AHMEDABAD, AUGUST 20, 2004
Canada seems to be aping the US
and dragging its feet over processing immigration files. Immigration
hopefuls complain that if it earlier took about 18 to 20 months
for files to get cleared, it now takes about 36 to 53 months.
Immigration experts say this has
been a result of a decision of the Citizenship and Immigration
Canada (CIC) to lower points required to become eligible for
permanent residence (PR) from 75 to 67.
This has led more applicants to
make a beeline for PR, creating a huge backlog with the CIC.
Experts, however, feel that though it is taking more time now
to immigrate to Canada, applicants who fulfil all criteria do
eventually get PR.
"Canada has a stable immigration
system and it will remain attractive for professionals who are
not in a hurry to migrate. The processing time now has been
raised to 53 months but the applicants get a PR easily after
that," says immigration consultant Pranay Shah.
In the immigration plan included
in the annual report for 2003-04 by CIC, the immigration body
expects to bring to Canada between 2,20,000 and 2,45,000 newcomers
as permanent residents.
The overall range identified in
2003 is thus being maintained in 2004. An overall range of 2,20,000
to 2,45,000 new permanent residents is also being proposed for
2005, subject to consultation, review and approval
CIC will continue to aim for a
60/40 balance between economic and noneconomic immigrants. This
means that approximately 60 per cent of the people selected
in 2004 are expected to be in the economic class,which is comprised
of skilled workers, business immigrants, live-in caregivers
and provincial nominees, as well as their dependants.
The balance of the newcomers would
be in the family class and the protected persons class, as well
as cases decided on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Immigration Levels for 2004 for
skilled workers and dependants will be in the range of 119,500
- 135,500, business immigrants 6,000 - 6,000, provincial/territorial
nominees 3,500 - 3,500, live-in caregivers, 3,000 - 3,000 taking
the total of economic class migrants (including dependants)
to 132,000 - 148,000. The quota in the family class-- spouses,
partners and children is 42,000 -42,000, parents and grandparents
10,500 - 13,500 taking the total to 52,500 - 55,500.
Total protected persons who will
be invited will be 29,400 - 32,800 and on humanitarian and compassionate
grounds, public policy considerations and permit holders 6,100
- 8,700. So in 2004, the total permanent residents 2,20,000
"Canada draws its immigrant
population from a great number of countries, and there have
been significant shifts in primary source countries over time.
For example, in 1980, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and
the United Kingdom together accounted for some 29% of the movement
that year. Since 2000, China and India have become the source
countries for over one quarter of our new permanent residents,"
says Denis Coderre minister of CIC as quoted in the annual report.
Another consultant Prasanna Acharya
says: "Immigration aspirants look at Canada as a safe bet,
where they can file for immigration and are ready to wait until
the file clears. It is an option that will fructify later."