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Canada raises caps for migrants

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Family enjoying a campfire outside their oTENTik
© Parks Canada / J. Gordon 2013


For the period between May and December 2014, Canada has increased caps of visa applications under skilled workers, trade workers, experienced workers programs.

The total cap will be 38000 – which includes 25000 for skilled workers, 5000 for trade, and 8000 for experienced workers. The list of eligible occupations under the skilled workers program has been doubled, from 24 to 50 occupations, reflecting the latest labour market needs.

While visa applications caps are usually for one year – 1 May to 30 April, these caps are only for eight months – 1 May to 31 December, in effect increasing the number of total visa applications processed.

The caps have been put in place to ensure that the Canadian immigration authority is not left with any backlog of visa applications on 1 January 2015, the day it launches the new Express Entry program.

The Express Entry progam, Canada’s new active recruitment model, will lead to a “faster and more flexible economic immigration system” that will address Canada’s economic and labour market needs, says a statement issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

“With these measures in place for our key economic programs, our government is ensuring our immigration system is addressing Canada’s economic and labour market needs while reducing backlogs and improving processing times,” Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says.

“We look forward to the launch of Express Entry next January, which will be a major step forward in attracting the skilled workers we need and have them working in Canada faster.”

Quick facts

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada will begin accepting applications under new caps for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), starting 1 May 2014. These measures will ensure a steady supply of skilled workers who are settling in Canada permanently and helping to supplement the Canadian workforce in areas where there are skills shortages.
  • These are the last applications that will be accepted under the current system before Express Entry launches in January 2015.
  • The latest FSWP occupation list was developed based on recent labour market data from Employment and Social Development Canada and input from the provinces and territories on regional labour market needs.
  • Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 will invest $14 million over two years and $4.7 million per year ongoing to ensure the successful implementation of Express Entry.
  • Determine online your eligibility to apply for Canadian work visa.
  • The full set of Ministerial Instructions will be available in the Canada Gazette on April 26, 2014.


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Canada launches online tool for new migrants

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Canada has launched a new guide and web tool to help newcomers settle and integrate in the country.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s new publication, Welcome to Canada, will assist immigrants in preparing to come to Canada and to help them navigate their way during their first months.

“The new edition shows our commitment to helping the citizens of tomorrow experience a smoother transition into their new community and into the Canadian workforce,” says Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Twice as long as the previous edition, the new guide is developed in consultation with several federal partners and experts in the field of integration, and has been reviewed by new immigrants.

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The guide features practical information on many different topics including how to access language classes, basic information about Canada’s education system, laws and the justice system, the labour market and much more.

For the first time, the Welcome to Canada guide includes examples of immigrants to Canada who have successfully integrated. The guide was enriched by advice and anecdotes from Nick Noorani, himself an immigrant and an expert who specializes in immigrant integration and career outcomes.

“Canada has given me more than I could ever have dreamed of,” says Nick. “And through my experiences I can help future immigrants succeed in Canada and this guide is a big part of that.”

This is the first time the Welcome to Canada guide has been revamped since it was first introduced in 1997. Like  Discover Canada citizenship study guide, Welcome to Canada is available in PDF or E-book format.

Similarly, the immigration department launched another interactive tool – Living in Canada Tool, also intended for newcomers. The new tool comes on the heels of the success of the Come to Canada Wizard, the online immigration assessment and application tool,

The Living in Canada Tool produces a semi-customized settlement plan filled with tips, next steps, and useful links based on user responses to the initial questionnaire. Users can also find local immigrant-serving organizations with the integrated Find Services map, and can bring with them their customized settlement plan for additional, personalized support.

To help newcomers integrate, the Government has tripled settlement funding since 2005-06 and remains committed to ensuring the distribution of settlement funding is fair, that immigrants receive the same level of service, regardless of where they choose to settle, says the immigration minister.