After much speculation about a new strategy to assist more immigrants in becoming permanent residents, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser unveiled a proposal that reverted the policy changes implemented due to the pandemic.
Fraser was given 120 days to develop a comprehensive plan that might provide international students and temporary foreign workers of all skill levels avenues to permanent residence to address Canada’s ongoing labour shortages after Parliament unanimously passed a motion in May.
The discharge was put off because of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month, so the minister submitted a 39-page “Strategy to Expand Transitions to Permanent Residency” on Tuesday to the House of Commons.
Fraser’s press secretary, Aidan Strickland, said to the Star that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has several policies, both already in place and incoming, that will continue to develop methods to help the transition of temporary foreign workers and international student graduates to permanent citizens.
We look forward to building on this work to fulfill the Canadian economy’s demands and support our growth.
The plan builds on many of the ad hoc adjustments that the immigration division has made to address the issues brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic, which severely hindered international travel and the ability of the immigration system to process requests due to lockdowns. It includes:
- Increasing the number of new permanent residents who must be admitted to Canada each year to 431,645 in 2022, 447,055 in 2023, and 451,000 in 2024 (the degrees were announced in February);
- Altering the professional immigration selection process and giving the minister more power to select permanent residents personally—capabilities incorporated into the federal budgets bill passed this summer;
- improving existing financial immigration programs, such as the ability category of the national occupational classification system used to determine immigration eligibility, enhancing the recognition of foreign credentials, and assisting international students and migrants in the health professions in their transition to permanent residence; and
- Accelerating the transition to a more modern and digital immigration system.
According to the paper, a two-step immigration system that converts students and workers into permanent residents enhances job-skill matching driven by labour demand. Still, it also highlighted that these temporary residents might be subject to exploitation and unfavourable working conditions.
“This plan is essentially a restatement of previous announcements. There is no real strategy here to stop the abuse, despite the government’s continued acceptance of the exploitation of temporary workers, according to Syed Hussan, government director of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.
Everyone is aware of the necessary changes: everyone must be granted complete and permanent immigration status without exceptions or delays.
Jenny Kwan, a critic of the NDP on immigration, lamented the minister’s response to the parliamentary movement.
Kwan claimed in a news release, “This so-called strategy lacks any genuine information or details of what a truly comprehensive plan would contain. “What the government offered was merely reuse of what was previously in place. Any new ideas from the minister do not support the goals outlined in Motion 44.
One would anticipate that the government will consider any information acquired on the labour market demands and skill shortages to align immigration policies. Nothing less should be expected from Canadians.
Fraser’s plan did mention the department’s current assessment of the international student program, along with the rules and regulations of their transition to permanent residence, as well as the option to issue open work permits to family members of all foreign workers, a privilege currently enjoyed primarily by those in highly skilled, highly paid jobs.
The report, which refers to ideas to help international students participate in the labour market, stated, “The Department is assessing the trade-offs between reducing administrative requirements on co-op and work-integrated learning with any potential integrity risks that could arise as a result.”
“IRCC must strike a balance between program integrity checks and facilitative measures to ensure that overseas students have a positive and successful academic experience while in Canada.”
The pathways for international students to remain permanently are still being considered by officials, mainly if their education, training, or professional experience is relevant to meeting Canada’s expanding financial objectives.
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