Canada is among the
globe’s most open-minded nations for immigrants and has one of the best per
capita admission rates.
It has a long and rich
experience of immigrants that is engraved within sense of nationhood.
On an average it has
offered permanent residency to approximately 200,000 immigrants and refugees
per year. The goal of immigration system has always been to encourage youthful,
bilingual and high-skilled immigration in order to construct its human capital
against Canada’s aging labour. Canada has earned a global respect for an “open
arms” attitude. But, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S. stand was to secure
its borders. The terrorists that were arrested in June included the Muslims of
foreign nationalities. There were many questions that were raised about
Canada’s immigration system and its capability of absorbing those immigrants in
Canada’s Evolution in Immigration Policies
Similar to the U.S., Canada is a few of those countries
where immigration has evolved it’s society and culture. With its small
population and huge area of unsettled land, Canada’s immigration policy was
initiated with a desire for expansion.
After providing free immigration to immigrants from 1867
to 1895, Canada understood the need to put a filter on the immigrants. Canada
began to manage its immigration policies in the late 19th century.
It allowed the immigration to “white” American, British and the European
applicants and restricted the immigration from rest of the world who could not
prove themselves to be European. These policies included many Immigration Acts
like Immigration Act of 1910, 1919 and 1952.
In the early 20th century, the regulations of Immigration
Policies were overturned as they were agreed to be racist and not fair criteria
to classify individuals.
Canada began to limit the immigrants and adopted policies
that did not classify applicants based on their ethnic origins.
In 1967, a points system was introduced to determine if
an applicant is eligible to enter into the country. The preference was given to
the people who were educated and speak either English or French.
These policies were rewritten and Immigration Act of 1976
was made. This act made Canada emerge out to be the destination for immigrants
all over the world. This new act was built on three admission blocks : independent
applicants were assessed on the basis of points awarded for employment skills,
education, and language abilities rather national or “racial” origin;
sponsorship by close family members; and refugee status.
This act emphasized greatly upon family reunification and
humanitarian concern over economic interest.
In 2001, this Act got replaced by Immigration and Refugee
Protection Act. This policy emphasized more on education, language and
adaptability. This helped Canada build a wall against the unwanted immigrants
to the country. This act influenced the immigration flow into the country.
There were many immigrants that Canada was looking forward to immigrate into
the country and build the nation. This Act gave Canada the required skilled
work force that could develop the country. This Act influenced many immigrants
and in couple of years, 60 percent of those immigrants were found to be highly
The number of Economic immigrants drastically rose after
this Act compared to Families or Refugee status.
percent): The selection in
this category is laid upon three factors namely :- high level of education, job
experience and language skills. The program that has helped the country the
most to bring in Economic type of immigrants is Federal Skilled Worker Program.
This program has brought in more than 81 percent of the economic immigrants to
the country. This program has set point system criteria including parameters of
education, age, proficiency in English or French and adaptabilities. These
immigrants may be termed as building blocks of Canada. The economic immigrants are the ripen fruit to the economy
reunification(28 percent): This includes spouses and children joining
the family members who are already living in Canada. This may be termed as the
second largest group of immigrants in Canada. These immigrants may or may not
affect the country’s economics. This type of immigration offer good opportunity
to the new citizens by giving them a chance to reunite with their family.
percent): This is the smallest groups of immigrants that are
admitted to Canada. This includes both humanitarian resettlement programs and
Asylum protection. The Refugees and the Asylum have been a constant component
of the immigration program. The country categorizes the refugees into two parts
namely: – resettled refugees and asylum seekers. The country remains very
careful when dealing with these types of immigrants. They must be referred by a
trusted organization like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
They must clear at least two of the face to face interviews, biometrics, travel
history check and database crosscheck. The screening is also done by CSIS, CBSA
and the RCMP to make sure that the immigrants are safe to be granted a refugee
status to come to Canada. In 2016, there were 15,000 such applicants, the third
of these applicants were rejected and that’s not even counting the hundreds of
applications that were already terminated due to criminal records or they
abandoned their claims.
How government helps immigrants
immigrants with language training and access to Canada’s national health care
and social welfare programs. Canadian government is more concerned about the
economy of the country and therefore keeps a close eye on the economic
indicators. The economic indicators indicate that immigrants arrived in the
1990s have had more problems and difficulties coping with the economic success
of those who arrived in 1980s.
Some studies also
show that some of the skilled immigrants despite their academic excellence fail
in getting a job in Canada. The reason could be lack of language proficiency.
The other valid reason for this could be that the immigration policies stress
more on the academic’s part which are the core knowledge rather than the soft
skills or the presentation skills. So people are able to sit in the interview
but lack of soft skill go against them getting hired. Canada’s immigration and
citizens policies provide them with language classes that are funded by the
government. This helps these immigrants develop their skills and get employed
problem that rose was the income level. It was seen that the non-white
Canadians were hired on a lower income level when compared to their white
Canadian counterparts. This problem got fade away by time. When the immigrants
kept rising, the second or the third-generation immigrants came and the
discrimination got less and less prominent. The attitude of the general public
also changed and got better year after year. After Justin Trudeau became the
prime minister a lot changed in the prospective of the public. He was able to convey
his message about immigration and immigrants to the public very efficiently.
Canada’s policies on asylum seekers?
Since the world war
II, Canada has admitted refugees. It is known for having relatively liberal
policies on asylum. Any person who arrives in Canada is eligible to apply for
refugee status anywhere in the country.
There are two parts
to this process. First, the claim is presented to the Citizenship and
Immigration Canada(CIC). Then the CIC takes a decision on whether the claim
made by the individual is eligible to be referred to the Immigration and
Refugee Board(IRB). Then the final decision is made by this board if the person
can be given a refugee status or not. If person receives a refugee status then
the person is eligible to apply for permanent residency.
In the past decade
Canada has become one of the few countries to admit refugees into their
country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have estimated that
230,000 refugees and asylum seekers are admitted in Canada.
The Validity of the Opposition
There could be some
concerns regarding the immigration policies of Canada such as security, threat
to economy, loss of culture, illegal work, admitting terrorist and depletion of
resources. However, the openness and law enforcement have completely rubbished
the concerns and today Canada is diverse community country supporting multiple
cultures, language and nationalities. It has also been able to balance its
talent requirement and made the people responsible, by partnering with them and
offering them immigration and citizenship. This partnership process has been
appreciated by the world and made Canada the best country to stay. Immigration
has also helped Canada improve its economy through investments.
To conclude, the
world is moving to a global concept restoring faith in humanity and supporting
all shades of life and people. Canada has emerged as a true example ensuring
benefit of all on a larger platform.
Canada has shown a
constant growth and has invited the refugees and immigrants from all over the
world. Immigration has shown a positive effect on the Canadian economy and its
people, thus validating the immigration policies. This gives Canada the title
it really deserves – “The Land of opportunity”.