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Recent Changes to the Canadian Immigration System

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Gabriel Williams

on 28 March 2016

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Transcript of Recent Changes to the Canadian Immigration System

Contents of the Presentation
Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. (APEC). (2009). Hiring International Workers in Atlantic Canada: An Employer’s Guide. Retrieved from http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/hire/index.asp

Bourgeault, I. L., Parpia, R., & Atanackovic, J. (2010). Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program: Is it an Answer to the Growing Demand for Elderly Care?. Journal of Population Ageing, 3(1-2), 83-102.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). (2013). Canada Facts and Figures: Immigration Overview Permanent and Temporary Residents. Ottawa: Research and Evaluation Branch, CIC.

Ferrer, A. M., Picot, G. & Riddell, W. C. (2012, November). New Directions in Immigration Policy: Canada’s Evolving Approach to Immigration Selection. Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network: Working Paper No. 107.

Hennebry, J. & McLaughlin, J. (2013). Pathways to Precarity: Structural Vulnerabilities and Lived Consequences for Migrant Farmworkers in Canada. In Goldring, L., & Landolt, P. (Eds.). (2013). Producing and Negotiating Non-citizenship: Precarious Legal Status in Canada. University of Toronto Press. Pp. 175-194.

Thompson, A. (2013). Creeping beyond Balance? Reconciling Security and Human Rights in Uncertain Times. In Hennebry, J. & Momani, B. (2013). Targeted Transnationals: The State, the Media, and Arab Canadians

The Canadian immigration system:
Established approaches and Recent Changes

By Gabriel williams

March 21st, 2014

Evolution of the system
Prior to 1960's, focus was on the recruitment of low-skilled labour in mining and agriculture
Points system developed in 1967
Deals with refugees, family reunification and economic classes; not many irregular migrant arrivals
Shift from occupation-driven points system to a human-capital driven points system
Refugee system has become more securitized; discourse has changed
Provincial Nominee Program
Temporary Foreign Worker Programs
Canadian Experience Class
Federal Skilled Worker Program
Labour Market Opinions
An economic needs test
Used to hire TFWs
Proves the employer's need to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis
Compliance measures are often undertaken by CIC
Fewer LMO's have been granted in recent years, and additional restrictions added in response to reports of abuse
Usually undertake a Post-Graduation Work Permit Plan (PGWPP).
Gain experience through an internship or through a temporary foreign work permit
Recent changes have lowered the amount of applicants
Select bibliography
Source: APEC, 2009, p. 18
Overall Criticisms of the model
Employer-driven, employer controlled
Control-oriented and mistrustful of low-skilled and humanitarian applicants
Minimal ability to transition from TFW status to PR aside from LIC program
Dual narratives: security against unwanted migrants and need for new, skilled workers
Has left behind traditional focus on inviting families to settle, instead concerned with economic efficiency
Humanitarian duties seen as a burden?
Based on the points grid system
The goal is to find immigrants who will integrate most seamlessly with canadian society on the basis of language proficiency, age and labour demand
Designed to ensure maximum employability and increased economic outcomes among immigrants
1. Live-in Caregiver Program
Established 1992
Must live 24 of 36 months with sponsor
Route to permanent residency outside of standard economic channels
2. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
Created in the 1960's,
Foundation of Recruiting Enterprises of Foreign Agricultural Labour (FERME) heavily involved
IOM brokered Guatemala - Canada SAWP
Criticisms - employer based, security of migrants etc
3. Stream for Lower-Skilled Occupations
Low-skilled TFWs from any country
Subject to an LMO
Family Sponsorship
Permanent residents can sponsor a dependent child, a parent or grandparent, spouse or other relative
Wait times are long for extended family, relatively swift for spouses and expedited for children
Numbers have remained relatively stable through the years
Very recent changes have been made, reducing numbers of applicants and increasing required income for sponsoring families
Refugee System
Canada was a pioneer in developing international legal instruments for refugee protection
Current system requires a hearing to be held between 30-60 days (DCO-Non-DCO)
Three types of refugee claims:
At the border
In Canada
Resettled refugee referred by UNHCR
Discourse: balancing individual human rights with public security
Goals of the Canadian Government
1. Improve the economic well-being of migrants entering the country
2. Shift the onus of immigration onto the shoulders of private actors
3. To shift immigration away from the centres of the country such as the GTA and Vancouver and toward the peripheries of the country such as the Atlantic Provinces.
Differ from province to province
Enacted partially to increase the settlement of immigrants across the country, not only in the urban centres
Retention rates:
BC: ~90%
NL: 23%
Major changes recently in the Canadian immigration system, leading to dual narratives of wanted vs. unwanted immigrants.
Economic stream has gained precedence in Canadian immigration policy
Many criticisms abound about the TFW programs, but in relation to other countries Canada's do fare well; employers are happy with the model
Family reunification has remained stable; refugee system has been altered significantly to reflect the Canadian governments' desires for collective security and efficiency.
1. Economic stream
Evolution of the system
Low skilled
High skilled
Humanitarian, family classes
Criticisms, questions
Full transcript