Canada Experience Class – Proposed Change To Ease Visa Issuance

By Author: Max Chaudhary | April 19, 2012

The CEC is a program premised on the fact that people with Canadian work experience are more likely to integrate into Canada’s work force than those under the federal skilled worker program (which consists of foreign nationals whose experience is acquired from places outside of Canada). The current rule under the CEC is that foreigners who hold a work permit for two years and work in Canada can apply for permanent residency. The Immigration Minister proposes to reduce the number of required years of work from two to one. This may be a concession to highly skilled foreign nationals with a job offer in Canada to remain in Canada rather than move to, say, Australia. This would make working temporarily for a Canadian business more appealing than working in the USA on an H1B visa, where foreign workers may have to wait three years or more to get a US greencard.

The proposed easing is also no doubt a reflection of the fact that since the CEC program came into effect in 2008, very few people were issued permanent resident status, (only a few thousand per year). The immigration department was expecting many more thousands to avail themselves of the CEC program as a path to permanent residency in Canada; the two year bar was likely too lengthy a requirement given the fickleness of Canadian employers who may be spooked by economic changes. The pattern that is emerging from the current Immigration Minister is to make the economic-based immigration programs of Canada easier and faster, and reducing or eliminating family class immigration for parents, and other family class immigration spouses to Canada, not to mention the extra scrutiny brought to bear on spousal/common law cases.

The long term goal of the current government is no doubt to make the balance of immigrants to Canada skewed towards the economic/skilled worker programs and away from the family-reunification goals of Canada’s Immigration laws.

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