The newest stream of immigration is growing rapidly with plans to raise targets for next year, according to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The Canadian Experience Class of immigration began three years ago with 2,545 applicants arriving in 2009. The number is expected to go up to 7,000 in 2012, making it the fastest-growing stream of immigration.
This particular category of applicants are granted residency in Canada based on their past experience either studying in Canada with a student visa or working under a temporary visa. These immigrants are particularly valued because they have already demonstrated their ability to adapt and/or contribute to the success of the country.
Until this program was created, any foreign students or workers who were in Canada would have to leave the country to apply for permanent residency.
“We’d tell them to leave the country because their temporary foreign work permit or student visa had expired” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney about the previous regulations. “And if they wanted to immigrate, we’d say, ‘Great, get in the queue of the federal skilled worker program,’ where processing times were up to seven years.”
Kenney says that the change was made to attract and keep more talent in Canada within an increasingly competitive global market.
Though the program is growing, critics say that even more can be done to increase the ease of the transition, including scrapping the mandatory language testing for this stream which spurs many applicants to apply through provincial nominee programs which have no such requirement.
Source: Globe and Mail