Transcend Consultants Comments on Canadian Immigration Minister's Announcement About Upcoming Changes to Immigration Program

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In a recent interview with CTV, Canada’s Immigration Minister says that the Canada's Immigration program will change to become more flexible to address labour shortages in the economy, and select immigrants who are most likely to succeed. He feels that tradespeople find it difficult to qualify under the current system and wants to make it easier for them to be selected, by revamping the current points table. Deepak Kohli of Transcend Consultants believes that this will bring balance to the occupations under the current Ministerial Instructions.

The Immigrant Selection system will attract 'hidden jewels' to help fill labour shortages in specific areas, and possibly create future wealth.

According to Transcend, Canada’s Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Hon. Jason Kenney announced that the immigration program will be changed to better link the immigrants to labour market shortages. As an example, he wants a system that selects more tradespeople like Carpenters, pipefitters, plumbers, etc. He contended that the current selection system favours university-educated professionals like engineers and doctors whereas it should attract 'hidden jewels' that will help fill labour shortages in specific areas.

It is not surprising that the Immigration department is doing more to select more tradespeople. The statistics apparently support the hypothesis of Immigration department. Of the 29 occupations listed in the current Ministerial Instructions (MI-4), the top 15-19 occupations require university education, whereas the bottom 10 are trades-oriented occupations. Looking at the applications received, those for the tradespeople are much lower than for other occupations. The tradespeople occupations almost never reach the quota, which fills up quite quickly for the occupations requiring university education (Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses, Biologists, etc.).

This would seem to indicate that tradespeople do face barriers under the current selection system. A change in the current points grid would be one of the easier steps that the Immigration Department can take. For instance, awarding more points for technical skills. The Minister also hinted at a more 'pro-active' approach, in line with recent statement by Canadian Prime Minister, who wanted Canada's Immigration system to be more 'activist'.

There are other immigration programs that the Immigration department may make changes to.

Canadian economy needs more entrepreneurs and businesspeople or 'change agents', that can become a catalyst to improve productivity. This challenge also requires changes in the selection system and broader immigration programs under the Business Immigration stream. These programs broadly welcome immigrants with net worth and/ or business management skills. The 'Entrepreneur' stream is beset with backlogs, and has been suspended indefinitely. The 'Self-employed' stream is restricted to a few occupations and envisages creation of employment for the applicant (thus not holding potential for creating employment opportunities on a massive scale). The Immigrant Investor Program allows the government departments to deploy the investment amount but is limited in numbers (700 applications per year under the Federal program) or region (Quebec IIP). Business streams exist in a no. of provincial nominee programs (PNP), which do assist the provincial economies in a limited way.

The Minister indicated that the Entrepreneur and Immigrant Investor program may be changed to attract immigrants who would create what he termed as 'incubators' - high-tech R&D based companies that create wealth of the future.

For more information about the impact of above changes on your immigration prospects, or about Canadian immigration programs, contact Deepak Kohli or visit

Transcend Consultants is a full-service Canadian Immigration Consultancy firm, operating from Brampton, Ontario and serving clients globally. Their practice areas cover economic and family immigration programs, and focuses on immigration for business or investment purposes. Their principal consultant, Deepak Kohli, a management graduate with training and wide ranging experience in various Canadian immigration programs fuses his experience with a variety of industries for successful immigration outcomes.


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Deepak Kohli, RCIC
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