What will immigration to Canada be like in 2018

Point system : Canada as a role model - how immigration can work well

The 42-year-old Ahmed Hussen, a native of Somali, is responsible for immigration, refugees and citizenship in the country. Hussen came to Canada from Mogadishu as a 16-year-old refugee. He attended school in Hamilton, studied at York University in Toronto and was trained as a lawyer at the University of Ottawa. He was elected to parliament in October 2015 and has been a minister since January 2017.

Hussen has just returned to Ottawa from a visit to Europe. He spoke to politicians and entrepreneurs in the UK, Belgium and Germany. He explained Canada's multi-year immigration plan to bring talent into the country. The minister had "encouraged his interlocutors to recognize innovative perspectives, entrepreneurial spirit, global experiences and unique skills of immigrants," it said in a statement afterwards. With populism and xenophobia in many places, he is glad that he was able to "share Canada's positive experiences with diversity and immigration," said Hussen.

Canada is building on the ability to address future labor shortages and aging through immigration. The classic immigration country had mostly taken in between 250,000 and 270,000 migrants, including refugees, between 2006 and 2015. As a result of the admission of Syrian refugees immediately after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's liberal government took office, the number had risen to 300,000. Last year, a three-year plan was presented, which envisages an increase of 10,000 to 20,000 immigrants at a time, so that a total of 340,000 new residents can come in 2020.

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Changed several times

Canada is known for its points system, which has been changed several times. One major change was the introduction of the “Express Entry” system in 2015. Potential immigrants can use the Ministry's website to create a profile with information about their qualifications, schooling, language skills and age. A maximum of points are awarded on the basis of this information. Interested parties between 20 and 29 years of age receive 100 points, whereas 39-year-olds only receive 50 points.

This creates a “pool” of potential immigrants, from which candidates are asked at regular intervals according to their qualifications to apply formally for one of the immigration programs. The Federal Skilled Workers program for skilled workers is particularly interesting from a European and German perspective. In this second stage, depending on the program, a point system is created again. This time a maximum of 100 points can be achieved, but it must be at least 67 points. There are a maximum of 28 points for language skills and up to 25 points for training. Further criteria are adaptability, work experience, age and jobs that are in prospect. The process should take less than six months.

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The “Economic Class” is the largest group of immigrants. About 50 percent of immigrants belong to this class of “economic immigrants” from various occupations with training and qualifications, including their family members, who make up a little more than half. In 2016 there were around 70,000 main applicants and around 86,000 family members. There is also the “family class”: In 2016, Canadians brought in almost 80,000 relatives from abroad. The number of refugees admitted in 2016 was 60,000. The accepted immigrants and refugees receive a permanent right of residence. Most of the immigrants came from the Philippines, India, Syria, China and Pakistan. But even from the United States, 8,400 people moved to Canada.

The population is growing through immigration

Canada currently has about 37 million people. The increase in the number of immigrants means that the population will grow by approximately one percent annually from immigration alone.

While regulated immigrants are politically largely undisputed, Canada is currently experiencing a heated debate over illegal immigration. Last year around 25,000 refugees, most of them from Central American and African countries, came to Canada from the USA because they were threatened with deportation to their homeland in the United States. Instead of crossing the border at official border posts, they cross the green border into Canada and then apply for asylum. Conservatives speak of a “crisis” and “illegal immigration” triggered by Trudeau's Twitter message that refugees are welcome in Canada. The liberals, on the other hand, only speak of a "challenge" from immigration, which they call "irregular" rather than illegal, and accuse the conservatives of a campaign of fear. Canada, which is surrounded by three oceans and has only one border with the USA, can, unlike European countries, largely regulate its immigration itself. However, it is highly questionable whether the tolerance that Canada prides itself on would hold against a greater unregulated influx of immigrants.

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