The Canadian government has expanded an immigration programme under which temporary foreign workers and international students, many of them from India, can benefit from a simplified path of permanent residency in the country.
The programme is called the Canada Experience Class and was introduced in September 2008, but the requirements with regard to employment experience in the country have been eased from this year. The re-launched programme will open up 10,000 permanent residency slots for those who are qualified, quadrupling the number from 2009.
Among those who could take advantage of the new fast track regulations are high-skilled temporary workers. Earlier, they needed two years of work experience in Canada to be eligible to apply for permanent residency, the equivalent of the American green card. That has been reduced to one year. Similarly, foreign students who have completed at least a year of studies in the country and have 12 months of Canadian work experience will also be able to avail of that path.
Immigration experts believe this will prove a magnet for students. “It’s a huge draw,” Ravi Jain, partner at the Toronto-based law firm of Green and Spiegel LLP, said.
Explaining the advantages of the new changes that have been introduced in 2013, Jain said, “Instead of paying foreign tuition fees for two or three years, you can just enter a one-year programme and then after that, you will be able to work for one year and once you’ve worked for one year, you’ll be able to apply under the Canada Experience Class.”
Mel Broitman, a director at the Canada University Application Centre, agreed: “The Canadian government has implemented policies that have made it easier for people to come to Canada and study and stay on as a Canadian. That is something that has made Canada more attractive.”
Referring to the US and the UK, Broitman said, “There are policies in place not to allow people to stay. Meanwhile in Canada, policies are in place to allow people to stay and they try to move forward to make those policies more streamlined.”