Global Visas

Global Visas

April 08, 2010 03:00 ET

Canada Changes the Rules on Immigration: Language Requirements Are Tightened and Preferred Occupations Changed

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 8, 2010) - Canada is changing the rules for overseas applicants for Canadian visas. The changes fall in two main areas, which Canada immigration staff are applying in two stages. These involve changing the list of in-demand occupations and requiring applicants to demonstrate language proficiency.

First, on 16th March, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced a review of immigration rules and procedures to ensure that they continue to provide a flow of immigrants who will help to meet the country's economic needs. The main change is expected to be a change to the list of in-demand occupations for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The list was introduced in 2008, and currently includes thirty-eight occupations which were most in demand in Canada at the time it was introduced. Canada immigration authorities are expected to make changes to this list effective from May 1st 2010, but no announcement has yet been made as to what those changes will be. Citizenship and Immigration Canada credits the list with reducing the backlog of applications in process by almost forty per cent since its 2008 introduction. 

The second change, which comes into effect on April 10th, requires applicants to demonstrate their proficiency in either French or English, Canada's two national languages. When they apply for a visa, applicants will either have to take a written test or produce documentary evidence to prove their competence in one of the two languages. The applicant's ability in the language will result in points being awarded at the application stage. The sting in the tail of this change is that an applicant will not be able to retake the test at a later stage if they fail it, so non-speakers of either English or French will need to ensure that they have reached a reasonable level of proficiency before sitting the test. 

While the modifications to the list of in-demand occupations are not yet clear, the changes are likely to be seen as a tightening-up of the Canada immigration requirements, and the language tests will put an obstacle in the way of applicants with a poor grasp of one of the national languages. 

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Global Visas are a world leading authority on immigration and visas for private individuals and corporate clients, providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date visa and immigration advice available. Their offices around the world provide immigration and visa solutions for those travelling to America, South Africa, Australia, the UK and many other countries. Global Visas was founded in 1996 by a former immigration officer.

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