At an event hosted by the Toronto Board of Trade and the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy on May 24, 2016 to address Canada’s immigration policies and regulations from an economic standpoint, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Hon. John McCallum, announced potential immigration policy changes. A House of Commons committee is reviewing the existing temporary and permanent worker programs and the government plans to use the Committee’s recommendations to create policies that increase the number of economic immigrants and ensure national competitiveness.
Notable Potential Policy Changes
The Minister announced the following potential changes to Canadian immigration policy:
- Greater access to permanent residence status for international students via the Express Entry program, including potentially providing extra points for university graduates to increase their chances of selection to apply for permanent residence.
- Further reforms to the Express Entry program, specifically for Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt work permit holders. The Minister stated that a labour market assessment should not be a decisive factor for determining access to permanent residence status.
- The potential option for employers to pay for an expedited work permit process.
- Faster processing times for temporary and permanent economic stream applications, since the government has now resettled 25,000 Syrian refugees between November 2015 and February 2016 that it promised to resettle.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Employers and foreign nationals should be prepared for further guidance regarding changes to Canadian immigration policies and options.