The Government of Canada has released its budget for 2013 (“Budget 2013″). Budget 2013 contains several announcements of changes to immigration programs which the Government of Canada will introduce this year, including (my editorial comments in maroon):
- Providing $42-million in funding to support enhanced program capacity within the Temporary Resident program, and giving the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (the “Minister“) the ability to set fees in a timely and efficient manner. (Budget 2013 actually refers to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada as the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. I’m not sure if this means that the Department is about to change its name or if it is a typo.)
- Providing $44-million in funding over two years to improve the processing of Citizenship applications, and allowing the Minister to set fees in a timely and efficient manner. (This is fantastic. Processing times have ballooned to more than four years in many cases.)
- Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to restrict the identification of non-official languages as job requirements when hiring through the Temporary Foreign Worker process. (Not sure about this.. in a global economy some positions require fluency in languages other than English or French.)
- Introduce processing fees for Labour Market Opinion applications. (I’ve never understood why this was free. In 2012 Service Canada processed 112,897 LMO applications for free. An application fee of say $100 would have saved taxpayers over $10-million.)
- Increase the recruitment efforts that employers must make to hire Canadians before they will be eligible to apply for temporary foreign workers (presumably this means Labour Market Opinions), including increasing the length and reach of advertising requirements.
- Assist employers who employ foreign workers to find ways to ensure that they have a plan to transition to a Canadian workforce over time.