As of October, a new immigrant class will make it easier for temporary foreign workers and international students who graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution to apply for permanent resident status from within the country.
The Canada Experience Class program, announced by Immigration Minister Diane Finley, is aimed at people who want to immigrate to Canada and already have Canadian work experience or Canadian academic credentials.
“Choosing newcomers based on knowledge of our labour market and experience within Canadian society would make Canada a more attractive destination for skilled individuals from around the world,” said Finley.
“International students and skilled workers would be more likely to choose Canada if they knew their time in Canada and contribution to Canadian society would assist in their eligibility to apply to stay permanently.”
Under the current system, temporary foreign workers and international students have to leave Canada to apply for permanent residency status. The new program will let them continue working or studying in Canada while their applications are being processed.
The program is open to foreign temporary workers in managerial, professional, technical occupations and skilled trades with two years of work experience and minimum language proficiency.
The program requirements for international students are:
• a degree or diploma from a Canadian college or university in a minimum of a two-year program;
• one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience;
• valid temporary resident status in Canada; and
• moderate or basic language skills, depending on the occupation.
The program aims to admit 12,000 to 18,000 candidates a year to start, but ultimately will draw as many as 25,000, said Finley.