In 2008, a new stream of Canadian immigration will be available to certain
temporary foreign workers and international student with
Canadian degrees and Canadian work experience. First announced in the
2007 budget, the Canadian Experience Class will fill gaps the country's labour
force shortage. Once the class is established and for the first time,
individuals meeting specific criteria will be able to apply for permanent
resident status from within Canada.
A report by the Canadian Bureau for International Education states that
the international student talent pool could add up to 30,000 skilled immigrants
every year if Canada were to implement a national strategy on international
students. Foreign workers and international student are considered to fit well
in the Canadian society because they already have the right skills in obtaining
the job in Canada. They are also better accustomed to the Canadian culture.
The Canadian Experience Class adds to other initiatives to address labour
market needs and to help in the successful integration of newcomers. These
include establishing the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO), improving
the Temporary Foreign Worker program and expanding the Provincial Nominee
Program. The FCRO is working with the provinces and territories to help
internationally trained individuals get their skills assessed and recognized.
The Provincial Nominee Program allows provinces and territories to identify and
nominate immigrants who will address their labour market needs.
These were highlighted in the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration that
Citizenship and Immigration Canada tabled this week. The report provided a
detailed analysis of immigration to Canada in 2006, an update on 2007, and plans
for 2008. In 2006, Citizenship and Immigration Canada admitted 251,649
Permanent Residents (more than half under the economic class) and over 1.2
million Temporary Residents. Canadian citizenship was granted to 259,802
Permanent Residents. The 2007 update showed CIC on track to meeting its goals
for the year and highlighted the $1.3 billion in settlement funding to help
newcomers over five years. It also focused on improved
Federal-Provincial-Territorial collaboration on immigration. In 2008, the
government plans to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new Permanent Residents,
which is consistent with this year's targets. The 2008 immigration plan focuses
on Canada's labour market needs, family reunification, and the humanitarian
principles of refugee protection.