For the past decade, there has been an ongoing consistent need for immigrants in Canada. This need is in large part due to the aging population and Canada’s inability to fill labour shortages. Without immigration, Canada’s economy could experience difficulties.
Since 2003, there have been several changes to Canada’s Immigration system. Ten years ago the focus was more on permanent immigration and today Canada’s Immigration policy is centered around a higher number of temporary foreign workers. Typically these workers will work in jobs that locals will not do. The number of migrant workers in Canada in the past ten years has tripled from 101,100 to 300,210.
In 2013, there are a number of programs which these temporary foreign workers can obtain permanent immigrant status in Canada. The Canada Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Programs (which each Province will have their own unique program). These two programs provide migrant workers in Canada who have accumulated local work experience with the option to stay in Canada on a permanent basis.
During the time of 2002 and 2011, all provinces and territories, not including Ontario, saw their immigration numbers increase — Manitoba’s immigration increased three times in numbers, Alberta saw their immigration numbers double, Saskatchewan’s numbers increased five times and the highest immigration increase occurred in Prince Edward Island with their immigration numbers increasing 17 times.
Ontario immigration numbers declined, this is in large part due to the manufacturing sector experiencing losses and the other provinces being very active to recruitment newcomers. Ontario, numbers dropped from 133,600 to 99,500.
The result of the increasing number of ‘economic’ class of immigrants has been reflected in the numbers of newcomers being admitted to Canada, The numbers have grown from 137,860 to 156,120 over the past ten years. The category that has experienced a decrease are immigrants arriving under the family reunification class. These numbers have decreased from 62,300 to 56,450.
Ten years ago immigration from China and India was strong. Now, there is a shift to the Philippines as the highest number of newcomers. To escape the high unemployment in their home countries recently the skilled Irish, French and British have been arriving to Canada.
Other changes which have occurred over the past decade, are a greater value being placed on employment and the ease of integration people can make to start their new life in Canada. This includes a greater importance on language skills and younger skilled workers being able to contribute to the job market quickly.
Evaluation of a person’s previous education has changed in the past ten years. Currently, a person applying for immigration to Canada must have their education reviewed and obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their completed foreign educational credentials.
Over the past ten years, there has been an increased focus on filling the gaps in the labour market in Canada. Now, there are specific eligible occupations for Federal Skilled Worker applicants. Previously, the skilled worker immigration program placed more importance on work experience and education and now in 2013, the Canadian government has to be certain that the newcomers who arrive to Canada will be able to work in jobs where employers are unable to find workers.
Looking back over the past decade, the focus of Canada’s immigration policy has shifted from seeking highly educated professional to skilled workers who will be able to make a strong contribution to the work force in the shortest amount of time.
Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.
In British Columbia there are immigrant service centres located across the province. These lively centres provide newcomers with free access to helpful settlement services which provide a wide range of activities, classes and workshops.
A Canadian model of settlement and integration which aims to enable newcomers such as newly arrived immigrants, refugees, new Canadians and live-in caregivers to adapt, settle and integrate into Canadian society socially, economically as quickly and comfortably as possible.
Services include newcomer’s orientation and information, form filling assistance, assisted access to services and social support that focus on cross-cultural interpretation, family adjustment issues, settlement counseling, life skills workshops and community connections, community events, services and institutions.
These services are available for all newcomers, however there is a myth that settlement services are not used by the wealthy or professionally educated community. This is not true, people from a wide range of backgrounds use these helpful services to start their new life in Canada.
Suddhodan Raj Baidya, Settlement Program Officer at SUCCESS says, ” Rich new immigrants and highly skilled professional new immigrants still use new immigrant services in the field of learning English and job search/labour market activities. For example, the Success location on Granville, their ELSA students mostly came from investment categories. My own clients who needed job search assistance are mostly all highly skilled professionals.”
The settlement services are valuable to a wide range of newcomers, the services are a great way to help people who are new to Canada understand the cultural norms and be a part of the local community.
“We have had a client arrive in a very nice luxury car and he also owns a very well known cafe,” says Ziggy Hui, Employment Mentoring Program Coordinator at SUCCESS “we also have many PhD newcomers who come to use our mentoring services.”
The settlement services are available in different languages for people arriving from different countries around the world. There are immigrant services centres across British Columbia to help newcomers who live in different parts of the province.
Settlement Service Offerings include:
Newcomer Orientation and Information
They can help a newcomer learn about the basics of settling in Canada. The services provides clients with help in:
School information for children
Tax information and benefits
Learning how to find employment
Childcare resources and child tax benefits
Form Filling Assistance Settling in Canada will require registration with various agencies. This will involve filling a variety of forms which will be filed with the related institutions. You can speak to Settlements Services counselors to help you in filling forms for your:
Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Canada Child Tax Benefits (CCTB)
BC Housing/Rental Assistance Program
Employment Insurance (EI)
GST/HST Credit application
Adjustment and Social Support One of the problems faced by newcomers is to be able familiarize yourself with Canadian culture. Homesickness, coping with a new environment, dealing with community members from diverse ethnicities are just some of the hurdles new immigrants face as they adjust to their new life in Canada. Settlement centres can provides support services such as:
Family adjustment issues
Significant life changes
Life Skills Workshops It can help new immigrants to be equipped with the basic tools and help ease your adjustment into the community. Workshops held at the centres can provide information that ease the integration of newcomers. Workshop topics include:
Employment Standards and Labour Code
Immigration process and options
Values and self-esteem
English communication skills
Basic computer courses
Preparing for citizenship
Other Programs and Services
Employment service centre
Social mentoring or job mentoring
To find out more about the settlement services available in different locations in British Columbia visit:
The International Post-Graduates stream under British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program ( BCPNP ) Category has been a pilot project for 3 years. Introduced in 2010, the IPG pilot project is designed to attract international graduates with BC Masters or doctoral degrees in natural. applied or health sciences.
After an evaluation of the IPG pilot project, the PNP found positive labour market and other outcomes. As of Friday August 2nd, this pilot project becomes a permanent category of the provincial Nominee Program (PNP).