The Canadian Immigration System:
Policy and Patterns
Foster Immigration
The Public Policy Framework
Outline of Presentation:
The Canadian Immigration System
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History of Canada’s Immigration Policy – Forms and
Periods
Immigration in Canada Today: A General Picture
• Immigration levels
• Regions of origin
• Types of immigrants
• Where immigrants settle
Policy Challenge: Immigrant’s skills and credentials
are not utilized – The Foreign Credentials Gap
Foster Immigration
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MAJOR HISTORICAL TRENDS
1.
2.
3.
4.
The Shift in the Economic Base From an Agricultural to a PostIndustrial Foundation Corresponds to the Demographic and
Cognitive Shift From a “White-Settler Colony” to a “Post-Racial
Society.”
Historically, at the Collective Level, the “Form of Immigration”
Intake has Shifted From a Closed Policy to Open Policy to
Restricted Policy Characterized by “Designer Immigration.”
Historically, at the Individual Level, the Criteria for Admission has
Shifted From “Absorptive Capacity” To “Adaptive Capacity.”
Historically, at the Mode of Production Level, the More Complex
Developments in the Economic Infrastructure (Mode of
Production) have Corresponded to the More Complex Social
Differentiations in Society.
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History of Immigration Policy:
The Three Forms
The Forms of Immigration:
From a White-Settler Colony to a Post-Racial Society
& From an Agricultural to a Post-industrial Society
“Closed Policy" – was inclined toward formalizing a practice that existed since
Confederation of recruiting only designated newcomers from only
designated countries. This closed policy resulted in targeted or selective
immigration practices which guaranteed the bulk of newcomers were, and
would remain, of ‘preferred’ European stock.
“Open Policy" – Canada abandoned its “White-Settler Colony” mentality,
country of origin was no longer a criterion in immigration selecting, and
admission requirements were to be based on individual personal
characteristics [mapped by a ‘point system’], supporting the rise of a “PostRacial Society” mentality.
“Restrictive Policy“- began in 1978 and is associated with specific yearly
immigration target levels, coupled with a closer scrutiny of the immigrant's
potential labor market impact, characterized by the rise of “Designer
immigration.”
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History of Canada’s Immigration Policy:
The Eight Periods
“When I speak of quality, I
have in mind something that is
quite different from what is in the
mind of the average writer or
speaker upon the question of
immigration. I think of a stalwart
peasant in a sheep-skin coat,
born on the soil, whose
forefathers have been farmers for
generations, with a stout wife and
half-a-dozen children, is good
quality.”
Sir Clifford Sifton, 1922
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Period One: 1867 –1913
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Immigration part of a general set of national policies (1868-1892
Department of Agriculture; 1892-1917 Department of Interior)
Main goals
. securing farmers, farm workers and female domestics
. populate, farm and settle the Canadian West
Search for farmers was concentrated in Britain, the U.S. and
Northwestern Europe
The highest levels ever: 330,000 in 1911 and 400,000 in 1913.
Demand for labour high, source countries begin to include Eastern and
Central Europe – and give away land to White-settlers.
Head tax on Chinese immigrants in West doubled, to $100
. tax increased again to $500, then immigration outlawed in 1923
. the Chinese were the only group for which there was a complete
structure of special legislation and regulations limiting there
opportunity to come, to be united with their families if already here,
and to proceed immediately to citizenship when eligible.
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"The Last, Best West"
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Chinese Head Tax Certificate
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Period Two: 1919 – 1929
Industrialization and Urbanization
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1919: Immigration Act revised (reflecting growth of class-based
cleavage/social stratification)
. government may limit the numbers of immigrants
. formalized immigration guidelines based on ethnicity, race,
cultural and ideological traits.
. word ‘nationality’ added to ‘race’ to define the origin of
immigrants.
First official division of source countries into preferred and nonpreferred groups
. preferred countries included Britain, the US, the Irish Free
State, Newfoundland, Australia and New Zealand
. applicants from northern and western Europe were treated
similarly; those from eastern, southern and central Europe
faced stricter regulations.
Formal acknowledgement of “short-term absorptive capacity”
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Period Three: 1930s and 1940s
déjà vu Capitalism
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1931: Canadian unemployment rate over 11%
. Financial [déjà vu Capitalism and the ideological distain
for market regulation] system crisis comparable to today.
. Effectively ended six decades of active immigrant
recruitment
. Door closed to most newcomers except those (of
European descent) from Britain and the US.
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Family reunification remained a priority; immediate family
members admitted into the country (still in transition from and
agricultural to and industrial based economy).
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Period Four: 1946 – 1962
The Transition to an Advanced Industrial Society
Two main events: large influx of displaced persons from Europe,
establishment of clear ethnic and economic goals for immigration
policy
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1947: Prime Minister Mackenzie King stated that immigration had
purpose of population growth and improved Canadian standard of
living
. immigration should not change the basic character of the Canadian
population
 1952: New Immigration Act allows refusal of admission on the
grounds of nationality, ethnic group, geographical area of origin,
peculiar customs, habits and modes of life, unsuitability with regard to
the climate, probable inability to become readily assimilated, etc.
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Immigration Is A Privilege And Not A Right
Canada’s Postwar Immigration Policy
"The policy of the government is to
foster the growth of the population of
Canada by the encouragement of
immigration. The government will seek by
legislation, regulation and vigorous
administration, to ensure the careful
selection and permanent settlement of such
numbers of immigrants as can be
advantageously absorbed in our national
economy. It is a matter of domestic policy
[...] The people of Canada do not wish as a
result of mass immigration to make a
fundamental alteration in the character of
our population. Large scale immigration
from the Orient would change the
fundamental composition of the Canadian
population" – William Lyon MacKenzie
King.
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Period Five: 1962 – 1973
Liberal Universalism and Difference Blind-ness
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1962: Canada abandoned its all White racist immigration
policy
. Admission to be based on individual
personal characteristics; not nationality
1966 Immigration under Department of Manpower and
Immigration (directly tie immigration and labour market).
1967: Point system created to facilitate and encourage
the flow of skilled migrants
Family class was still prioritized
Additional immigration posts were opened in third world
areas; resulting shift in region of immigrant origin
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Period Six: 1974 – 1985
A period of big swings in the business cycle; immigration inflows
were adjusted accordingly.
 1976: New Immigration Act defines the 3 main priorities of the
immigration policy:
.
Priority 1: family reunification
.
Priority 2: humanitarian concerns
.
Priority 3: promotion of Canada’s economic, social
demographic and cultural goals
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These goals/priorities still form the core of our immigration policy
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Period Seven: 1986 – 2002
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1985: Report to Parliament on future immigration levels
.
fertility in Canada had fallen below replacement
levels
.
economic component of the inflow should be
increased but not at the expense of social and
humanitarian streams
1992: Family class was reduced; government committed
to stable inflows of about 1% of the current population
1993: Size of the inflow increased to 250,000 in spite of
poor labour market – a major shift from the absorptive
capacity policy to adaptability (labour market indicators)
The switch to long term goals and the desire to
increase the numbers of skilled workers continued
through the 1990s (the birth of “designer immigration”)
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Period Eight: 2002 –
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2002: 1976 Immigration Act replaced
.
A few changes to the skilled workers category in
order to attract younger and educated workers
.
More points to applicants with a trade certificate or
a second degree; more points for language
(French and English); fewer points for experience
with greater weight on first two years of
experience; and changes in age factor
.
Common-law partner in the family category
(conjugal relations)
.
More powers of detention
.
Undocumented protected persons category
eliminated
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Immigration in Canada Today:
Components of Immigration Intake
Family Reunification
Members of the Family Class
Humanitarian
Convention Refugees;
Members of Designated Classes; Persons
eligible under special humanitarian
measures
Economic
Assisted Relatives*
Business Immigrants:
Entrepreneurs
Self-employed persons
Investors
Retirees
Other Independent Immigrants*
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Selection Grid for Economic Immigrants
(Point System)
Factor One: Education
Maximum 25
Factor Two: Official Languages
Maximum 24
1st Official Language
Maximum 16
2nd Official Language
Maximum 8
Factor Three: Experience
Maximum 21
Factor Four: Age
Maximum 10
Factor Five: Arranged Employment in
Canada
Maximum 10
Factor Six: Adaptability
Maximum 10
Total
Maximum 100
Passing Mark
67
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Selection Factor: Adaptability
Factor Six: Adaptability
Maximum 10
points
Spouse’s or common-law partner’s education
3-5
Minimum one year full-time authorized work in
Canada
5
Minimum two years full-time authorized postsecondary study in Canada
5
Have received points under the Arranged
Employment in Canada factor
5
Family relationship in Canada
5
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The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
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28 June 2002 – The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act comes into
effect. It emphasizes the importance of immigration to improving Canadian
society and economy and creating a culturally diverse nation. The Act also
states the government’s commitment to reuniting families in Canada,
integrating immigrants, and protecting the health and safety of all
Canadians. The refugee program plans to fulfill Canada’s international legal
obligations and give fair consideration to all people being persecuted. The
Act guarantees the policies will be consistent with the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It
also states that intergovernmental co-operation will be important, as will be
greater public awareness of policies.
12 December 2003 – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is
created. It is part of a broader package of programs designed to deal with
the security concerns raised by the 11 September attack on the WorldTrade
Center. The CBSA’s mandate is to facilitate the legal movement of goods
and people across Canada’s borders while stopping illegal or threatening
shipments.
31 December 2003 – Introduction of the Permanent Resident Card. The
card is required for permanent residents leaving and re-entering Canada. It
is designed to increase border security.
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Canadian Immigration in 2005:
By Admissible Category
Economic
56.1%
Family
28.5%
Refugee
12.8%
Other
2.6%
Total Number of
Immigrants
262,157 (100%)
Foster Immigration
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Annual Distribution of Permanent Residents By Source Area
1997-2006 (%)
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In the
1950s,
84.6% of
immigrants
were
European
by birth
By the mid
1980s
immigrants
born in
Europe
slipped to
28.6%
Now its
about 15%
Source: Citizenship and
Immigration Canada
2007, 27.
Foster Immigration
Source Area
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Africa and the
Middle East
18.9
20.0
18.8
19.0
20.6
21.8
21.2
22.0
19.7
21.8
Asia and
Pacific
53.4
47.1
49.8
52.7
52.3
50.8
49.9
47.2
51.4
48.4
South and
Central
America
7.6
7.6
7.6
6.9
7.5
8.0
8.9
9.2
9.1
9.5
Total for the
Above
79.9
74.7
76.2
78.6
80.4
80.6
80.0
78.4
80.2
79.7
United States
2.1
2.5
2.7
2.4
2.1
2.1
2.6
3.2
3.5
4.4
Europe and
UK
18.0
22.7
21.1
19.1
17.4
17.2
17.3
18.4
16.4
15.8
TOTAL
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
The Public Policy Framework
Canadian Immigration Source Countries 2005
Number of Immigrants
China
42,291
India
33,146
Philippines
17,525
Pakistan
13,576
United States
9,262
Columbia
6,031
United Kingdom
5,865
South Korea
5,819
Iran
5,502
France
5,430
Romania
4,964
Sri Lanka
4,690
Russia
3,607
Taiwan
3.092
Hong Kong
1,784
Yugoslavia (Former)
272
Top 10 Source Counties
144,447
Other
117,789
Total
262,236
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Where do Permanent Residents settle in Canada?
Province/Territory
2005
%
Nova Scotia
1,929
0.7%
Other Atlantic Provinces*
1,918
0.7%
Quebec
43,308
16.5%
Ontario
140,533
53.6%
Manitoba
8,097
3.1%
Saskatchewan
2,106
0.8%
Alberta
19,399
7.4%
British Columbia
44,767
17.1%
160
0.06%
19
>0.001%
Territories**
Provinces/Territories not
stated
Total
262,236
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* Newfoundland and
Labrador, New
Brunswick, Prince
Edward Island
** Yukon, Northwest
Territories, Nunavut
Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement
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The first-ever Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement was
signed in November 2005.
The Agreement signals a new era of federal-provincial
collaboration in the integration of newcomers to Ontario.
.
Over the next five years, Citizenship and Immigration
Canada (CIC) plans to invest $920 million in new funding for
settlement and language training programs and services in
Ontario.
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The federal and provincial governments will jointly develop
settlement and language training strategies (service gaps
and optimal ways of delivering and measuring the
effectiveness of integration services)
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The overall goal of these strategies is to support the
successful social and economic integration of immigrants in
Ontario.
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New Developments
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Provincial Nominee Program (PNPs) are also in place with 10
jurisdictions (the Yukon and all provinces except Quebec), either as an
annex to a framework agreement or as a stand-alone agreement. Under the
PNP, provinces and territories have the authority to nominate individuals as
permanent residents to address specific labour market and economic
development needs.
Canada Experience Class program will allow temporary workers as well
and international students to apply to become permanent residents
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Aimed at people who want to immigrate to Canada and already have
Canadian work experience or Canadian academic credentials.
.
Perhaps as many as 12,000 – 18,000.
The Immigration Backlog is now report as 900,000. (This effectively
means that newcomers face long processing delays, perhaps as along as
five years).
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Policy Challenge:
Immigrants’ Skills Are Underutilized
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Immigrants tend to start at a significant earnings disadvantage,
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In 1980, the income of male immigrants represented 89% of
the income of workers born in Canada
.
In 2000, the income of immigrants fell to 77% relative to the
income of workers born in Canada
Unemployment rate shows the same trend
.
In 1981, the unemployment rate of immigrants (7.1%) was
lower than the unemployment rate of Canadians (7.9%)
.
20 years later, the unemployment rate of immigrants is
12.7% compare to 7.4% for workers born in Canada
The economic condition of newcomers in the country has
worsened; the immigrants who are most affected belong to racial
minorities
Annual cost of this problem: $2 billion
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Salary Gap
Disparity in median incomes among recent immigrants
Recent Immigrants from 2001 to 2006
University educated, $26,301
Non-university educated, $19,280
Immigrants from 2000 and before:
University educated, $37,647
Non-University educated, $29,301
Canadian-born:
University educated, $57,695
Non-university educated, $39,586.
Foster Immigration
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Policy Challenge:
Immigrants’ Skills Are Underutilized
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Principal Cause: the non-recognition of foreign education and
foreign experience
•
Canadian workers are increasingly educated, employers have
access to a qualified workforce and prefer to hire Canadianeducated workers with domestic experience
•
Professional associations are often accused of placing too
many barriers in front of otherwise qualified immigrants
•
Even with a work authorization given by a professional
association, there is still an earnings gap of 15% between
newcomers and the Canadian-born – limited access to
senior/management positions
The earnings gap for workers outside the knowledge economy
(mostly regulated by professional association) represents a 30%
difference
Most newcomers will not be part of the knowledge economy
Cultural hegemony is the new head tax to exclude the ‘undesirable,’
and to perpetuate oppression in Canada.
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Potential Solutions
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The Canadian government has recently announced that it will increase
immigration – yet, most of our newcomers today are visible minorities
•
To help mitigate possible social tensions, governments (federal,
provincial and municipal) have a role to play in establishing
coherent policy
•
Some potential initiatives include:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
Better sources of information for immigrants, before and after
arrival
Bridge-training programs to “top-up” immigrants’ skills or fill in the
gaps
Subsidized workplace internship and mentoring programs
More support for credential assessment services to improve
labour market effectiveness
Improved public awareness of the problems faced by skilled
immigrants in integrating into the Canadian labour market and the
consequences for Canadian society
Foster Immigration
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The Canadian Immigration System: An Overview