A recent study has revealed that Canada ranks third in the world, and first of all English-speaking nations, for integrating immigrants into its society and economy. With recent changes made to a number of key immigration programs, the country has taken steps to ensure that future newcomers are better prepared than ever before to settle into their new home.
The study, known as the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), was based on data collected in 2010 by the British Council and the Migration Policy Group to study the immigrant integration policies of 31 countries. According to the data, Canada ranks highly in key indicators such as commitment to anti-discrimination and equality, labour market mobility, and diversity of education. The MIPEX also praises the Canadian government for consistently maintaining “one of the best policies to attract permanent migrant workers and their families” and for developing a citizenship test and guide that is the “most professional of all countries.”
Recent changes made by the Federal government with regard to issues such as the recognition of foreign credentials and the reformation of immigration policy were credited with helping Canada rise to its current rank. Because immigration criteria has been modified to better target immigrations who are likely to succeed in Canada, new Canadian Permanent Residents are in a better position than ever to make a smooth transition to living and working in the country. A few of these programs have been outlined below.
The Federal Skilled Worker Class
The MIPEX looked positively on the new regulations to the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC). The new requirements, as well as their benefits for immigrant integration, are as follows:
The new regulations mentioned above are expected to come into force in January 2013. At present, the program is not accepting applications in the Skilled Worker category, although individuals may continue to apply to the PhD and Arranged Employment streams of the FSWC. In order to ensure their applications are received in a timely manner, some potential applicants have already begun preparing their files in advance.
The Federal Skilled Trades Class
The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) was recently created by the Federal government to help bring in workers with trades skills the country acutely needs. This new program will be opening its doors to applicants on January 2nd, 2013. Its requirements and benefits for immigrant integration are as follows:
The Canadian Experience Class
In addition to the above changes to the FSWC, CIC has announced modifications to the popular Canadian Experience Class (CEC). This category covers temporary foreign workers and foreign students who graduated from a qualifying Canadian higher education program.
Previously, CEC applicants were required to demonstrate 24 months of skilled work experience in Canada before applying to the program. This requirement has been reduced to 12 months, effective January 2nd, 2013. The change will allow individuals, who have already demonstrated their ability to thrive in Canada, to speed up their transition to Canadian Permanent Residency. As with the FSWC, CEC applicants need to prove their proficiency in English or French.
A Bright Future in Canada
Canada’s high rank in the MIPEX study has affirmed what people in the country already know: that Canada makes an effort not only to bring in immigrants from around the world, but also to help them become established upon arrival.
Through its ever-expanding store of opportunities, tolerant multicultural society, and progressive immigration policies, Canada is expected to remain an attractive home away from home for newcomers seeking to make a new life on its shores.
To find out if you are eligible for one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment.