The ongoing battle for greater control of the Canadian immigration system continued recently with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announcing further changes to policy.
Mr Kenney has made significant changes to Canadian visa and immigration policy in recent months; his stated aim is to bring the system under greater control in order to implement a system which can respond quickly to changes in the country's economy and the resultant labour needs the changes create.
Many of the minister's changes have proved extremely unpopular, including legislating away almost 300,000 visa applications and limiting the country's aid to refugees yet Mr Kenney contends the system will be better for all in the end.
As part of new changes made to immigration policy in Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will receive new powers to override laws dictating whether people can or can't enter the country...read more.
Canadian immigration officials have confirmed that they will not be accepting new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Immigrant Investor Program when the window opens again on 1 July...read more.
Immigration changes hand power to minister
Mr Kenney will have more
control over decisions.
As part of new changes made to immigration policy in Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will receive new powers to override laws dictating whether people can or can't enter the country .
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has repeatedly said over recent months his determination to bring the Canadian immigration system under greater control and the latest raft of changes allows the minister to exert personal control over more aspects of the system.
Under the new changes, Mr Kenney will be given greater authority to deny entry to visitors for public policy reasons as well as over rule decisions to let people who would otherwise be inadmissible under existing rules.
Mr Kenney said the rules would allow for greater consideration in exceptional circumstances. Announcing the changes, Mr Kenney cited the case of an imam who would be granted entry to Canada under existing rules but due to his public calls for the execution of homosexual men and women, his entry could be harmful to Canada.
"Sometimes we have foreigners who do not have a criminal conviction and are therefore not strictly inadmissible to Canada under our current law," said Mr Kenney. "But who, for example, may have a long track record of promoting violence or hatred against vulnerable groups."
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New Canada visa applications halted
Canada will not be taking
new FSW applications.
Canadian immigration officials have confirmed that they will not be accepting new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Immigrant Investor Program when the window opens again on 1 July.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who is expected to announce the moratorium in a speech today, said he wanted to continue making changes to the Canadian immigration system before new applications are accepted to either scheme.
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program is one of the most popular methods for people with desired skills or guaranteed job offers to move to Canada. The Immigrant Investor Program is for wealthy foreigners prepared to invest at least $800,000 (£625,000) in the Canadian economy.
Both programs were expected to begin taking new applications on 1 July.
Mr Kenney has repeatedly stated his intention to bring the immigration system under greater control and make it more responsive to changes in the country's labour needs; earlier this year, said that almost 300,000 Canada visa applications made before 2008 would be returned with a refund in an effort to eliminate a growing backlog which hinders the system's response to change.
The immigration minister said the new system, which some have predicted won't be ready until January, 2013, will be faster, economically-driven and prioritise potential migrants with strong language skills and professional skills currently in demand in the country.
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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canada Visa Bureau.
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