Canada to reduce skilled worker immigration, but still compares favourably with UK
By Charles Kelly
Canada is cutting the number of migrants granted permanent residency under the ‘Federal Skilled Worker’ immigration programme, in order to allocate more places for in country applicants.
Ministers want to reduce the number of skilled workers who migrate to Canada - as well as the numbers who are granted PR (permanent residency) under the scheme - by almost 2,000. The popular points-based Federal Skilled Worker Programme for skilled migrants will be cut back next year allow 3,000 additional migrants who have worked or studied in Canada for at least two years to apply for PR.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the move would help to attract “more of the world’s top talent who already have a successful track record in Canada”, as well as ensuring that foreigners who move to Canada are able to contribute to the economy.
The total number of economic migrants admitted to Canada in 2013 will still be between 240,000 and 265,000, but the government wants to expand its “Canadian Experience Class” scheme, which gives permanent residency to international students and workers in the country for two years on temporary visas.
Under the Experience Class scheme up to 10,000 migrants will be able to settle permanently in Canada next year, compared with 7,000 in 2012.
In contrast, the UK is clamping down on students, refusing visa extensions, revoking university Tier 4 sponsors licences and closing down hundreds of private colleges.
Some students are forced to rely on human rights appeals just to be granted leave to finish their studies.
Whilst Canada offers permanent residence to international students, the UK has closed down the popular Post Study Work visa making the UK a less attractive place for foreign students to study.
UK migrants on work permits, or Tier 2 working visas, have to wait 5 years (was 4 years) to qualify for PR or Indefinite Leave to Remain, but time spent on a student visa does not count towards residency at all. If you have picked up so much as a fine for not paying the correct fare on a train, you are likely to be refused and may have to go to appeal to remain in the UK.
The maximum quota for federal skilled workers is set to fall from 57,000 in 2012 to 55,300 in 2013, which excludes applicants’ families.
In July 2012 the federal skilled worker programme was frozen due to a massive 100,000 backlog of applications.
In September, changes were announced to prioritise English speaking applicants under 35s who had previously worked in Canada.
Immigration advisers point out that foreign workers find it difficult to obtain Canadian work experience with the right employer.
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