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.

Nova Scotia's Immigration Stream to Convert Skilled Workers into PR's

Deutsch: Boot in Nova Scotia
Deutsch: Boot in Nova Scotia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 2015, 16
Nova Scotia’s province, has announced the information about the new overseas stream for immigration of Canada through the Novia Scotia Nominee Program. Nova Scotia had a great experience of the Express Entry tool which is the second latest immigration stream launched by the province in this year, appreciating the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry which was launched in the month of January.

Both of the new streams are coordinated with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system which is aiming to choose Canada’s new individuals as a priority basis and advance their application processing.

Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry paves the way for permanent residence for extremely skilled individuals who already have working experience for a Nova Scotia’s employee and worked for him for minimum one year. Individuals should be eligible to step into the federal Express Entry pool over one of the federal economic migration programs such as Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class or Federal Skilled Worker.

Eligibility Criteria for Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry System:

  • Age criteria should be between 21 and 55 years.
  • Candidate should have full time skilled work experience for at least 12 months in Nova Scotia during the three years before filling the application.
  • Candidate should have gained the work experience in Nova Scotia with the exact authorization of the work permit.
  • Candidate should have finished the Canadian secondary high school or completed overseas education from an institution which is recognized and if the candidate has the credential which is obtained from outside the Canada then he/she must have the Educational Credential Assessment report which is issued by CIC designated organization.
  • Candidate should have the ability of meeting the language levels needed for, writing, speaking, reading and listening. The levels are CLB 5 for NOC B and CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A.
  • Candidate should explain that he/she is planning to live permanently in the province and will be economically well-settled in Nova Scotia.

There are two ways for the application to Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream. The candidates can apply directly from the Nova Scotia Office of immigration or can be selected through the Federal Express Entry pool by the NSOI. In the other case, the main applicant will have to submit the completely filled application to the NSOI.
- See more at:

Quebec Immigration High Demand Occupation List

Château Frontenac, Quebec City, Canada
Château Frontenac, Quebec City, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Quebec Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities published in 2015, a revised areas of training list under its popular Skilled Worker Program.  The revised list enumerates a wider range of studies awarding points to applicants and a spouse or de facto spouse for diplomas acquired outside Quebec or obtained in Quebec or recognized as Quebec equivalent.
The Quebec Skilled Worker program aims to select candidates with the highest probability of successful economic settlement potential.
The following is a partial reference to the Quebec Immigration High Demand Occupation List. The list of occupations provides applicants from outside Canada, who do not have intermediate french abilities, the best chances to qualify under Quebec rules.  

Hoping to study in Canada? Read these inspiring testimonials from overseas students

English: The new terminal 1 building check-in ...
English: The new terminal 1 building check-in hall at Toronto Pearson International Airport in July 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hamilton Spectator
If you’re a foreign student who’s looking for the experience of a lifetime by studying in Canada, Instec International Homestay of Hamilton, Ontario offers the following inspiring testimonials from international students.
Living and studying in Canada allows you to immerse yourself in a rich, diverse culture and, if you don’t already speak English, learn English as a Second Language (ESL). To study inCanada, you’ll need to meet the necessary criteria put forth by the Government of Canada for overseas students. Many have made the journey successfully. Read the praise other students have had for studying in Canada:
“When I first arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport, a Canadian immigration officer asked me what school I would be attending. My English wasn’t good at the time; all I knew is that it was a public high school in a city west of Toronto. But after one year studying in Glendale Secondary School, I passed my ESL (English as a Second Language) and was very confident with my English. In my second year in Highland Secondary School, I scored an average of 97 percent on my four courses! I was also champion of the Fermat Contest and Euclid Contest. For this, I say, Thank you!” – Philip Song
“I learned a lot since I came to Hamilton. I learned not only the language and knowledge, but also about the lifestyle in Canada. You have to ask, what hurts more, the pain of hard work or the pain of regret?” – Jerry Luo
“When I first came to Canada, I only ordered those foods that were easy to pronounce, even though I didn’t like them. After two years of study in Hamilton public high school, I got an offer from the Accounting and Financial Management Co-op Program, University of Waterloo.” – Zhang
“Overseas study helped me to grow up faster and be responsible for myself.” – Victoria Huang
“I am lucky that I live with my host family. They are so nice! I cannot imagine how I could live in Canada without their help! … I chose to stay with my host family when I got my offer letter from McMaster University.” – Jiaqi Hu
“My mom accompanied me when I first landed in Toronto three years ago. Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School offered me so many opportunities that I really appreciate. I practiced my English and joined different group tours in my three years of study… Get out of the comfort zone!” – Holly Ren
To learn more about studying in Canada as an International student, contact Instec International Homestay by calling 905-515-7281.
Instec International is located in Hamilton, a major city in the province of Ontario. Hamilton has plenty of modern amenities and is situated between Niagara Falls, Ontario and Toronto – Canada’s largest metropolitan centre.
Instec International Student is located at Unit RC7, 12 Walnut St South, Hamilton, ON , L8N 2K7

7 top countries of origin of new Canadians

Between 2004 and 2013, based on records available from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, more than a million people came to Canada to seek a new life. But where did they come from? This question can offer insight into cultural understanding of the origins of several new Canadians as well how communities can connect. Here is a list of the top countries people emigrated to establish their home in Canada.
People’s Republic of China
The most populous country in the world has also given Canada the largest chunk of our new citizens. In the last decade measured 2004 to 2013, 326,067 Chinese people became permanent residents and/or citizens of Canada.
The second most populous country in the world also takes the second place for the source of new Canadians. Between 2004 to 2013, 310,513 Indians became Canadians.
From the tropical island nation that is the Philippines to second-largest – mostly frigid – country that is Canada, 263,076 took the leap across the Pacific to find better opportunities for themselves and their families. Goes to show weather isn’t a vital aspect when choosing to build a new life.
Suffering from overpopulation, corruption, poverty, illiteracy and terrorism, many Pakistanis have fled the country seeking safety and security. In the past decade, 105,283 Pakistanis made Canada their home.
Some of our neighbours down south don’t mind the cold weather as 85,848 Americans settled in Canada in the last decade. The two North American countries share the longest land border in the world as well as similar economic and cultural elements so it’s difficult to pinpoint immigration motives. Must be the free health care!
It seems the British are still crossing the pond to settle in the colonies. In the last decade, 74,951 British nationals settled in Canada. With a common heritage and common language, Canada seems like a comfortable choice.
The Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t quite offer the most individual freedoms in the world and recent sanctions have forced a lot of economic hardship on citizens. Between 2004 to 2013, 73,474 Iranians settled in Canada, while in 2012 the federal government closed its Canadian embassy in Tehran.


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