There have been so many recent changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program it’s hard to keep them straight. We all know the old adage “change is a good thing” and in many ways I agree, but too much change, too frequently, creates uncertainty.
Uncertainty in the financial system is a bad thing as we all have seen with the recent global recession. On the other hand, uncertainty in our Federal Immigration system seems to be perfectly acceptable to the current Conservative Federal Government. Human capital, perspective immigrants coming to Canada, and financial capital are inextricably linked together. This fact may be lost on the Federal Government but Immigration Quebec clearly understands that they are two halves of the same piece.
As a bit of background to the current Federal Immigration climate in Canada we need to go back a few years to early 2008 when the first round of Ministerial Instructions were issued. Ministerial Instructions are when the Immigration Minister issues special instructions to the visa officers (the people who review applications) to best attain the Government of Canada’s immigration goals. In 2008 there were 38 eligible occupations with no specific quota system. Then in 2010 they revised the list to 29 and a quota or “cap” of 20,000 visas. 2011 saw the lowest number of visas being granted under the Federal program with only 10,000 visas being issued and the same list of 29 occupations. This global cap was reached in May 2011.
Since then only people with job offers from Canadian employers or applicants who have sufficient work and educational experience in Canada are eligible to apply under the Federal program.
The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) does not require a job offer or any specific amount of Canadian work or educational experience. It also does not require any ‘show money’ or the need to demonstrate a specific amount of settlement funds either. International tuition and temporary relocation costs can be a brick wall barrier to many. And for the few who can afford it, why risk investing in the experience when the Feds may, yet again, change their program. For a more detailed outline of the QSWP program kindly review our previous post: New Canadian Immigration Program for Filipino Nurses.
Immigration Québec values perspective immigrants like you, especially nurses
Both Federal and Quebec Immigration had a large back log of applications but how they dealt with their respective backlogs exemplifies the difference between the two. The Feds plan to reduce their backlog of pending applications by cancelling 300,000 applications of people who waited patiently to get their permanent residence status. I believe, like many Canadians, that cancelling these applications contravenes our Canadian values, tarnishes our reputation on the world stage and adds to the uncertainty that perspective immigrants have of our Federal Immigration program.
On the other hand, Immigration Quebec dealt with their backlog by increasing the number of visas they issue. It’s clear to me which program values the hard working individuals that take a chance on Canada and submit their applications.
Quebec Immigration does not require nurses to be licensed in Canada and actually gives anyone with a nursing degree (regardless of where it is obtained) priority processing and are cap exempt. Immigration Quebec invests in you by issuing you permanent residence and lets you decide if you want to be a nurse in Canada.
When the end result of both the Federal and Quebec programs are the same — Canadian Permanent Residency, it’s hard to understand why someone would choose the Federal category. It is clearly out-of-synch with the needs of potential newcomers and has lost the human touch which I believe is essential when dealing with Canadian Immigration.
In closing, the Quebec Skilled Worker program is a robust and flexible immigration category that continues to grow and is in an excellent position to take advantage of the disenfranchised human capital that the Federal program is leaving in its wake of changes.
Canadian Immigration Attorney
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