This week the Canadian Government announced the planned changes to Canada’s immigration programme for 2014 in the ‘Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration’. The changes may be of interest to anyone planning to move to Canada next year or in following years. If you are a skilled worker, you should benefit from the changes which have been announced and the trend looks like it will continue to 2015.
The immigration levels are forecast to be at similar levels to previous years, there will however be an increased focus on economic immigration and in particular the categories of PNP (Provincial Nominee Programme) and the CEC (Canadian Experience Class), which are expected to experience record numbers. The Canadian Government are focusing on increasing economic immigration to drive economic growth and to fill labour market needs in non-metropolitan areas of Canada. An emphasis will also be placed on helping migrants to settle in Canada. It is expected that this plan of action will continue into 2015. Other economic immigration channels will still be available for potential expatriates including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Business Immigration and the Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa.
The PNP is a process to apply to become a permanent resident in Canada, provinces and territories can nominate potential migrants who have the skills required for that area / region. Each province or territory has its own website listing their requirements – Alberta, BC, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island. This program aims to foster business development in certain areas and territories of Canada.
The PNP has grown significantly since 2000, where it accepted 1250 migrants, to an increase of 41,000 in 2012. It looks like this is having the desired effect wit h regards to populating other areas for labour market needs in Canada as in 2000, only 20% of newcomers settled outside of the main metropolitan areas of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Last year, this figure increased to 42%. (Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada www.cic.gc.ca).
The CEC programme is a migrant scheme encouraging people to contribute to the Canadian economy. The CEC is popular with international students, graduates and temporary foreign workers. It has been reported that the Canadian Government aims to welcome around 15,000 new migrants to Canada under this program in 2014.
Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Alexander has reported that the focus on active recruitment, attracting talent and aligning labour market requirements with skilled migrants is vital for economic growth and the future of the country.
Apart from economic immigration, Canada will also continue to support humanitarian migration and family re-unification via family sponsorship in its immigration programme.