New migration rules announced by Canada
After much anticipation regarding the fate of Professional Skilled Worker applications for migration to Canada filed since February 2008, the new migration rules of Canada were announced on the 29th of November by Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney. The new rules primarily focus on facilitating and fast-tracking qualified applicants whose skills are currently in demand in Canada. Prior to the newly introduced rules, anyone who earned a pass mark was eligible to apply to migrate as a Skilled Worker, irrespective of the demand for his/her specific job in Canada.
A list of in-demand 38 occupations in Canada was announced as part of the new rules. Under the new rules, a potential applicant must possess some work experience in an occupation listed in the list to be eligible to file a new application, or must have arranged employment in Canada, or have one year of previous work or study experience in Canada. However, the demand list is not static and the minister can add or delete occupations from the list from time to time depending upon labor market requirements in Canada.
The minister expects that under the new rules, applications filed will be able to receive a decision within six to twelve months. It is to be noted that the application filing process has also been retooled. Now, any new application under the subject category must be filed at a Centralized Intake office in Canada.
The set of new rules will apply retroactively to all Skilled Worker category applications which are filed on and after 27th of February, 2008 and the ones filed before the date will not be affected by the new rules and will continue to be processed under the previous rules
The largest Sri Lankan community in the world outside of Sri Lanka resides in Canada and many Sri Lankans have applied for and have received permanent residence as Professional Workers in Canada. Every successful applicant receives visas for his or her immediate family members if the are willing to accompany. Canada has flexible residency obligations for a permanent resident. In order to maintain his or her PR status, one must be physically present in Canada for just two years out of every five years. If a PR is physically present in Canada for three out of four years, then he or she is eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.