Economic Recession and Canadian Immigration

Filed under Canadian Immigration

tree-image2Economic recession and the rising unemployment rates in Western countries have had great impacts on their immigration policies.  Under political pressures and economic difficulties, the easiest and short-term solution is to cut immigration to protect the domestic labour market.  This is particularly reflected in recent arguments and debates among the politicians in the U.S. Congress and the U.S. government. In Canada, however, after careful consideration and thorough studies with provinces on the demand for immigration in regional labor markets, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Kason Kenney reconfirmed at the CSIC 2009 National Conference that the need for immigration remains strong in Canada, and Canada will not reduce its immigration levels for 2009.  He emphasized that the federal government is carrying out its immigration policy from a long-term perspective rather than a short-term one.  Canada is facing a long-term labor shortage so the government is not going to turn off the immigration tap only to have to turn it back on later.  Canada have to be fully prepared in human resources when the economy turns better.  This positive message is obviously encouraging for Canadian immigration practitioners as well as prospective immigration applicants during the time of recession.  

As the worldwide economic downturn evolves, Canadian immigration legislation and polices have undergone some significant changes. Since the immigration legislation was amended in September 2008, Canada’s Immigration Minister has been given more power to modify immigration regulations without notice so as to better respond to Canada’s labour market needs.  The current list of 38 qualifying occupations for the Federal Skilled Worker category of immigration is just based on the needs of Canadian labour markets, and this list is subject to change according to the labour markets situations.  Likewise, the Alberta Immigration Nominee Program (AINP) has also been revisiting its list of qualifying occupation for its U.S Visa Holder category, which is a fast track for immigration application without requiring a job offer.  In this situation, potential applicants who are qualifed under current programs, either federal or provincial, are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible in order to avoid being negatively affected by new government reguations.

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