Feb. 5, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is changing the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to allow residents to help family members immigrate if they possess work skills required in New Brunswick.
"The immediate family members of permanent residents should be afforded an opportunity to be successful in New Brunswick," said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the minister responsible for the Population Growth Secretariat.
The PNP is designed to help the provinces attract entrepreneurs and skilled workers according to their specific needs. Under the program's existing categories of skilled worker and entrepreneur, nominees need to have a job offer or a business plan to be nominated.
These program changes will introduce a new category for skilled workers who have family support. Residents with family members who have specified work skills will be able to help these family members with their job search, settlement and integration.
"Anyone looking for a job can tell you that the process often takes time and requires face to face contact with potential employers," said Boudreau. "The process is even more difficult for those who live abroad."
Dependents who are eligible to apply for the federal program are not eligible for the PNP.
The entrepreneurial component is also being adjusted to improve overall immigrant retention.
Entrepreneurial immigrants who wish to set up a business in New Brunswick must now submit a conditionally refundable deposit. They will be eligible for a refund if they establish a business within two years of arriving in the province and have it in operation for at least one year.
"This program change encourages retention by attracting newcomers with a genuine desire to stay in New Brunswick," said Boudreau. "Ultimately, we want our staff processing applications from individuals who are sincere about establishing businesses in our province."
The deposit will apply only to entrepreneurial immigrants. Applicants must still prove they have the skills, training and finances to start and operate a successful business in New Brunswick.
"Typically, entrepreneurial immigrants are financially flexible and very independent," said Boudreau. "Unless there is some commitment to our province, they can easily move to other regions of Canada."
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island have Provincial Nominee Programs that include a requirement for a refundable deposit.
In 2008, almost 2,000 immigrants arrived in New Brunswick through the PNP, compared to 24 in 1999. The Population Growth Secretariat has a government mandate to attract 5,000 immigrants by 2015 and to significantly increase the retention rate.