Federal Government Promises Major Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canadian employers have been promised a more streamlined, effective and engaging process for hiring skilled foreign workers.  Following an initial announcement in October of last year, the Government of Canada recently issued a news release providing further details on its new system for qualified economic immigrants, called “Express Entry”, which is set to launch in January 2015.  The new system is portrayed as a “game changer” for Canadian employers seeking skilled workers from other countries.

Canada’s Minister for Citizenship and Immigration (“CIC”), Chris Alexander, touted the following benefits of the new system:

 

  • greater flexibility and responsiveness to regional labour shortages;
  • accepted candidates will be “quickly invited” to apply for permanent residency (infusing the labour market with permanent workers, a key distinction from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program);
  • selection of workers to be based on the best candidates, rather than first in line; and
  • faster processing times for qualified applicants of “six months or less”.

Perhaps most importantly, the government states that “employers will have a key role in selecting economic immigrants and providing advice to the Government of Canada.”

The new system is a welcome development for employers who have been belaboured by paperwork, long wait times and a flawed selection process for skilled workers under the previous system.

Keep an eye out for information sessions to be provided by CIC, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, across the country this spring.  We will follow the development of the Express Entry system with interest and will continue to work with employers in preparation for its launch in January 2015.

 

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