With thousands of international students in Canada, the government wants to bring in well-educated and skilled workers through their universities. On 19 November 2016, Canada introduced the Express Entry system, making it easier for international students to become permanent residents and attain Canadian citizenship.
Also known as the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS, it awards points to graduates based on Canadian educational credentials. A new online portal, Canada Visa Study Hub, has also been launched to help recent graduates and international students.
It is a comprehensive source of information and resources for international students, led by Attorney David Cohen, who has over 40 years of experience in the field. The hub links members with a range of tools and resources to start their journey to permanent residency in Canada and attain Canadian citizenship.
Interestingly, besides living and working in Canada, many young people can also aspire for greater goals. The country’s current Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed D Hussen, arrived as a Somali refugee.
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This momentum is being carried forward by other streamlined approaches as well. The Atlantic provinces of Canada, along with the federal government, have launched an employer-driven immigration program.
Known as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program or AIPP, it is likely to attract potential immigrants and employers with its unique eligibility requirements. For instance, eligible international students and graduates do not require work experience to submit their applications.
Workers in intermediate level occupations and those with limited language abilities may also be able to immigrate through this program. The program is open to employees in management, professional, technical, and skilled trade occupations.
AIPP includes the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Labrador. According to Canada’s 2017 Immigration Plan, the program will facilitate the entry of 2000 immigrants. It will begin to start receiving applications in March 2017.
This three-year pilot program aims to address resource gaps that certain sectors are facing, and help local businesses attract and retain global talent. The program includes two sub-programs for skilled workers – Atlantic High-Skilled Program and Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program. For international graduates, it offers the Atlantic International Graduate Program.
By opening its borders to immigrants, Canada is becoming an attractive destination. Even for those students who would have normally opted for the US, easy pathway to Canadian citizenship has attracted them. Due to these new measures, the influx of international students is evident all across the country, in high schools, colleges, and universities.
Over the course of this year, it will be worthwhile to note how the tightening of immigration laws in the US will benefit the Canadian economy. On a similar note, other countries to watch are Australia and the UK. How will their immigration policies shape up in 2017?