London, April 17, 2012 — The Government of Canada is taking concrete steps to realize its vision of an immigration system that actively recruits talent rather than passively receives and processes all applications, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“As the Prime Minister has stated, the Government of Canada is committed to making economic and labour force needs the central focus of our immigration efforts,” said Minister Jason Kenney. “We have already begun the groundwork and will be building on this foundation in the months ahead to ensure our long-term economic success.”
As outlined in the Government's Economic Action Plan 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will work with provinces, territories, and employers to create a pool of skilled workers who are ready to begin employment in Canada.
“We are making transformational changes to Canada's immigration system,” said Minister Kenney. “We want a system that is faster, more flexible – a system that attracts younger people who can help grow our economy the minute they arrive in Canada.”
CIC has announced that it is already taking proactive steps towards building a fast and flexible immigration system that meets Canada’s economic needs. For example, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) points system will be reformed to reflect the importance of younger immigrants with Canadian work experience and better official language skills. Furthermore, CIC will strengthen the assessment of educational credentials to ensure that immigrants are closer to being ready to work upon arrival in Canada. FSW applicants will have their foreign educational credentials assessed and verified abroad as a part of the application process.
Today, Minister Kenney announced two additional changes that will help transform Canada’s immigration system. One proposed change would help CIC ensure FSW applicants meet current labour market needs. It would allow new rules set out in Ministerial Instructions to apply to people who have already submitted an application. For example, instructions could place a priority on a specific occupation, such as doctors, and have existing applications from doctors processed first, regardless of where they are in the queue.
A similar change would allow new regulations, once approved, to apply retrospectively to people who have already submitted an application. These changes would help ensure that immigrants are chosen based on Canada’s current needs and priorities.
“Canada risks losing the global competition for talent as potential immigrants choose to take their skills to other countries with more responsive immigration systems, rather than remain in the queue for years to have their application processed here,” concluded Minister Kenney. “All of the changes we are exploring will make Canada more competitive with other similarly-placed countries and more attractive to the best and brightest from around the world, and will better match our immigration system with the best interests of the Canadian economy.”