March 14, 2012

Solution to FSW Backlog?

In his speech at the Economic Club of Canada Event last week, The Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism mentioned three ways they are exploring to reduce the immigrationn (FSW) backlog.

There's good news and there's a not so good news.

The good news
We are exploring ways to reduce the backlog further. For example, we are launching a pilot project that will allow provinces and territories to “mine the backlog” – in other words, to review the applications in the backlog and nominate those applicants they think their economies need now. We are also informing some applicants stuck in the federal skilled workers backlog about possible opportunities under the Provincial Nominee Program.

This is already in place. Read FSW Pilot Program (FSW Backlog Reduction)

We are also considering ways to obtain consent from applicants in the backlog to be considered directly by Canadian employers for employment. With job offers in hand, applicants would see their applications processed on a priority basis.

This is another good news.

And now the not so good news.

New Zealand and Australia – countries with immigration systems similar to ours – have already gone even further and introduced changes to their systems that make them nimbler, more flexible and more reflective of modern labour-market realities than what came before.

New Zealand legislated an end to its backlog in 2003 and put in place a system where prospective applicants can be selected from a pool made up of all persons who have applied. Rather than wasting time and energy processing old applications, their resources can now be put towards actively matching the best qualified applicants to current economic needs.

This could mean, if implemented, those whose applications were filed before February 27, 2008 will all be returned unprocessed.

UNFAIR! You may shout out in protest. Imagine if you have been waiting since 2004 only be told 8 years after that they will not process your application. To say it is unfair is an understatement. Then again, this is just a proposal and may or may not be implemented.

Here are some news articles about this controversial issue:

Legislating away immigration backlog an option, Kenney declares - The Globe and Mail

Kenney considers legislating backlog away - The Vancouver Sun

Immigration backlog could be erased, Kenney suggests - CBCNews

Read the Speaking notes for The Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism at the Economic Club of Canada Event HERE