If you're planning to move
to Canada, you'll have to check the list first.
occupations were unveiled by the Harper government yesterday, setting out a new selection criteria for skilled
immigrants, allowing those with relevant skills to be fast-tracked into the country.
The occupations include jobs in the field of health,
skilled trades and the finance sector. Details of the long-awaited "ministerial instructions" were posted on the
Citizenship and Immigration Canada website and come into effect immediately.
Skilled workers whose
occupations are on the list will be fast-tracked for acceptance as permanent residents under the skilled worker
immigration class. New applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be processed, and the
application fee will be refunded.
"Applicants who aren't eligible for the federal skilled
worker category may qualify under another category," said Jason Kenney,
minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, in a release yesterday. "There are many ways to
immigrate to Canada."
They include applying as
temporary foreign workers or through the provincial nominee program under a job offer by a Canadian
The controversial plan was
first introduced in March by then immigration minister Diane Finley, as a way to reduce the backlog of 900,000
immigration files and bring in the right skilled immigrants. Previously, applicants faced wait times of up to six
years. Under the new rules, applicants should receive a decision within six to 12 months.
Olivia Chow, New Democrat
MP for Trinity-Spadina, who was an opponent of the controversial immigration changes, says the list offers no real
solutions to the backlog.
"The government's solution
is throwing out the applications. It's absurd," she said.
The list is also aimed at
responding to Canada's changing labour market and economic needs. But Chow says the list has already become
"It took the government
all these months to come up with these professions, and things have completely changed in the last few months.
People are being laid off in the financial sector," she said. Financial managers and accountants are on the
Ottawa consulted the
provinces and territories, employers, industry groups and academics to come up with the
Kenney is confident the
occupation list is current despite concerns over the softening economy. "It is difficult to project the
consequences for immigration as a result of the global economic crisis," Kenney told the Star
"There is no fixed
schedule (to update the list), but we will monitor and amend it as necessary," he said.
Gurmeet Bambrah, with the
Council for Access to the Profession of Engineering, made up of foreign-trained engineers, says such policies are
counterproductive. Of its 1,820 members, all of whom are engineers, 60 per cent are underemployed or underutilized
"You can't keep bringing
people into the country you aren't going to employ," said Bambrah. "Not only are they forced to go on to welfare,
so they are a burden on society, but it's also that you are killing all their creativity," she said. "You have to
go back and ask what is the focus of your immigration policy, and why are you particularly targeting these
Get details on how to
Immigrate to Canada Today!