Thursday, December 27, 2012

Canada announces reforms to Canadian Experience Class

As of 2nd January 2013, Canada will make it easier for skilled foreign workers with experience of working in a skilled role in Canada to obtain Canadian permanent resident status, Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney told journalists on 11th December 2012.

Mr Kenney was speaking at a press conference in Ottawa when he announced changes to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa stream. The CEC programme allows skilled workers from overseas to apply for Canadian permanent resident status after they have gained work experience in a skilled position in Canada.

Mr Kenney told journalists that, from 2nd January 2013 onwards, any skilled worker who has 12 months of experience in a skilled Canadian position will be able to apply for permanent residence under the CEC program. Previously, most applicants would have needed 24 months' experience to apply.

Mr Kenney also announced that graduates will now be entitled to stay in Canada for three years, (36 months) during which time they can gain their 12 months experience before applying under the CEC. Previously, the maximum stay had been 24 months.

Mr Kenney has made several significant changes to the CEC in recent months. In the summer, on an official visit to the UK and Ireland, he announced that UK and Irish graduates would be allowed to stay in Canada for two years rather than one under the International Experience Canada working holiday program during which time they could gain their work experience.

Mr Kenney has also gradually increased the number of applications that can be received under the CEC. The scheme was instigated in 2008. In 2009, the scheme permitted 2,545 applications. In 2013, 10,000 applications will be accepted.

'The CEC helps Canada attract the immigrants our economy requires: individuals who have valuable Canadian work experience and the necessary skills to benefit our country's current labour market needs. These skilled workers are set for success and expediting their transition to permanent residence will help Canada to respond to ongoing labour market challenges.'

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