Land of Opportunity – Canada: Immigration
Mohit Mamtani, Composition and Rhetoric (ENGL17889GD)
Land of Opportunity – Canada:
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.
Canada’s Evolution in
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.
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.
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.
emphasized greatly upon family reunification and humanitarian concern over
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 educated immigrants.
The number of
Economic immigrants drastically rose after this Act compared to Families or
• Economic (57.5 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
• Family 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.
• Refugees (14.5 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 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.
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 easily.
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
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
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
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”.