Canadian Immigration Plan for 2014
Citizenship and Immigration Canada Announces Immigration Plan for 2014
On Monday, October 28, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander oversaw the tabling of the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration. The report includes important information on the Canadian Government’s plans for immigration in 2014.
According to the report, Canada expects to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2014. This is roughly equivalent to target immigration levels over the past few years.
Immigrants arrive to Canada under one of three general categories: economic, humanitarian, and family sponsorship. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that for 2014, a full 63% of new immigrants will receive permanent residency through an economic immigration program. This means that next year, economic immigrants will make up a higher percentage of newcomers to the country than ever before.
Why Economic Immigration?
Canada is seeking to attract workers who will succeed in the Canadian labour market and integrate smoothly into Canadian society. Economic immigration presents an opportunity for qualified foreign workers to come to Canada through a variety of programs targeting their professional backgrounds, thus benefitting both themselves and Canadian workers.
Family Reunification, Refugees Remain a Priority
The planned increase in economic immigration will in no way reduce Canada’s commitment to families and individuals seeking permanent residency on humanitarian grounds.
The family sponsorship stream is expected to welcome 69,000 new permanent residents, accounting for over a quarter of total visa issuances. In fact, CIC anticipates that 2014 levels of parent and grandparent permanent resident visa issuances will be the highest in almost 20 years.
Moving Forward: the EOI System
The goals laid out in this week’s report are part of numerous efforts that have been undertaken as Canada moves towards an EOI model of immigration. Canada is expected to transition to an EOI immigration model for its economic immigration programs by 2015.
What is an ‘EOI’ System?
Canada’s EOI model will be based on a system that was devised in New Zealand. A similar system was adopted by Australia in 2012 for its economic immigration programs.
Under an EOI program, prospective immigrants first complete an online form which states their interest in becoming a permanent resident of Canada. It is important to note that an EOI is not an application for a permanent resident visa. Rather, it indicates an individual’s request to become a candidate for permanent residency.
The EOI form will include important information about the prospective applicant, such as work experience, assessed educational credentials, and proof of English/French language proficiency. In addition, EOI candidates will be ‘assigned a points score and ranked’. Not all individuals who submit an EOI application will be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residency, and not all those who are invited to apply will necessarily receive a visa.
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