The Conservative Party has gained a majority in Canada.
The party has been governing Canada since 2006 as a minority government, and has been actively making changes to the country’s immigration system. These changes include changing the philosophy behind the Skilled Worker program – from a system with the right to apply if a person meets the minimum points to a system where only those belonging to certain categories of professions, that Canada needs at a particular time, can apply.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not announced his new government, but what can we expect during the term of this government?
It will push through the proposal to grant a “conditional permanent residence” for spouses who in a relationship with the sponsorer for less than two years. If they do remain in the partnership, they will receive the Permanent Residence. It is not clear what rights the conditional permanent residence permit holder will have.
The number of visas granted for family members such as parents and grand parents and the time they have to wait to get the visas are hotly debated issues.
Last year, the government issued just over 16,000 visas but according to an immigration lawyer who filed an Access to Information request on data, it will be reduced to just over 11,000 this year. However, the government says it will stay around 17,000.
Nevertheless, the (former) government has been arguing that immigrants who can contribute to the economy should be given priority over those who depend on the economy.
More action against the so-called crooked or fraudulent immigration consultants, who are accused of deceiving potential immigrants of thousands of dollars by promising jobs etc.
Foreign Trained Professionals:
The government has promised to grant loans/credits for foreign trade professionals to pay for bridging programs. The government can also be expected to continue with its programs to help foreign trained professionals gain meaningful employment in Canada.
Types of Immigrants:
The (former) minister of citizenship and immigration Jason Kenney mused about finding a balance between highly qualified professionals and skilled trades people such as plumbers, electricians etc. The argument is that while Canada needs well qualified immigrants, they are finding it difficult to find jobs appropriate to their experience and qualifications while the country is facing a serious shortage of skilled trades people.
- Visa Rule for Sponsored Spouses to Change (smartcanadian.ca)
- Public Input Sought on Immigration Law Changes (smartcanadian.ca)
- Changes to Canadian Spousal Sponsorship System (smartcanadian.ca)
- Canada to Bring in More Trades People (smartcanadian.ca)