Canada has the largest and most elaborate skilled immigration system of OECD countries, and was the first country to introduce a points-based selection system which later influenced other major receiving countries like Australia, the United States and New Zealand. An elaborate points-based ranking system allows for more refinement and control in the selection process.
Canada offers both Federal and Provincial/Territorial programs for skilled migration. The Federal Express Entry system highly values human capital factors, such as language and education, in determining who is invited, resulting in a stronger labour-market. A continued focus on labour migration in Canada had led to one in every five people in the country being foreign-born, with 60% being highly-educated.
Provincial Nominee Programs allows individual provinces to create immigration streams tailored to their demographic and labour needs. Provinces and territories are playing an increasingly important role in the selection of newcomers. In addition to their own streams, provinces can nominate applicants for Canadian permanent residence from the Express Entry pool, taking advantage of the quick and efficient processing times of the Federal system.
Canada is the fastest-growing destination for international students of all OECD countries. International students are able to work alongside their studies, and have the option of applying for the popular Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), allowing them to find full-time work in the country after graduation. The issuance of PGW permits have seen a five-fold increase in the past five years!
Canada’s Minister for Immigration, the Honorable Ahmed Hussen, responds to OECD’s report by noting that Canada will “continue to support immigration policies and programs that enhance the economic, social and demographic vitality of communities”. As well, he commits to continuing efforts to attract newcomers to fill Canadian jobs, through new programs like the Atlantic Pilot Program, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and Agri-food Immigration Pilot. With the success we have seen in recent years, we can expect the Canadian government to continue to respond to changing immigration needs with new, reactive and evidence-based solutions.
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