In 2015, the Canadian Federal government will start a new immigration program in order to match skilled workers with unfilled jobs. The program has been compared to a dating site where the government of Canada will become the main matchmaker.
“We are moving from defense to offence. We’re moving from a passive system to a proactive system. We’re moving from a system based on processing whatever applications showed up, to a system focused on recruitment of the people that we know we need,” explained Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander.
Currently, Canada has to process applications in the order that they are received; next year this will no longer be the case. The applications through the new program will be completed in two stages. First, candidates will indicate their desire to immigrate to Canada and answer a series of questions regarding professional skills, education, and languages skills. Second, the applicants will see their skill set matched up with labour needs across the country.
Provinces, territories, and employers will have access to the collections of skilled applicants—the information will be shared in a way that protects individuals’ privacy. As soon as an applicant has been matched with a vacancy, they will be able to apply for permanent residency.
According to Minister Alexander, the program is “going to give us a much more tailored immigration flow and a workforce that will make itself at home in a Canadian economy much more quickly.” The new system will affect candidates applying through the following immigration programs:
- Federal skilled workers
- Federal skilled trades
- Canadian experience class
- Business class; and
- Provincial nominees
This system appears to be modeled after similar immigration programs in Australia and New Zealand, where processing times can be as short as 60 days. On the other hand, some processing times proposed by the Canadian government could take as long as 6 months. Critics of the program claim that this long wait will deter employers from using this source to fill job vacancies.