The Liberal government’s new plan for Canadian immigration and economic opportunity

English: A Canadian Customs and Immigration se...
English: A Canadian Customs and Immigration service sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Liberal party has outlined its priorities for reforming Canada’s immigration system. Here is an insight into the platform for immigration.The platform recognises that Canada's future success is largely driven by attracting talented people from around the world.

Central to the new government's platform is a commitment to compassion and the creation of economic opportunity within the immigration system. This includes expansion of current refugee quotas from Syria and Iraq and making family reunification one of the core immigration priorities, including the doubling of budgets for family class processing.
For business, the paper takes a swipe at the temporary foreign worker program – and the levels of temporary workers in Canada. This will continue to be a hot issue in the coming months. Business will need to continue to press the case for more open access to highly skilled workers through the international mobility program, intra-company transfers and trade agreements.
Some positive measures for business in the new government’s immigration agenda include:
  • Providing greater access to applicants with Canadian siblings, by granting additional points under the Express Entry system.
  • A commitment to conduct a review of the Express Entry program, ensuring that processing times are efficient.
  • Restoring the maximum age for dependents to 22 instead of 19.
  • Granting immediate permanent residency to new spouses entering Canada, rather than imposing a two-year conditional status.
  • A commitment to restore the residency time credit for foreign students and other temporary residents applying to become Canadian citizens.
  • A commitment to make changes to the Canadian Experience Class to reduce the barriers to immigration that have been imposed on international students.
  • Reverse the roadblocks in the immigration system that have created unnecessary inconveniences and costs for Canadians and Canadian businesses.
Source: CERC

Analysis: Do Migrants Take the Jobs of Native Workers?

An analysis published by researcher Amelie F. Constant in the Germany-based IZA World of Labortackles the question: Do migrants take the jobs of native workers?
The answer, Constant finds, is no. When immigrants do compete for jobs traditionally held by native works, the effects are small and not statistically significant. A more interesting challenge for policy makers may be the effects on productivity and technological innovation when low-skilled workers are used in place of physical capital.
Despite some downsides, Constant finds that overall, the positive effects of immigration far outweigh the negative. She writes:
“Neither public opinion nor evidence-based research supports the claim of some politicians and the media that immigrants take the jobs of native-born workers. Public opinion polls in six migrant-destination countries after the 2008–2009 recession show that most people believe that immigrants fill job vacancies and many believe that they create jobs and do not take jobs from native workers. This view is corroborated by evidence-based research showing that immigrants—of all skill levels—do not significantly affect native employment in the short term and boost employment in the long term.”
Other key findings include:
  • Immigrants who are self-employed or entrepreneurs directly create new jobs.
  • Immigrant innovators create jobs indirectly within a firm, leading to long-term job growth.
  • New immigrants fill labor shortages and keep markets working efficiently.
  • High-skilled immigrants contribute to technological adaptation and low-skilled immigrants to occupational mobility, specialization, and human capital creation; both create new jobs for native workers.
  • By raising demand, immigrants cause firms and production to expand, resulting in new hiring.
Read the full analysis.

Express Entry - Ministerial Instructions


Canadian Regulators Launch New Application Process for Internationally Educated Nurses

Miss Haxby is holding a newborn baby that is i...
Miss Haxby is holding a newborn baby that is in an incubator at the Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto, Ont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New process introduces rigorous national standards while speeding up credential recognition
TORONTOAug. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) announced the official launch of a new, streamlined process for internationally educated nurses (IENs) applying for licensure to practice in Canada. The NNAS, which is a partnership of Canadian nursing regulatory bodies, now offers a single, national online application process for IENs.

With a mandate to protect the public, nurse regulators had a shared vision of creating an assessment process that was open, fair and consistent, while ensuring that the standards for nursing care in Canada are met. They are the first health regulatory group inCanada to create one common application process for internationally trained professionals.
The new process offers an easy, direct and secure way for IENs to submit their documents for Canadian nursing registration. It allows greater transparency, timeliness and predictability across jurisdictions and most importantly, this service applies rigorous standards for assessing qualifications and protecting the public.
"This initiative came about because of an unprecedented partnership among Canada's nursing regulators, working with the provincial and federal governments," says Mary-Anne Robinson, NNAS Board Chair. "The collaboration and harmonization achieved sets a standard for others to emulate. We truly have something to be proud of."
Whether recent immigrants or Canadians who are educated abroad, internationally trained workers often face a complex and lengthy qualification assessment and recognition system. The process for IENs was no exception and has been described as "a large and complex maze", with a system that was fragmented and confusing. Every regulatory body had its own policies, applications and practices for licensure and registration.
"IENs now have easy access to a single entry point where they can apply for licensure," says Siu Mee Cheng, NNAS Executive Director. "Although each regulatory body ultimately decides whether or not an individual obtains a license to practice in its jurisdiction, the initial steps are streamlined through a process that is clear, open and transparent."
The official launch of the new, NNAS harmonized application follows a one-year pilot with countless organizations, working groups and individuals contributing to the development, testing and refinement of the service. Providing the application and assessment services to NNAS is the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International, a company with globally recognized assessment expertise.
Canadian nursing regulators now have access to a team of highly qualified experts that use a consistent methodology to assess IEN applications and produce advisory reports, as well as access to a national IEN database. During the pilot, NNAS received more than 5,000 IEN applications from 113 countries - the top five being the PhilippinesIndiaUnited StatesNigeria and the United Kingdom. A survey of IEN applicants found that 93 per cent "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that their overall experience with NNAS was positive.
"Everyone benefits from this new process," says Robinson. "Greater safeguards are in place to protect patient care, the system is designed to be easier and faster for IENs and regulators will have comprehensive information to help them assess candidates."

About NNAS
The National Nursing Assessment Service was created in 2012 by Canadian nursing regulators working with the provincial and federal governments, to create a streamlined process for IENs to submit their documents for Canadian nursing registration. Its membership consists of the 22 member boards of all licensed practical nurse, registered nurse and registered psychiatric nurse regulatory bodies in Canada, except Quebec and the territories. NNAS is governed by a 12-member board of directors representing the three regulated nursing groups. It was initially funded by the regulatory bodies and provincial governments, with subsequent funding provided by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program. For more information visit
SOURCE National Nursing Assessment Services

Express Entry results: Previous rounds of invitations

Ministerial Instructions respecting invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system


#1 – 

No program specified
Number of invitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
779Footnote*886 points

#2 – 

No program specified
Number of invitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
779Footnote*818 points

#3 – 

Canadian Experience Class
Number of invitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
849808 points

#4 – 

No program specified
Number of invitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
1,187Footnote*735 points

#5 – 

No program specified
Number of invitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
1,620Footnote*481 points

#6 – 

No program specified
Number of invitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
1,637Footnote*453 points

#7 – 

No program specified
Number of invitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
925Footnote*469 points

#8 – 

No program specified
Number of invitations issuedCRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
715Footnote*453 points

Canada takes a step back on immigration policy

English: Devonian Pond,Ryerson University, Tor...
English: Devonian Pond,Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For decades, Canada has been considered an international leader in integrating newcomers. It’s a proud part of our national narrative. But new data shows this long-established wisdom may no longer hold true.
The new data from the Migrant Integration Policy Index, or MIPEX, which will be officially released at Ryerson University on Wednesday, reveal that Canada’s performance has declined. Yes, our score dropped by only one point, but this is Canada’s first dip since it was added to the index in 2008.
The one-point drop marks a turning point in our trajectory as a leader among countries that welcome newcomers. And it is likely only the start. It comes at the end of a decade of seismic change in Canadian immigration, the results of which we are only beginning to see.
“Canada’s lower MIPEX score raises serious questions about the intentions and impact of the government’s new turn on immigration policies,” said Thomas Huddleston of the Migration Policy Group in Brussels, which compiles the index scores and has been tracking international performance since 2006.
Over the last year, the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement and the Global Diversity Exchange contributed to the index by collecting information on newcomer integration along a range of social and political dimensions.
We found that, especially on the issues of family reunification and access to citizenship, Canada is moving backwards.
Becoming a Canadian is harder now than it was just a few years ago. The MIPEX scores indicate a steady decline in “access to nationality” from 71 points (out of a maximum of 100) in 2010 to 67 points in 2015. On the question of whether Canadian citizenship and status is “secure from state arbitrariness,” Canada scores a meagre 23 points, well below Australia, New Zealand, the United States or the European average.
This poor performance reflects recent policy changes. Ottawa has raised the fee for citizenship applications to more than $500 for an adult (a markup of 430 per cent since 2013) and made the citizenship test more difficult to pass. For the first time, Ottawa is now able to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens if they are deemed to have committed certain crimes against the state. The government’s choice of revoking citizenship as opposed to using the existing criminal justice system is an indication of its tendency to view immigrants as something other than Canadians, even when that’s what they are.
The consequence of Ottawa’s restrictive policies is that fewer immigrants are becoming Canadian citizens. An estimated 26 per cent of immigrants who landed in Canada in 2008 became Canadian citizens. This figure compares to 79 per cent who landed in 2000. Is that a problem? It is when these non-citizens are paying taxes, sending their children to school, and are committed to Canada, in big ways and small.
Although Canada has traditionally scored highly on family reunification, its scores are declining there too. Of particular concern, the score measuring eligibility for sponsoring family members dropped from 79 in 2010 to 64 in 2015.
It is now more difficult for immigrants to sponsor their loved ones. In 2013, Canada admitted almost 80,000 newcomers, or 27 per cent of all immigrants to Canada, under the family stream. These immigrants are crucial to a successful settlement and integration experience because they provide social supports ranging from supplementary income to daycare and emotional assistance.
Ottawa has made numerous recent changes to family reunification policies. These measures include raising the sponsorship commitment from 10 to 20 years, increasing the income requirement for sponsoring parents and grandparents by 30 per cent, and instituting a longer period during which a sponsor must meet this requirement. These restrictions, according to the MIPEX report, “expect immigrant families to live up to standards that many national families could not.”
The younger generation too will find joining their families in Canada more difficult. The federal government reduced the age of dependants from 22 to 19, and exceptions for full-time students or financially dependent children are no longer made.
Ottawa has failed in our eyes to provide a convincing justification for these changes. Many dependants and elderly family members seem to be excluded not because they would be eligible for social benefits but simply because they are from low-income families.
Canada has a story of exceptionalism to tell and it is widely regarded by others as model in how it manages immigration and succeeds in integrating immigrants. However, the evidence now tells another story, one that is somewhat more tarnished than we know.
The new data signals a shift and encourages us to reflect on the most alarming trends and redirect where necessary. But there is good mixed in with the bad. Canada still leads in labour market integration, anti-discrimination and creating a sense of belonging for newcomers. The one-point drop is smoke and not fire.
Harald Bauder is academic director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement and a professor at Ryerson University. Ratna Omidvar is executive director of the Global Diversity Exchange and Adjunct Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Business Management, Ryerson University.

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