Canada, an attractive destination for skilled workers
New changes to the temporary skilled worker programme

Canada, amongst many destinations has become a popular one amongst skilled workers. The Canadian government has taken drastic measures to protect skilled workers who contribute to its economy. A latest announcement came on August 18 by the Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and it is a part of the changes that were initially published in the Canada Gazette Part 1 on October 9, 2009 that are now being implemented.

Tough measures by Canadian government
The government is taking action to protect temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers from potential abuse and exploitation," said Minister Jason Kenney. "We owe it to them, their employers and all Canadians to ensure that the programme is fair and equitable. After all, they are an essential element of Canada's economic success.""These changes represent an important step. Temporary foreign workers help the Canadian economy by filling labour needs in sectors where Canadians or permanent residents are not readily available," said Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "Our government is taking action to improve the integrity of the programme while ensuring that these people are afforded the necessary protections."

Highlights of the changes which come into effect on April 1 2011 include; more rigorous assessment of the genuineness of the job offer; a two-year prohibition from hiring temporary foreign workers for employers who fail to meet their commitments to workers with respect to wages, working conditions and occupation; and a limit on the length of time a temporary foreign worker may work in Canada before returning home. Employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers including live-in caregivers, will now be assessed against past compliance with programme requirements before authorization can be granted. Employers found to have violated worker rights may be refused authorization to hire a foreign worker.

Temporary skilled worker programme
Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Programme helps address temporary labour shortages by allowing employers to hire foreign workers when sufficient numbers of Canadian workers are not readily available. Without access to temporary foreign labour many small businesses would not be able to function and would be forced into insolvency. The Live-in Caregiver Programme is a unique programme within the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme. It enables the entry of qualified caregivers into Canada when Canadians or permanent residents can't fill job vacancies. After having completed the programme's requirements, Live-in Caregiver Programme participants can then apply for permanent residence by virtue of their participation in the programme.

Federal Skilled worker programme
The demand for skilled professionals has been a fact in Canada, and in October 2008 the "free entry" type of skilled migration programme was defined to a demand driven programme by listing the occupations. At the time, 38 main occupations were introduced, where an extensive demand for professions such as engineering, accounting and ICT was paramount. Nevertheless, the demand for the above occupations seemed a short term one.

In June 2010, a new list came into effect with 28 occupations. This is an interesting change, as more generic occupations were included. Currently we see a demand for professions such as promotional/advertising, work study, operational management, management consultants, ISO professionals, business method analysts, records management, organization methods analysts, organization researchers, etc. Looking at the above occupations, it is self evident that a large amount of professionals will meet the criteria, and a professional with a degree level qualification having 4 years of work experience can qualify without much hassle.

New rules
Nevertheless, according to new guidelines each occupation will come under a capping system, where a maximum number of places are given per occupation stands at 1000. Therefore, applicants meeting the requirements must act swiftly to secure a place in processing for this intake. It must be noted that IELTS scores are essential at the time of making application, together with a clearance from the police headquarters. Other professions in demand include medical professionals with degree level qualifications, such as general practitioners and specialist physicians, registered nurses, restaurant and food service managers, chefs, cooks, electricians, heavy duty mechanics including welders, and all applicants must possess a degree or a qualification from a recognized technical institute in Sri Lanka.

New openings
There are more than 6 main category occupations introduced newly to the Canadian Federal Skilled worker programme.

Business operational professional, Dentist, Architect, social worker, pharmacist, biologist and scientist are some of the recently introduced occupations. Having blood relatives who are permanent residents in Canada, and contributing with spouse skills will enhances the chance of qualifying.
Currently 67 points must be scored to qualify for independent migration.

Advantages of holding a PR visa
One of the main reasons for an outflow of people to other countries is to provide opportunities not only to themselves but to their family members. Holding the Permanent Residency status in countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand will enable the applicants to educate their children without paying a school fee in most instances. In addition, the governments provide benefits to adults who engage in studies.

Depending upon the income, children can be eligible for social security benefits, together with free access to medical system for all. Therefore, if one is hoping to leave the shore for higher study purposes with the family, it's worth inquiring about the possibility of qualifying for PR visa. This will allow you to live, study, work in the developed world, who knows, you may decide the place your home, eventually.
Compiled by Canadian Migration Center, Sources: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

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