Canada Shows How to Gain From Immigrants

January 22, 2015

As 2015 set in, Canada introduced the Express Entry Visa to cater for skilled immigrants under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, the Federal Skilled Trades Programme, and the Canadian Experience Class, among others.

Assessments are on their English and/or French language skills, education, work experience, and other factors that have been shown to help newcomers settle in.

Candidates create an online profile that includes their language test scores, educational credential assessment, if they need one, and work experience, at no cost. Successful candidates will be sent an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

This simplified and fast-tracked change is a reaction to Canada’s need to embrace the best brains all over the world and enable them settle in and contribute to its economy as soon as possible. According to Wikipedia, Canada is the world’s eleventh-largest economy.

It is one of the world’s top ten trading nations with a highly-globalised mixed economy, ranking above USA and most western European nations on the Heritage Foundation’s index of economic freedom.

It thrives in manufacturing, mining and its services sector has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy to an urbanized, industrial one.

Its logging and petroleum industries are very prominent too. It is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy, with 13 per cent of the global oil reserves.

It is also one of the world’s largest suppliers of agricultural products and is a leading exporter of many other minerals, such as gold, nickel, aluminum, steel, iron ore, coking coal, and lead.

Despite having the second-largest total area in the world, almost 16 times the size of Uganda, Canada’s population is less by almost two million than Uganda’s. China, with a slightly smaller total area than Canada, has a population 38 times bigger than that of Canada.

With a population growth rate of 0.76 per cent and such global performances, it is obvious there is a need for Canada to vastly increase its workforce. As an English- and French-speaking nation with a very strong economy, its potential to attract skilled people from all over the world is good.

It has reduced its economic migrant visa processing time from an average two to four years, to six months. Canada also offers permanent residence to its skilled migrants upon a successful application which has great benefits. It has also done away with classifying qualifying economic professions, enabling anyone with a work history an opportunity to apply under the new scheme.

Canada’a biggest achievement in attracting and retaining economic immigrants, however, is in its integration programmes. Most economic migrants need their credentials assessed, undergo professional regulation classes and exams before practicing and need work experience in their host country.

They also need to open bank accounts, get a home, process their social/national insurance and register for medical services, among other things. Most countries leave all this to migrants. Canada has excelled in overcoming these barriers. The Canada Immigrant Integration Programme (CIIP) provides free pre-departure orientation to all economic class candidates and their adult accompanying family while they are still overseas during the final stages of the immigration process.

It provides information, planning and online support through partners in Canada. It has had a very successful trial between 2010-2014 in London, India, Philippines and China and they hope to extend it and include more countries. Upon landing, an economic migrant is assigned a CIIP career advisor.

The government also has a general immigration portal, www.WorkinginCanada.gc.ca, which displays information and services from a variety of government and non-government departments. Similar provincial portals like welcomebc.ca exist too. For people hoping to move to British Columbia, there are several programmes that help economic migrants integrate.

By Dr. James Lutaaya, All Africa | Link to Article


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