s meeting at the end of March, it may become more difficult for you to qualify or it may take you longer to realize your plans to come live and work in Canada.