According to the Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, more than 250 000 people gained Canadian permanent residence permit during 2012. This is a six-year record.
Mr Kenney suggested that immigration is needed so that Canada can support its economy. He added that the yearly target of 262 000 new immigrants will not be changed in the next years.
Mr Kenney thinks that Canada is successfully moving towards having modern and effective immigration system, which can not only effectively answer the needs of the growing Canadian economy by attracting skilled immigrants from all over the world, but also support family reunification and provide protection to refugees.
Jason Kenney has focused mostly on skilled immigration by making the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) the main skilled visa class of Canada.
In addition to that, he has introduced the Federal Skilled Trades Program for skilled tradespeople and the Canadian Experience Class visa for foreign graduates with work experience in Canada.
His decision to cancel all Federal Skilled Workers Program applications that were made before 2008 was however taken to court and met with some stiff criticism.
Mr Kenney has also been criticized for raising the French and English language requirements very high which naturally favours the UK and European applicants over Asian and Chinese people.
He has shunned such criticism by saying that he is just trying to increase the effectiveness of the system.
After announcing the latest immigration figures in February, Mr Kenney said ‘Canada has been welcoming not only the highest sustained level of immigrants in Canadian history, we also have, on a per capita basis, among the highest immigration rates in the world’.
He continued ‘Immigration is a key part of the government’s plan to grow our economy, spur job creation and ensure long-term prosperity.’
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