Notice – Transforming the Immigration System

May 25, 2012 — The Prime Minister’s speech at the Davos Economic Summit and Budget 2012 make clear that immigration is a key priority for the Government of Canada.

While continuing to respect Canada’s significant humanitarian obligations and family reunification objectives, the Government’s goal is to build a fast and flexible immigration system whose primary focus is on meeting Canada’s economic and labour market needs.

Since 2006, the Government has pursued much-needed reforms to focus Canada’s immigration system on fuelling economic prosperity for Canada. For example, the Government has placed a high priority on finding people who have the skills and experience required to meet Canada’s economic needs. Temporary foreign workers have been given greater opportunities to contribute to the success of our economy, and provinces and territories now have the capacity to address their labour shortages through an expanded role in selecting immigrants.

To achieve a fast and flexible system that is responsive to the labour market and supports the country’s economic needs now and in the future, further transformations are required. The Government will, for instance, explore with provinces, territories and employers approaches to developing a pool of skilled workers who are ready to begin employment in Canada. To ensure that immigrants are ready to work, the assessment of educational credentials will be strengthened and the federal skilled worker point system will be reformed to reflect the importance of younger immigrants with Canadian work experience and better language skills.

The Government will also provide further incentives to retain educated and experienced talent through the Canadian Experience Class and introduce a new stream to facilitate the entry of skilled tradespersons. The Business Immigration Program will target more active investment in Canadian growth companies and more innovative entrepreneurs. The Provincial Nominee Program will be improved by focusing on economic immigration streams in order to respond quickly to regional labour market demand. In short, the Government is committed to strengthening the immigration system to make it truly proactive, targeted, fast and efficient in a way that will sustain Canada’s economic growth and deliver prosperity for the future.

Moreover, clear and decisive action is being taken to strengthen the responsiveness and integrity of our programs by eliminating the Federal Skilled Worker backlog, reforming the refugee system and addressing marriages of convenience.

This chart provides further detail on action taken to date and our plans for the future.

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