Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


The Federal government has recently announced a new fast track program that should be up and running in October 2008. The program is geared to grant permanent residence on an expedited basis to those who have studied and worked in Canada.

In the past, such applicants were required to apply outside of Canada (even if they were physically in Canada) at a Canadian Consulate abroad. The problem with doing so was that it took longer and that some applicants from visa requiring countries were not able to enter the USA if an interview was required. The result would then be to have the file transferred (if permitted) to the applicant’s home country for further processing. The current “Canadian Experience” program will eliminate all that in the sense that applicants will be able to remain in Canada and will be assessed on a PASS / FAIL basis – not on the point system to which all other skilled workers are assessed.

It’s expected that 12,000 to 18,000 of such visas will be issued in the first year.

Who is eligible?

There are two types of categories:

A. Applicants must have two years of legal work experience in Canada or
Foreign students must have completed a program of study lasting at least two years at a Canadian university or college and have one year of work experience.
B. All applicants must have come to Canada to work or study, have been lawfully admitted to Canada, and have temporary resident status in Canada at the time of application.
C. Applicants who are already in the process of receiving their permanent resident status through other avenues do not qualify.

While many are applauding the government for creating the new program there are many who critic it. Firstly, as many students are aware, it is not easy to obtain a student visa to Canada. One of the key components to obtain a student visa is to demonstrate that the applicant will leave Canada after their period of study. So with this new program (which allows students to remain in Canada after their studies) how is an applicant going to convince the officer abroad that he will he return home? Why would he/she want to return home with this relatively easy new program granting permanent residence?

Secondly, it should be noted that an applicants must have work experience in a skilled occupation. Applicant’s who have worked in Canada in low skilled occupations do not qualify.

It is obvious that the goal by Canada Immigration is to compete for the best immigrants on an international level. We will have to wait and see if applicants take advantage of the program.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by fax, phone or email