Saturday, June 21, 2008

With Tories new immigration rules, up becomes down, faster becomes stop

The Tories newly passed immigration reforms, which are retroactively being applied to Feb 26th, were aimed at reducing a staggering backlog of applications by would-be immigrants. 

However they are creating a new logjam and increasing delays.
Immigrants who submitted applications after Feb. 26, have been told by that their applications are being put on hold until further notice.
In typical Tory fashion and with accompanying hubris the Tories claimed that the backlog of 925,000 immigrant applications was caused by the former Liberal government’s neglect and mismanagement. And instead of trying to better manage the system by applying more resources over the last two years, the Tories decided to reform the immigration laws.
In a news release issued after the legislation's passage, the immigration department said the law "will stop the backlog from growing" and help to bring in skilled immigrants in as little as six months.
However, Canada receives 14,500 new overseas applicants each month and by placing all applications received since February on hold, the back log is expected to grow an additional 90,000 by the fall. Apparently the Tories haven’t decided what the new rules are yet.
"It is expected that Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will, within the next several months, be providing instructions to visa offices as to which applications are to be accepted for processing and which are to be returned unprocessed," Canadian visa officers explained in letters to applicants.

When the instructions from the minister are received, "we will apply them to our inventory of applications," the letter says.
Findley's instructions are not expected until the fall, when the house resumes. Meanwhile with some continued foot dragging on the applications prior to February, Canada, by years end, could have a million people sitting in limbo, waiting for the nod from Immigration Minister.
The immigration reforms, passed by the Senate this week, give Immigration Minister Diane Finley the power to reject applications even if applicants meet all the criteria, and to instruct officials to cherry-pick immigrants based on labour market needs
Come the fall the Tories will probably try to sell the increased backlog as "Canada's is now a more popular destination under the Harper regime".

However I would guess that the reason for delay in issuing the new instructions for processing has more to do with providing Steve the time he needs over the summer to consult with the oil industry.

With the new approvals to start exploring the Arctic, they just need more time to forecast what skill sets will be necessary for these new short term work visas.
From the Star.com here.

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