Jan 2013 4

Whither Immigration In Canada?

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Canada is in the same demographic position as most First World countries - the population is not replacing itself and is projected to be insufficient for the country’s needs as it goes forward.

The population growth rate in Canada is approximately 0.78% with most of the increase in population being made up of immigrants. Population growth rate is defined as the surplus of births over deaths and balance of migrants entering or leaving a country.

For example the US has a higher birth rate than other industrialized countries. The population growth rate is 0.9%. In contrast the population growth rate in Japan is -0.08%. The stats are from the CIA Factbook January 2012.

populationgraph Annual Population Growth in Canada

For an interpretation of immigration trends in Canada this Vancouver Sun article highlights 2011 Census results.

Prime Minister Harper acknowledged the government’s concern with the future of an aging population and the well being of the country in an important speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland on January 26, 2012.

Issues addressed included productivity, rising health care costs and immigration. Within a few months of this speech Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism had revamped major immigration policies and programs.

The focus of the new and evolving Immigration policies is to place Canada’s “economic and labour force needs” at the forefront.

This has resulted in a replacement Skilled Worker Program announced in December 2012 with a focus on younger immigrants with English or French language skills and a practical education including apprenticeships in mining, engineering, industrial technology . Preference is also given to those who studied in Canada because they are already familiar with Canadian cultural and societal norms. The focus of the program has moved away from the previous preference for white collar workers.

Those on the waiting list of the previous skilled worker program have had their application fees refunded.

unemploymentgraph Unemployment Rate in Canada Over Time

Most job openings for skilled workers are in Northern BC and Alberta. Immigrants will have their application expedited if they have a specific job offer from an employer.

Canada is making an effort to eliminate red tape and lengthy waiting periods for these highly prized immigrants as they are in demand in every industrialized country.Australia has an attractive program that the Minister has held up as a model for Canada.

A highly popular program that has been suspended and is the process of being transformed is the Immigrant Investor Program. In its previous incarnation the program allowed wealthy immigrants to enter Canada with a minimum refundable investment of $800,000. Before that it was $400,000 and there are people who applied before 2008 who want to come in under their original application and are suing the Government.

These Immigrant Investors help to fuel the real estate boom in Vancouver and Toronto as they usually purchased properties with the funds. The closing of this program plus the new restrictive mortgage lending rules put in place by the Minister of Finance has negatively impacted sales of high end properties in Richmond, Vancouver Westside and West Vancouver.

According to reports the new Immigrant Investor program will require a larger nonrefundable financial commitment, English or French language skills, entrepreneurial experience and full time Canadian residence.

Canada immigration Canada -FED- Canada Immigration Officer by conner395

As a result of abuse of the citizenship system coming to light after the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon during the 2006 conflict and recent exposure of Canadian criminal immigration consultants the Government is moving to restrict citizenship being granted to those who do not live in Canada for the required period and to strip it from those who obtained it illegally. New rules limit automatic Canadian citizenship being passed down to children not born in the country whose parents were not born in Canada.

An expanded discussion of immigration programs can be found here.

Stay tuned for more followup as new programs are introduced.

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