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Liberals Speeding up the Immigration Applications

December 2017, 04
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The government in the province has plans to bring 1,700 new permanent residents each year till 2022. This will give a time of five years for the immigration plan to go for improvement from the present numbers.

The possibility of meeting this target is being challenged by the Progressive Conservatives who claim that the province is not as much of effective to attract and retain immigrants compared to the situation two years ago.

In these two years, only 50% of the number of immigrants applied to arrive in Newfoundland and Labrador. Presently, the waiting time for express entry has increased from two days to six weeks. The immigration improvements were a campaign promise and are neglected now.

The numbers

Going by The main target, in 2016 Newfoundland and Labrador had 1,190 new permanent residents. The processing time for applications taken in the provincial nominee program reflected mixed results. In October, as per the government release the average times needed to process PNP applications for 2015, 2016 and 2017, was given in response to the information request. 

1,050 certificates of nomination can be issued in the program in one year. Of these 500 are taken up in two streams namely Skilled Workers and International Graduates and 550 nominations are done through Express Entry Stream for Highly Skilled Workers. The figures of September 2017, on an average, needed a waiting period exceeding five weeks, for the applicants figuring in the stream. The process required less than a week in 2015 and over three weeks in 2016. Al Hawkins, the Immigration Minister dismissed the criticism as unwarranted and said that it did not speak of other streams in the PNP in which many applications are cleared. In the Express Stream, there were few applications in 2015. When there is an increase in applications the time to get through the system also increases.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

A three-year Atlantic Immigration Pilot program was started in March 2017. In it, the employers submit an application to the government and turn into designated participants. They can then apply and seek government endorsement of future employees for the company to fill a position. After the province issues an endorsement, the applicant seeks permanent residency/work visa in the category of a High /Medium-Skilled Worker, Or as an International Graduate.

Presently Newfoundland and Labrador can approve 442 persons annually in this program.

Improvements being made

The Liberals had hired more people to manage and process the immigration applications, during the year, and Hawkins felt that this would help in a big way. The province was working on a new online system which allows the applying individuals to see the progress of their applications online in matters of completion, updating and tracking the status, from around the world.

This system aims to speed up correspondence and processing time, from the next fiscal year. Hawkins also said that the government was aware of showing improved results, and has better efforts in outreaching and recruitment.

In July, an agreement was reached for federal funding of $800,000, over a two year period, to help organizations, to be good in recognizing and synchronizing, local as well as foreign qualifications. In the first round of funding, awards were given to the:

  • Association for New Canadians,
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons,
  • Centre for Nursing Studies,
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses,
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Health Professionals,

The second round of awards for submissions will be announced in the future.

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