July, 2012-- Many Canadian immigration programs remain open, despite the Canadian government’s announcement that it will be taking a ‘temporary pause.
Individuals were disappointed to hear that the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and some of Federal business program have temporarily suspended the intake of applications. This led some potential applicants to mistakenly believe that Canadian immigration is ‘closed’. On the contrary, immigration to Canada not only continues, it continues to prosper.
Overall, Canada will continue to accept permanent and temporary residents at a same level as recent years. In 2011, the country welcomed 250,000 new permanent residents and almost 200,000 temporary foreign workers. There are no policies to decrease these numbers. Currently there are a number of popular Canadian immigration programs that are progressing to allow applications from eligible individuals.
Current Status of the Federal Skilled Worker Program
The current on accepting new applications to the FSW program is temporary, and does not affect all FSW streams. Two FSW streams are still open for the individual applicants with an offer of Arranged Employment, as well as those who are completing or have just completed a PhD program in Canada, are still able to apply.
Regardless of when and how the FSW reopens, potential applicants should keep in mind that it is just one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, and that the door to Canada remains open. Below is a brief overview of programs that are still open.
Other Canadian Immigration Programs without a Required Job Offer
• Quebec Skilled Worker Program: Many immigrants have turned to Quebec’s popular immigration program as a way of obtaining permanent residency. In 2011 a total of 51,736 new permanent residents arrived in Quebec .The Quebec Skilled Worker program is continuing to accept applications. It is a separate program from the FSW, and has not been affected by the FSW’s temporary pause. It uses its own unique points-based system to assess applicants, and is open to individuals from more than 100 fields of study.
• Provincial Nominee Programs: Almost every province/territory in Canada has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). These allow the provinces to target immigrants. Every PNP has slightly different immigration streams and requirements. For instance, did you know that:
Most PNPs have their very own Skilled Worker streams. Generally, they require that the applicant already be working in the province as a temporary worker
Alberta’s PNP has special streams for tradespersons, engineers, and semi-skilled workers
Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba all have streams for individuals with family connections in the province.
British Columbia’s PNP has a stream for designated health professionals and semi-skilled workers in the province.
• Canadian and Quebec Experience Class: These popular streams are considered for temporary workers and international students. The Canadian Experience Class is intended for individuals planning to settle outside of Quebec, while the Quebec Experience class is meant for those who will settle in the Province of Quebec.
Temporary Foreign Workers: Tens of thousands of individuals come to Canada from around the world each year to perform temporary work. This work can last anywhere from a few days to multiple years. In fact, Canada is currently experiencing a labour shortage, which means that more than ever; foreign workers will be called upon to fill job openings all over the country. As a temporary worker you have the opportunity to apply to become permanent resident.
Temporary work requires a job offer from a Canadian employer. For some, this is a first step to achieving permanent residency status.
• Family sponsorship: Canada remains committed to keeping families together. Federal sponsorship programs are continuing as usual. As mentioned above, in addition to regular family sponsorship program some PNPs also include family connection streams.
Though paths to Canada may be different, every year thousands of new residents come to Canada to start a new chapter in their lives. Though the Federal Skilled Worker program is one of Canada’s more well-known programs, it is far from the only path to Canadian Permanent Residency. Potential immigrants are encouraged to explore their options and determine which is right for them.
To find out if you are eligible for one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, fill out our free online assessment to determine if you qualify to immigrate to Canada please click here