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Kenney vows to overhaul Canadian visa process to favour young skilled professionals

Speaking on the matter recently, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said, ‘For too long the story of immigration to Canada has been summed up by the frustration of the highly trained professional who arrived with the expectation of being able to work at his or her skill level’.

Mr Kenney said Canadian visa preferences would be given to younger immigrants with better language skills in order to end the ‘vicious circle of unemployment’ for new migrants.

‘We’re going to stop this practice of inviting highly trained people to come to Canada if they don’t have jobs or they’re not likely to succeed in the labour market.’

Canada’s immigration process has been criticised as convoluted and discouraging to potential migrants who would be readilly accomodated in other migrant-friendly destinations such as Australia or New Zealand. A widening employment gap is also beginning to threaten growth in some states, with many claiming immigration is the answer.

Canadian immigration has been the subject of much debate in domestic politics in recent months with Mr Kenney repeatedly stating he is determined to get the issue under control.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently said economic concerns would be the driving force behind changes to immigration policy and Mr Kenney’s proposed changes are intended to reinforce this.

‘We’ll be reforming our immigration programmes to do more in ensuring that our historic openness to newcomers works to fuel prosperity in Canada’, said Mr Kenney.

Under the proposed changes, the minimum amount required to qualify for the investor programme will be increased from its current C$800,000 (£500,000) and the Federal Skilled Workers program will be adjusted in order to prioritise skilled trades people, applicants will also be pre-assessed to determine their compatibility to Canada.


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