What to expect in Canada in 2009 for foreign nationals
The year 2008 saw a number of changes to Canadian immigration, especially in the context of Canadian business visas and work permit.
A number of considerable developments took place during the year that impacted the companies in Canada in terms of employing foreign nationals and contracting service providers from foreign nations.
Canada announced in the month of December that it was increasing the duration of the NAFTA Professional Work Permit for the citizens of Mexico and America from the previous one year to three years now.
Also, there were improvements made to the Post Graduate work permit program that would mean that foreign nationals who graduate from universities in Canada may apply for an open work permit within ninety days of their graduation. The validity of the work permit is of three years, after which the employer of the holder may sponsor him or her for permanent residency.
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a new permanent resident category introduced in the year 2008 for foreign nationals who have gained work experience in Canada. The CEC can be used by Canadian employers to shift temporary foreign workers to permanent residency.
The year also saw expansion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), which allows low-skilled workers in certain occupations to shift from temporary work permit to the status of permanent residency.
The Skilled Worker Permanent Residency Program was revamped and subsequently changed into a program based upon skilled categories. In order to be eligible for permanent residency in Canada under the program, applicants have to show that they have a minimum of twelve months experience in one of the 38 occupation categories.