Winnipeg, April 16, 2012 — To meet Canada’s labour market needs more quickly, highly-skilled temporary foreign workers could soon transition to permanent residence faster than before, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“Thousands of highly-skilled foreign nationals are working successfully in Canada on a temporary basis,” said Minister Kenney. “Expediting their transition to permanent residence would help Canada retain bright and talented people who already have Canadian work experience and the ability to communicate in English or French. In many cases, they already have a job lined up. Such newcomers are set for success.”
To make Canada’s immigration system more flexible and even more responsive to our labour market needs, Citizenship and Immigration Canada intends to reduce the work experience requirement for eligible temporary foreign workers applying to stay permanently. One major benefit of the change would be to make it easier for skilled tradespersons working in Canada to transition to permanent residence as their work is often project-based and can be seasonal.
Currently, to be eligible to apply, applicants under the temporary foreign worker stream of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) must have acquired 24 months of full-time work experience within the last 36 months. Under the proposed regulatory changes, the requirement would be reduced to 12 months of experience.
The announcement is the latest in a series Minister Kenney has made about transforming Canada’s economic immigration program into a fast and flexible system focused on jobs, growth, and prosperity.
Launched in 2008, the CEC offers a pathway to permanent residence – and eventually Canadian citizenship – for international students and temporary foreign workers with highly-skilled Canadian work experience. The CEC aims to support the economic success of immigrants by selecting those who are most likely to succeed in Canada’s labour market.
In 2011, a record number of people were admitted to Canada under the CEC. According to preliminary admissions data, 6,022 immigrants were welcomed under the CEC last year, a significant increase in admissions of more than 50 % from 2010. In 2012, 7,000 permanent residents are expected to be admitted through the CEC – more than ever before.
“The CEC is a key part of our plan for the future of immigration in Canada, and so it is gratifying to see the dramatic growth in the program since its inception,” said Minister Kenney.
Further details about the proposed changes to the Canadian Experience Class will be announced later in 2012.