International Agency Names Canada a Benchmark for Immigration Systems Worldwide
Canada’s economic immigration system is being praised as one of the most successful in the world following the release of a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
According to the report, Canada’s economic immigration system is the “most carefully designed” amongst OECD’s 36 member countries and serves as a benchmark for countries looking to improve their own immigration systems.
OECD countries represent around 80 percent of world trade and investment.
The report also commended Canada for being a leader in offering services that provide solutions for immigrant health and housing issues, and help those who immigrate to Canada find jobs.
However, the report mentioned that currently, only 8.5 per cent of eligible economic immigrants actually access these resources.
When putting together the report, OECD looked at how Canada recruits foreign labour from its Express Entry program, which essentially invites skilled workers to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Around 85,000 economic immigrants come to Canada through the Express Entry program every year.
Changes made by the Liberal government since being elected in 2015 were singled out as a factor in helping align labour market requirements with program applicants.
These changes include reducing the number of points an applicant receives if they get a job offer before being accepted.
Despite the immense positive feedback outlined in the report, OECD did find that there remain some areas where Canada can improve, and recommended that Canada:
- Streamline, simplify and standardize its ranking system for skilled workers rather than having separate “pathways” to entry;
- Dissolve the Federal Skilled Trades Program;
- Enhance information and harmonization around the credential recognition process;
- Encourage settlement outside the major urban areas;
- Build on the success of rural immigration pilots in Atlantic Canada;
- Introduce a trusted-employer system for companies that hire many employees through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The OECD further criticized that Canada’s screening policy for immigrants could potentially allow for political tinkering, and that too many foreign professional credentials are not being recognized in Canada.
The study also found that there are some other hiccups in the program when it comes to finding candidates for areas with labour shortages.
Despite these flaws, the general consensus from the OECD report was that Canada’s economic immigration system functions exceptionally well, and should be considered a world leader based on how it selects and retains foreign labour and benefits national and regional economies.