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McCallum to ‘Substantially Increase’ Immigration

Canadian Immigration Minister John McCallum travelled to China earlier this month. He went to talk to Beijing officials about opening five more visa application centers. The proposed locations are Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, Jinan, and Shenyang. While talks are still in the early stages, this would double the number of offices where Chinese nationals could get visas to travel to Canada.


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Did you know?

China was the top source country for Canadian permanent residency in 2013. China dropped to sixth place after the launch of the Express Entry system.

Canada's Looming Labour Shortage

These talks are part of McCallum’s plan to ‘substantially increase’ immigration levels. This is to combat the ‘looming labour shortage’ Canada is facing.

What is the ‘looming labour shortage‘?

Canada has an aging population. There are more people in the 65 and older age group than there are in the 14 and under age group. Together with low birth rates, that means that Canada relies on immigration to maintain population growth.

There was a large boom in the population in the 1940’s to 1960’s, and birth rates have declined ever since. That large group is now in their 50’s to 70’s and beginning to retire. There are simply not enough Canadians to fill the gap they will leave in the work force in the coming years.

Other parts of McCallum’s plan:

Reduce barriers to international students seeking permanent residency. The Liberal government is looking to review point allocation under Express Entry. They’re considering giving more points for Canadian post-secondary credentials. This would make it easier for international students to gain permanent residency.

Review the need for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA). Some Canadian businesses said the LMIA was a large barrier for businesses seeking to attract skilled foreign workers. So McCallum will be reviewing the need for an LMIA for some categories of workers.

Spreading Immigration Across Canada

McCallum’s plan to increase immigration will also try to encourage newcomers to settle outside of Canada’s three largest cities.

In 2011, 63.4% of Canada’s immigrant population lived in Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal. 91% lived in one of Canada’s 33 major metropolitan areas. But Canada is a large country, and many small towns and rural areas can provide a wealth of opportunity to newcomers.

The Atlantic provinces are heavily investing in a new immigration pilot project to combat their negative population growth. And even in popular provinces like British Columbia and Ontario, there are a lot of smaller towns that struggle to find skilled workers.

At Canadim, we are experts in Canadian immigration law. But Canadian immigration policies and practices change all the time. It’s our job to know what changes are coming, but we recognize that you’re hugely invested in the process too. That’s why we do our best to keep you informed about recent Canadian Immigration news. If you’d like to receive these updates by email, sign up for our Newsletter.

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