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Government of Canada Outlines 2010 Immigration Plan

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada's 2009 Annual Report, Canada is actually maintaining its immigration levels to meet the country's medium- to long-term economic needs.

While other countries have cut back immigration levels as a short-term response to the global economic downturn, Canada is actually maintaining its immigration levels. Despite the economic downturn, Canada still needs foreign workers to fill shortages in some regions and professions. The focus of the 2010 plan is on economic immigration to support Canada's economy during and beyond the current economic recovery.

Canada plans to accept between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents immigrants in 2010, the same number of immigrants as in recent years. In 2010, Canada will again welcome more new permanent residents than the average annual intake during the 1990s.

In particular, the admission ranges for immigrants nominated by the provinces and territories have been increased. Provinces and territories are in the best position to understand how Canada’s immigration intake can be aligned to their labour market needs. Second, by increasing the admission ranges in the Provincial Nominee Program, the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that the benefits of immigration are distributed across this country. Canada and the provinces will work together to manage growth in the provincial nominee program. Increasing the total number of immigrants processed under the economic category will also allow CIC to continue reducing the backlog of federal skilled worker applicants as part of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration.

"The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces, territories and stakeholders to make sure immigration meets the needs of communities, employers and families now and in the future," said Minister Kenney, Canadian Immigration Minister.

Improving the federal skilled worker program is part of the Government of Canada's overall commitment to modernizing the immigration system to maximize its contribution to our overall economic growth. In 2008, as part of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration, the Government of Canada made changes to the way we select skilled workers. Applicants in the federal skilled worker category must now meet a set of eligibility criteria before they can be processed. The criteria correspond to Canada's economic immigration needs. If applicants don't meet the criteria, they are not processed and their application fees are refunded.

The changes were made to meet three main goals:

  1. Reduce the backlog of applicants in the federal skilled worker category
  2. Reduce wait times
  3. Improve labour market responsiveness

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has made significant progress toward meeting these goals since the first set of eligibility criteria was issued on November 28, 2008.

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