Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has been promising to bring the Canadian immigration system under greater control for months and while many of the minister's changes have attracted significant criticism, Mr Kenney is able to begin making the system more responsive.
While the decision to simply cancel almost 300,000 Canada visa applications hardly proved popular, Mr Kenney's inherited backlog needed addressing and while legal challenges continue, Mr Kenney says the new system will help Canada and new visa applicants.
The Federal Court has ordered Canadian immigration authorities to process 165 Canada visa applications which were cancelled as part of an effort to legislate away an extensive backlog away...read more.
Ottawa has announced its plan to remove an employer's requirement to recruit from the domestic labour force before being allowed to hire foreign labour in six occupations...read more.
Government ordered to process cancelled Canada visa applications
A court has ordered 165
Canada visa applications
to be processed.
The Federal Court has ordered Canadian immigration authorities to process 165 Canada visa applications which were cancelled as part of an effort to legislate away an extensive backlog away.
As part of the federal budget released in March, the government said almost 300,000 Canada visa applications would be refunded and returned in the hope that this would allow for the comprehensive and responsive immigration system ministers have been hoping for.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has previously stated his intention to bring the Canadian immigration system under greater control; as Canada's economy struggles to shake off the effects of the global financial crisis, Mr Kenney maintains that the immigration system needs to serve the changing needs of the Canadian labour market.
However, the move, which returned applications from as far back as nine years, proved extremely divisive and was the subject of legal challenges almost immediately. While some were quashed, the Federal Court has ruled that 165 applications, of a total of 670, have to be processed.
The government has since been ordered to process the applications by mid-October.
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Canada visa requirements relaxed in six occupations
Canada is in need of skilled
Ottawa has announced its plan to remove an employer's requirement to recruit from the domestic labour force before being allowed to hire foreign labour in six occupations.
Under current Canada visa policy, employers are required to complete a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for almost all occupations but with demand for certain occupations rising dramatically, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has agreed to remove the LMO requirement in the following occupations:
- Heavy duty equipment mechanic
Mr Kenney has made several changes to the Canadian immigration system in recent months in order to allow the system to better respond to changes in the country's labour needs and with the oilsands in Edmonton resulting in just 4.4% unemployment rate in Alberta, skilled workers are desperately needed.
The minister also said foreign workers would be able to change employers under the new policy.
The move has attracted some criticism from workers' unions who claim foreign workers willing to work for lower wages would price Canadian workers out of jobs but Mr Kenney has rejected the criticism, claiming the demand is too large to rely on Canadian workers but promising to monitor the trends to ensure a shortage does not become an oversupply.
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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canada Visa Bureau.
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