August 23, 2012
Faster and Flexible Immigration System
To create a faster and more flexible immigration system, one that creates jobs and promotes Canada’s long term prosperity, our Conservative Government is working to eliminate the backlog in the main federal economic immigration program.
“The Federal Skilled Worker Program backlog is a major roadblock to Canada’s ability to respond to rapidly changing labour market needs,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “Having to process applications that are as many as eight years out of date reduces our ability to focus on new applicants with skills and talents that our economy needs today.”
As announced in Economic Action Plan 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will soon begin refunding fees and returning stale applications from nearly all those who applied under the dated criteria in existence before February 27, 2008.
“It’s unreasonable to keep applicants waiting for another five years,” said Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament for Vegreville – Wainwright. “It’s also a far cry from the nimble and responsive immigration system Canada needs to remain a destination of choice.”
CIC will be transforming its suite of economic immigration programs to create a just-in-time system that recruits people with the right skills to meet Canada’s labour market needs, fast tracks their immigration, and gets them working in a period of months, not years. Eliminating the longstanding backlog of skilled worker applications will allow the Department to focus resources on facilitating the arrival of skilled immigrants who apply under the current eligibility criteria.
Another important improvement to our immigration system is Bill C-31 (Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act). Having received Royal Assent on 29 June 2012, this new legislation will allow for quicker deportation of bogus refugee applicants, and will crack down on human-smugglers and illegal arrivals.
“These are definitive measures that will protect and improve Canada’s immigration system,” said Benoit.