OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2012) - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today that Canada has welcomed its 20,000th permanent resident through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration stream, reflecting the success of the government's efforts to attract as well as retain the world's best and brightest skilled workers.
The Minister was joined at the announcement by Gaurav Gore, originally from India, who was recognized as the 20,000th permanent resident admitted under the CEC. Mr. Gore earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Toronto. He is applying his education as well as his experience as a business consultant with a major bank in Toronto.
"We are working hard to attract and retain the best and brightest students from around the world. Gaurav is an excellent example of the benefits of welcoming highly educated and skilled people to stay as well as work in Canada. Mr. Gore completed a challenging, competitive university program. He is now building a successful career, contributing to our economy and helping create jobs for Canadians here in Canada. Guarav is exactly the sort of skilled worker that Canada hopes to attract and retain through the CEC program," said the Minister.
"As a student, I saw the wealth of opportunities that are available in Canada," said Mr. Gore, a Personal and Commercial Digital Channels Advisor with BMO Financial Group. "I felt welcome. I wanted to stay, pursue a career here, and contribute to the economy as well as to the country. I was happy to discover that it was possible through the CEC and that I could use my skills immediately upon graduating."
"Canada's universities are pleased to see the success of the CEC in helping international student graduates become permanent residents. The graduates contribute their knowledge, talent and global perspectives to our communities and to our economy," says Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. "These graduates contribute to economic growth and innovation in Canada and help Canadian businesses connect with new international markets."
The CEC, Canada's fastest growing economic immigration program, offers a pathway to permanent residency for international student graduates as well as others with skilled work experience in Canada. Those who are eligible may apply from within Canada and expect a quick decision. In the past, a brilliant student graduating from our top universities who wanted to stay in Canada and help create jobs would have had to return to their home country to wait at the back of a seven or eight year queue. They may have spent several years waiting in the immigration queue and may have been required to leave the country before applying for permanent residence. The goal of the CEC is to ensure that Canada retains talented and motivated people who have already shown that they can put their skills as well as their experience to work, grow the Canadian economy, create jobs and integrate easily into Canadian life.
"The Canadian Experience Class is a sound program that responds to the needs of employers. The program contributes to economic growth," said James Knight, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. "Equipped with diplomas as well as degrees, international students become Canadian citizens, excellent employees and community members."
In order to make the CEC even more responsive to Canada's labour market needs and economic goals, CIC is proposing changes that will expedite the transition to permanent residence of those already working successfully in Canada. With the proposed change, all applicants will require 12 months of Canadian work experience gained in the 36 months preceding their application. Some applicants currently require 24 months of full-time work experience. This change will make the program more flexible for international student graduates. It will provide them with more time to launch their careers as well as gain the necessary experience to apply for permanent residency through the program.
Minister Kenney concluded by saying that, "International student graduates have educational credentials that are recognized by Canadian employers as well as official language skills that are important factors for success. The proposed changes to the CEC will make it easier for them to stay here, contribute to Canadian innovation as well as to the economic development that will help ensure Canada's future prosperity."
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Photo of Minister Kenney will be available later today at: www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/photos/high-res/index.asp.
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.