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Canadian Government to reject all pre-2008 visa applications

by | Apr 4, 2012

In its recent federal budget announcement, the Canadian Government has stated that it will reject almost 300,000 people who applied for a Canadian visa before 2008 in an effort to tackle the massive backlog of visa applications. Jim Flaherty, the Minister of Finance, announced that almost 300,000 people will have their Canadian visa applications returned to them. The move, which will see applications returned to the applicants along with refunds totalling CA$130 million (£81.5 million) in Canadian visa application fees, is part of the government’s attempt to reform the immigration system. ‘Canada risks losing the global talent competition for the world’s best and brightest as potential immigrations choose to take their skills to other countries with more responsive immigration systems rather than remain in the queue to have their applications processed in Canada’, said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in the recent budget statement. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney has repeatedly stated his intention to reform the Canadian immigration system and while some changes have already been made in an attempt to prioritise skilled workers or those migrants who can fill gaps in the labour market, the government feels the needed reform cannot be completed with such an extensive backlog of applications. The full plan should be released in the coming months, and includes austerity measures amounting to CA$179 million (£112 million), with much of the savings coming from ‘reducing overhead costs and continuing to streamline operations and programme delivery’, according to Mr Flaherty. ‘Our government will reform Canada’s immigration system to make it faster and more efficient’, said Mr Flaherty. ‘We will ensure it is designed, above all, to strengthen Canada’s economy. As a result we will be better able to fill gaps in our labour force. We will attract more of the entrepreneurs we need to create good jobs and long term economic growth.’

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