New Migrant Class Draws Few

New migrant class draws few

Program to retain skilled immigrants attracts just 210 applicants since its launch in September

Nov 24, 2008 04:30 AM
Nicholas Keung
Immigration/Diversity Reporter

A highly touted new immigration program has been hit by slow response from prospective skilled migrants and may fail to bring in the targeted 8,000 newcomers with Canadian academic credentials and work experience.

Since the program's inception in September, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has only received 210 applications under the Canada Experience Class, a new category designed to retain temporary foreign workers or foreign students as permanent residents with established credentials in Canada.

While some immigration lawyers say it is too early to gauge the initiative's popularity among immigration applicants, others are worried the economic meltdown would deny these workers and students the job experience they need to qualify.

“Let's face it. These people are trying to get into entry-level jobs. Few of them have the Canadian experience they need and they will be competing with Canadian workers who have been laid off,” said lawyer Sergio Karas, chair of the Ontario Bar Association's immigration and citizenship section. “How can an employer justify hiring foreign students and workers while he's downsizing the workforce?”

A foreign worker must have at least two years of full-time Canadian work experience in managerial, professional, technical occupations or skilled trades to qualify for the program. A foreign graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution needs a minimum one-year full-time work experience.

The initiative was part of Ottawa's answer to the decades-old “doctor-driving-cab” conundrum faced by immigrants whose foreign credentials are not recognized by Canadian employers. The plan is also expected to cut processing time since most applicants are already in Canada, presumably employed, allowing for easier access.

Toronto immigration lawyer Mario Bellissimo, who has a few such applications in the works, said slow response to the program based on a pass-fail system as opposed to points can be attributed in part to a language test requirement. “People … need to prepare themselves psychologically and to study.”

While many potential applicants may need more time to meet job experience requirements, lawyer Robin Seligman said those who've left Canada but still would qualify within a year after departing may be unaware of the program. “Others … could have applied under other categories and decided not to file yet another immigration application under CEC,” said Seligman.


Comments :

To Northend

My comments were not intended as a sole solution to current economic woes. We are all immigrants and yes I agree about our forefathers who built this country. But that was yesterday. Today is a whole new kettle of fish. Resources are stretched and taxes are too high.

Submitted By superpeach at 1:59 PM Monday, November 24 2008

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Immigration Minister and Lawyers

The problem is at it's source-the Immigration Minister=Too many chiefs and not enough indians to do the “real”work, it appears the Minister lives in a different world. After all good income and a fat pension being at the top is comfortable, but not so for the public-lower echelon.It appears the Minister has not had the opportunity what the sheep live on, let alone immigrating to fulfill one's so called Canadian dream!! See web:not and one views the real picture.

Submitted By The Truth Hurts at 1:29 PM Monday, November 24 2008

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Short sighted…and here b4 you

Comment to “superpeach” – As a fifth generation Canadian I can honestly say that views like yours are not only incorrect, they border on the ridiculous. Closing our borders will do absoulutely nothing to generate “steam” for the Canadian economy. All you have to do is look at the “protective attitude' we see south of the border and see what type of results this type of action will create. Canada has been built on our immigration policy, like it or not, these immigrants will eventually create a weathly society like they always have, and just because you carry a Candian citizenship card does not mean that you will qualify for the services you have mentioned. The majority of of immigrants will use their skills in order to build a better Canada, lets not be like our neibours.

Submitted By northend at 12:57 PM Monday, November 24 2008

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Time to close the borders now

Too many immigrants are landing here with zero social, language or work skills to properly function in our society. The social service costs are a massive drain that we tax payors can no longer afford eg welfare, special ed, police, subsidized housing etc etc.

Submitted By superpeach at 10:39 AM Monday, November 24 2008

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CIC and Immigration Lawyers Have Their Head In the Sand

Canadians, with DECADES of experience are losing their jobs and some may never be employed again. Meanwhile these people are talking about immigrants being 'denied' job experience needed to 'qualify' for this new class. 'Qualify' for what? There may not be a job to 'qualify' for. It's been a virtual gravy train for some immigration lawyers. Time to wake up as the train may be coming to a stop for some.

Submitted By JMJ at 7:52 AM Monday, November 24 2008