Federal Skilled Worker is no longer the only way to go. Both federal and provincial immigration programs have expanded significantly in recent times, offering candidates more than sixty different alternatives for immigration to Canada. This new reality in Canadian immigration is matched by the revamp of Canada’s leading immigration website, Canadavisa.com. By submitting a Canadian immigration eligibility questionnaire on Canadavisa.com, an applicant’s candidacy will be assessed across all the Canada immigration options that currently exist.
Archives for October 2009
In the July, 2009 edition of our Newsletter, we reported that the province of Quebec, which is responsible for its own immigration program as part of an agreement with the federal government, would be making changes to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. The changes to the program were announced and implemented on October 14, and the new selection system for Quebec Skilled Workers may make it easier for some applicants to qualify.
The most significant change reduces the overall selection pass mark from 59 to 55 for a single applicant, and from 68 to 63 for a couple.
The breakdown of points awarded for education has been amended to recognize more types of diplomas than under the previous system. Undergraduate diplomas attesting to 1 or 2 years of university education and more vocational and technical diplomas are now considered.
In addition, the “Areas of Training” criterion, which awards bonus points to applicants with certain educational or training backgrounds, has been changed to reflect the current needs of Quebec’s economy and labour market. Applicants with certain educational backgrounds will not only benefit from more points, but will also qualify for priority processing.
The breakdown of points awarded for an applicant’s age has also been adjusted, so that it declines less rapidly after the age of 35 than under the previous system.
The more favourable weighting of the education and age criteria could make it easier for some applicants, who did not qualify under the previous system, to become eligible to immigrate to Canada under the Quebec Skilled Worker category.
Successful applicants obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), and must then submit their application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (a Canadian visa office) for medical and security checks and the issuance of a Canadian immigration (permanent resident) visa.
This new selection system is in effect as of October 14 2009. Applications that were received by Quebec immigration offices before that date will be assessed under whichever system is more favourable to the applicant, while those received on or after October 14 will be assessed under the new system.
Do you qualify under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program? Our new assessment form allows us to assess your eligibility across the more than 60 different Canadian immigration programs that are currently in place. Find out which program is right for you.
Earlier this month, the province of Saskatchewan introduced new procedural guidelines for the Entrepreneur category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) that will speed up the processing of applications under this program. In recent years, Saskatchewan has been an attractive destination for immigrants to Canada because of the many employment and investment opportunities it offers.
According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business ranking of top business-friendly cities, Saskatchewan is home to the most business-friendly cities in Canada. The province is currently experiencing a business boom and its highest population growth since 1952. As the economy grows, the creation of jobs and investment opportunities are increasing.
For this reason, the province has amended its immigration strategy to welcome a greater number of qualified immigrants.
“This new process will make Saskatchewan more competitive in Canada. It will bring talented managers and entrepreneurs to the province, it will spread opportunities for investment to more communities and create jobs,” said Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Immigration Rob Norris.
Under the new process, nominations for the SINP Entrepreneur category are expected to be finalized within six months from the date of application.
In addition, three new streams have been added to this category:
- The Large Scale Investor Stream, for applicants who wish to invest $10-million or more in Saskatchewan;
- The Science and Technology Stream, for applicants who have an innovative idea or plan to partner with an existing Saskatchewan science and technology body; and
- The Young Farmers Stream, for applicants under the age of 40 who have farming experience.
Norris also announced plans to add two new streams to the SINP Entrepreneur category in the future: one for entrepreneurs to partner with First Nations and Métis businesses or communities, and one that will facilitate business succession in the province.
Do you qualify for Canadian immigration under the SINP? Our new assessment form allows us to assess your eligibility across the more than 60 different Canadian immigration programs that are currently in place. Find out which option is right for you.
On October 9, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC) Minister Jason Kenney announced proposed changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program that will strengthen the protection of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada.
“Temporary Foreign Workers play an important role in the Canadian economy. We have a duty to them, employers and all Canadians, to ensure that the program is fair and equitable,” Kenney said.
The proposed amendments to the program include:
- a more stringent assessment of the genuineness of the job offer by Canadian authorities, which will include verification of the employer’s compliance with labour laws in the past;
- limits to the time period a worker can stay in Canada before returning home; and
- a two-year prohibition from hiring a temporary foreign worker for employers who have been found to offer working conditions, wages or occupations that are significantly different than initially promised.
Employers who have been prohibited from employing foreign workers will be listed on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
Prior to announcing the changes, Kenney and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) Minister Diane Finley consulted extensively with various groups involved with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
“The regulatory changes being proposed today are the result of extensive consultations and address the most significant concerns identified through that process,” said Kenney.
Kenney’s office stressed that the proposed changes reflect Canada’s commitment to protecting foreign workers.
“It’s a warning to companies and individuals that depend on foreign workers – treat them with respect, otherwise you will lose the ability to sponsor new foreign workers,” said Alykhan Velshi, Kenney’s aide.
Over the past few years, there has been a gradual but steady shift in the ways that people qualify for a Canadian permanent resident visa. More and more, the Canadian government is relying upon the 13 provinces and territories to come up with their own immigration strategies (Quebec and Provincial Nomination Programs), using selection criteria that best suit local interest. To counterbalance this change in direction, the Canadian government has stifled the national Federal Skilled Worker program by making it available only to individuals with work experience in a short list of 38 occupations or to people who have a Canadian job offer. So what we have now in Canada is an immigration selection system that resembles a patchwork quilt of more than 60 separate and distinct immigration programs that lead to Canadian permanent residence. Talk about confusion!