Despite other nations battling with negative perceptions of ‘the immigrant’, the Canadian public remains broadly positive on the subject of welcoming new people into the country.
While governments around the world tackle the problem of managing migration flows, Canada implicates the participation of provincial lawmakers and employers in the process to help bring the right kinds of people.
Perfection in the process is illusive, but Canada’s immigration policies bring it to the global forefront as being progressive and compassionate.
Canada’s Express Entry system at a glance
- Express Entry is an immigration system which selects skilled workers to Canada
- It is designed to match immigrants to the areas of the economy short of skilled workers
- Applicants submit an online profile to the Express Entry pool
- Canadian employers and provincial governments across Canada access the best candidates who are invited by the Federal government to apply for Canadian permanent residence
- Sought-after professions include financial services, engineering and IT, health care, skilled trades
A new paper from the Migration Policy Institute asks ‘What’s so special about Canada?’ when it comes to immigration.
The report, written by Daniel Hiebert of the University of British Columbia, suggests that a number of factors – some within Canada’s control, some not – place Canada is an enviable and unique position.
These can be broadly summarized Canada as follows:
- Longstanding history which embraces robust immigration levels
- Highly diverse population: Canadians do not have a particular image of ‘the immigrant’
- Public perception that presents immigration as a tool to combat declining fertility, an aging population and future economic prosperity
- Canada is far removed from global conflict zones and areas of extreme poverty
- Involves each of the provinces and its employers to ensure a broad public buy-in to most government policies that promote managed immigration
- Government’s willingness to respond to public opinion on immigration
According to the paper, Canada’s recent reaction to the crisis in Syria sums up the country’s a fluid process which features a positive attitude towards immigration.
The previous Conservative government used national security as an argument to restrict the intake of refugees to just over 11,000 over a 3-year period. The opposition parties a much higher number.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals made a pre-election pledge to welcome 25,000 refugees during its first 100 days in office. Since being elected under a majority vote on October 2015, the Liberal government has admitted 27,580 Syrians to Canada.
Canadian citizenship requirements at a glance
Several of these requirements are due to be removed or modified by the Liberal government. For more information, click here.
- Be at least age 18 years.
- A permanent resident.
- Physically present as a permanent resident for 1,460 days in preceding six years.
- Physically present for at least 183 days during four calendar years within preceding six years.
- Count only time spent after you became a permanent resident of Canada.
- Meet annual personal income tax filing obligations in four taxation years in preceding six years.
- Declare your intention to reside in Canada during the citizenship application process.
- Demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French.
- Applicants between 14 to 64 years old, must take a citizenship test to show adequate knowledge of Canada.
For more information on Canadian Citizenship, click here.
Prohibitions “These outcomes reinforce the conclusion that Canadians largely support immigration and cultural diversity,” Hiebert’s paper concludes.
“While the Conservatives’ departure from the tradition of consistently pro-immigrant electoral strategies is noteworthy, in the end the party with the most immigrant-friendly platform won the election.”
However, Hiebert also hinted that public opinion ‘continues to evolve’.
He writes: “It will be important to monitor whether the electoral debates over the Syrian refugee crisis result in a longer-term challenge to the argument that Canadians prioritize economic potential over humanitarian concerns in immigration.”
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