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Canada's Immigration Minister Promises Fewer Backlogs And Lower Wait Times In 2014

28 Dec 2013


Immigration News

In 2 short years, Chris Alexander has moved up from a newly elected MP to cabinet minister, and he says it has been both humbling and challenging to take on the immigration portfolio.

Alexander told Postmedia News in a year-end interview that it is a pleasure to step into Jason Kenney’s shoes as there is a record of accomplishment here and an actual forward momentum.

As Jason Kenney served as the minister to the Canadian Immigration system, his job during his five year reign was to transform the system into one that is more selective of refugees and more accustomed to the labor market needs. Now, the role of Alexander as the new minister will be trying to improve the complete service delivery.

In this matter Alexander says that his main focus will be to reduce wait times and backlogs in the various economic immigration streams in lieu of the Canadian government’s EOI (Expression Of Interest) system which is about to launch from 1st January, 2015.

With the new system, prospective immigrants will be invited to express their interest in moving to Canada by filling out an online form outlining their work experience, language ability and skills. People who meet specific criteria will be placed in a pool of applicants and they will be ranked according to the labor market needs at that time. The best of the applicants from the pool, including people with job offers, will be invited to apply for a visa by employers, as well as Provincial and Federal governments.

This way, the government does not need to process all the applications it receives and the EOIs that are not selected from the pool will be removed after a certain period. This is supposed to result in lower processing times and fewer application backlogs.

Alexander said that the Immigration system needs to move at the speed of business.

The goal is that by January 2015, it will just take 6 months for a successful economic applicant to obtain a visa and hopefully, not more than that for their dependents, whether its parents and grandparents or spouses and children.


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