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Canada easing permanent residency via CEC

Highly-skilled temporary foreign workers in Canada may find it easier to obtain permanent residency under a new, flexible visa scheme outlined this week by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. This will impact international students choosing to stay in Canada via the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa category.

Kenney CanadaMinister Kenney wants to cut by half the length of work experience required for permanent residency in Canada

This year, 7,000 permanent residents are expected to be admitted through the CEC – more than ever before

In a bid to meet Canada’s labour market needs more quickly, Kenney proposes reducing by half the work experience requirement for temporary workers to become permanent residents (from 24 months to 12 months). The announcement comes as the most recent in a series Minister Kenney has made about transforming Canada’s economic immigration programme into a fast and flexible system focused on jobs, growth, and prosperity.

“Thousands of highly-skilled foreign nationals are working successfully in Canada on a temporary basis,” said Minister Kenney. “Expediting their transition to permanent residence would help Canada retain bright and talented people who already have Canadian work experience and the ability to communicate in English or French. In many cases, they already have a job lined up. Such newcomers are set for success.”

Launched in 2008, the CEC offers a pathway to permanent residence – and eventually Canadian citizenship – for international students and temporary foreign workers with highly-skilled Canadian work experience. The CEC aims to support the economic success of immigrants by selecting those who are most likely to succeed in Canada’s labour market.

“Such newcomers are set for success”

According to preliminary admissions data, a record 6,022 immigrants were welcomed under the CEC in 2011, an increase in admissions of more than 50% from 2010. This year, 7,000 permanent residents are expected to be admitted through the CEC – more than ever before.

“The CEC is a key part of our plan for the future of immigration in Canada, and so it is gratifying to see the dramatic growth in the programme since its inception,” said Minister Kenney.

Currently, to be eligible to apply, applicants under the temporary foreign worker stream of the CEC) must have acquired 24 months of full-time work experience within the last 36 months. Under the proposed regulatory changes, the requirement would be reduced to 12 months of experience. Further details about these proposed changes will be announced later in the year.

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