In 2009, Canada expects the number of immigrants to be around 265,000.
The federal government will accept between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in the year 2009 and the government is working to make the immigration process more responsive to the needs of employers, according to the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney.
Jason Kenney said that while countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia are talking about fewer immigrants intake, the numbers for Canada in 2009 are on par with previous year and are among the highest for this country over the past 15 years.
The plan for 2009 includes up to 156,000 immigrants in the economic category, 71,000 immigrants in the family category and there are 37,400 immigrants in the humanitarian category as well.
In order to make an immigration program that is more responsive to the labour market of Canada, visa officers reviewing new federal skilled worker applications are instructed to process those from candidates who-
1. Are in the list of 38 high-demand occupations such as health, skilled trades, and finance and resource extraction.
2. Or, they have an offer of arranged work or have already been living in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or as an international student.
The list of the recently released 38 occupations was developed after consultations with provinces and territories, business, labour and other stakeholders.
Minister Kenney said they expect that the new federal skilled worker applicants will receive a decision within a period of six to twelve months, which earlier used to be around six years.
Kenney said that the eligibility criteria will be valid only for new federal skilled worker applicants and will not affect the family reunification or refugee protection goals of Canada. He added that applicants could also qualify under the provincial nominee program or they can also qualify as temporary foreign workers.