Heady Times for Canadian Immigration
(Guest Posted by Jack Silverstone)
These are happy times for Canadian immigration. The Canadian government recently announced that it would be accepting nearly one million new immigrants over the next three years. There will be an increase in 2018 to 310,000 from the current 300,000, followed by a further increase to 330,000 in 2019, with an additional 340,000 expected in the year 2020. The large majority of these new entrants to Canada will be in various economic categories. The Province of Quebec, which essentially runs its own immigration selection process, is maintaining its level at 51,000 per year.
The government’s new Global Talent Stream, with its quick processing turnaround time, is beginning to be a very useful mechanism for recruiting and retaining international high-tech talent. The immigration authorities are also promising to clear up some of the huge backlog in the family reunification class, including families of the much-needed live-in caregivers arriving mostly from the Philippines.
The rules for obtaining Canadian citizenship have also been relaxed. The residency requirement before a permanent resident in Canada can apply for citizenship has been reduced to three years out of five preceding the application, down from four years out of six. In addition, the calculation of residency for purposes of applying for citizenship has been modified to count as one half day, up to a maximum of 365 days, every full day that an applicant is in the country as a temporary resident or a protected person.
For those with permanent resident status, each day of physical presence in Canada counts as a full day towards satisfying the citizenship requirement. The need to demonstrate a knowledge of Canada and one of its official languages now applies only to applicants between the ages of 18 to 55.
With the national unemployment rate at a low 5.9% and jobs being created faster than predicted, immigration is on its way to being an ever more significant factor satisfying the Canadian labour market. Immigration high times indeed.