Canada Prepared to Capitalize on US Immigration Reform Roadblocks

Source: Winnipeg Free Press via Academica | Aug 11, 2014

Canadian employment minister Jason Kenney said that Canada is poised to take advantage of the slow immigration reform process in the United States. “We’re seeking very deliberately to benefit from the dysfunctional American immigration system. I make no bones about it,” said Kenney. He believes that Canada will be able to capitalize by luring foreign-born graduates of top US programs with a new start-up visa program and programs that will fast-track some individuals to permanent residency. “If the United States doesn’t want to open the door to permanent residency for them, that door will be opened in principle for them to come to Canada,” Kenney said. He mentioned that the government had installed a large billboard in California that generated “massive interest and buzz” in Silicon Valley. Kenney made his comments while in Vancouver to announce a $3.3-M funding package to help foreign-trained newcomers find work in British Columbia’s energy and resource sectors, part of afederal push to attract skilled employees.

Canada Adds 10 Occupations to “Priority” Immigration Program

Source: Canada News Release via Academica | July 22, 2014

The federal government has announced the addition of 10 occupations to its “priority assessment program” that fast-tracks the recognition and processing of foreign credentials for in-demand occupations. The 10 new occupations increase the program’s list to 24, and include geoscientists, carpenters, electricians, heavy duty equipment technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, audiologists and speech language pathologists, midwives, psychologists, and lawyers. Healthcare and trades have been highlighted as experiencing skills shortages in certain areas across Canada. Skilled immigrants have often complained that they must take on low-skilled employment while waiting for paperwork to be processed. “We recognize that skilled newcomers help fill shortages in key occupations and make an important contribution to Canada’s economy. That is why we are speeding up foreign credential recognition for 10 more occupations … This means that even more new Canadians can put their skills to work sooner across Canada,” said Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism.