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BC PNP Gets a Vote of Confidence from the Federal Government

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As we’ve previously noted in this blog, the federal government has been trying to shift the skilled worker category increasingly onto the provinces. There is some sound logic behind this move, as a person has to be already working in Canada in order to qualify as a provincial nominee. It is much easier to become successfully established in Canada if you’re already part of the labour force. Today’s announcement from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration confirms the trend.

The Government of Canada will continue to provide British Columbia with a record amount of space in the country’s immigration program in 2012, James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced today on behalf of Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

In 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to welcome 42,000 to 45,000 people under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), including nominees themselves, their spouses and dependants. CIC is on track to welcome a record number of provincial nominees this year and could set another milestone in 2012 if provinces submit enough nominations early on to fill their allotted space in the program. BC’s proportion of nominations was 17 percent this year. The PNP allotments for 2012 are still being finalized and will be released later.

British Columbia’s PNP has jumped more than eight-fold, from approximately 600 people admitted in 2004 to 4,900 people in 2010. Provincial nominees accounted for 16 percent of economic class admissions and 11 percent of total immigration to BC in 2010.

“The Government of Canada recognizes the valuable contributions of immigrants to British Columbia’s communities and economy,” said Minister Moore. “We are committed to working with provinces and territories to meet local labour market needs.” Today, the PNP has become the second largest source of economic immigration to Canada.

Canada to become ‘brain sponge’!

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced today that they are going to give preferential treatment to PhD students, studying in Canada, who apply for permanent residence. International students account for about one-quarter of the students enrolled in Canadian PhD programs and the government is prepared to accept 1,000 of these brainiacs each year, in a special category of Foreign Skilled Worker.
CIC’s announcement follows:

Canada intends to accept up to 1,000 international PhD students per year as permanent residents through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear announced today, on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

“Doctoral graduates play a unique role in the economy. They drive research, encourage innovation and pass on their knowledge through teaching,”said Minister Goodyear. “And quite simply, Canada needs more of them.”

Starting November 5, 2011, many international PhD students will be eligible to submit applications for processing as federal skilled workers. To be eligible, they must have completed at least two years of study toward the attainment of a PhD and remain in good academic standing at a provincially recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada.

Those who have recently graduated from a Canadian PhD program will also be eligible to apply, provided they do so within 12 months of their graduation.

“This initiative will provide Canadian universities with one more competitive edge in attracting and retaining top international talent to pursue their doctoral studies in Canada,” said Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “We welcome this announcement.”

“Attracting and retaining immigrants with high levels of skill will help Canada compete in the knowledge-based world economy,”Minister Goodyear added. “With this initiative, we are telling the innovators of tomorrow that Canada is ready to welcome them and their ideas.”