2013 was a significant year in terms of changes in immigration rules. The country has been focusing on attracting the best talent across the world and yet does not take any step to harm the rights of the citizens and permanent residents here.
Change of hands
The longest serving Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Mr. Jason Kenney, was given the portfolio of Employment and Social Development(ESDC) and he also was appointed the Minister of Multiculturalism.
The vacancy created by Kenney was filled by Chris Alexander who is serving the country as Immigration Minister since July 2013.
The various Immigration programs which were changed
Changes in Canadian Experience Class
Right in the beginning of the year the permanent residents under CEC were allowed to apply with a shorter span of stay as well.
This class is known of allowing more than 25,000 immigrants to live in the country on a permanent basis.
Alexander, the Immigration Minister informed that CEC applications intake would be capped at 12,000 during the period of November 9, 2013 to October 31, 2014. This he said is to reduce the backlog and to fasten the processing time as well. The applications under each skilled occupation would also be capped at 200.
There is a plan to intake as many as 15,000 people under this program.
Changes in federal Skilled Worker Program
While introducing the changes to this program, the immigration Minister informed that the first priority for the Government is to create jobs, ensure economic growth and look into long term prosperity.
It was also informed that the changes were brought in this program because “language proficiency of the immigrants and youth are two impotent pillars of economic success of the country.”
The immigration system was made faster and more flexible, but the strictness on evaluating the foreign educational credentials was tightened.
Changes in LMO
Looking at the large number of defiance from Canadian employers the government introduced new rules for Labour Market opinion. This was to ensure that the vacancies are first offered to the citizens and permanent residents and then only should they be offered to foreign workers.
The fee for LMO application was revised and the rules were made tighter for hiring a foreign worker.
The changes proposed were also aimed at maintaining transparency between the foreign worker and employer so that when an immigrant comes, he knows the wages, the number of working hours and any other details related to his job.
2013 was a year when not only did the Immigration minister changed, but also were made changes across important immigration programs. The government is committed to ensure that the economy grows by hiring foreign workers and also be retaining the permanent residents because they majorly contribute to the productivity of the country. The most important of the changes were the emphasis on language proficiency for the permanent residents applying under CEC and the revised rules of hiring foreign workers through Labor Market opinion.