Canada is among the main countries in the fast-rising economies of North America and the world. The country’s demographic trends show that a considerable percentage of the population is biased towards old age. This pattern is adverse to the nation’s potential economic opportunities as it represents the industry’s lack of workers in the coming years. The Canadian government, having foreseen this predicament, has implemented an intricate immigration program that takes account of the country’s potential interests. By allowing immigrants into the country, the government pre-empts the streaming in of qualified professionals enthusiastic about driving the economy as well as shaping several aspects in the social limbo. Despite the existence of a sophisticated immigration policy today, it is crucial to acknowledge that this has stemmed from the plethora of adjustments made over the years of the history of the country to suit circumstances and demand. However, the immigration policy apart from the presumed benefits it is postulated to have also had some weaknesses.
Strengths of the Immigration Policy
Within the Canadian immigration policy is embedded the provisions for temporary and permanent residence. Temporary residence encompasses all the immigrants who go into the country to study, vacation, pleasure trips, and conventions. This lot of immigrants has so little a role to play in the economic dynamics of the country. Permanent residence is accorded to businesspersons, investors, and workers. Language proficiency in English and French is a requirement that cuts across for all those to be granted permanent residence. Three categories of permanent residents exist namely the Independent class, the entrepreneur class, and the family class. Application for a separate class and entrepreneur class visa demands that the applicant is a professional in a given field and is fluent in English or French or both. As for the family class visa, one is permitted to apply if they have close relatives staying in Canada.
Incorporation of the independent and entrepreneur classes into the policy are of utmost importance to the economy of Canada. With fewer restrictions to businesspeople, Canada has become a business destination for many prolific merchants who have established a myriad of employment opportunities in their industries. This move has significantly reduced unemployment stalemate in the country offering the available labor force a chance to practice in the various fields of specialization. Interestingly, it is the excess opportunities available that have prompted the need for foreign labor input. In a bid to guarantee the sustenance of this program, the policy accommodates a hastened means of granting permanent residence to the promising businesspeople before that required period elapses.
Investors constitute another group of determiners of the countrys economy. The policy recognizes them and provides a special room for application in the investor class where it is documented that they are not willing to run a business in Canada. Having relaxed the policies to this extent, many foreign investors have been attracted to the country deeming it as a potential economic hub. Additionally, the provision for the acquisition of citizenship of the permanent residents after living in the country for three years is another measure that impresses the investor immigrants. That is because citizens experience better trading and business terms which include lower taxation rates and impressive bargaining command. With increased business outlets and foreign exchange flow, the country has witnessed economic growth that has enabled it to scale the heights of economic freedom.
Setting high thresholds for the employees seeking an opportunity in Canada has boosted the literacy levels in the country. It is required of every foreign job applicant to be a degree holder except those applying for a live-in care visa to work as nannies. As a result, the number of degree holders in the general Canadian population has bloomed. Coupled with the provision for student visa application that allows students to pursue further studies in the country, it has been possible to tap some of the skilled professionals and bright minds within the country. This move has encouraged innovation and transformed the sectors that drive the economy since they are presided over by a group of qualified and experienced personnel. Moreover, backed up from an informed generation it has been possible to pass and implement policies advocating for positive in other fields that are pertinent to the growth of the nation with minimum resistance.
Another point of consideration is that the Canadian point immigration policy is indiscriminative. Due to this fact, immigrants have found the country to be an attractive destination. Tourists, political asylum seekers, and other immigrants have free access to the country and its resources without fear of racial discrimination, torture, and maltreatment based on their color, age, gender, and country of origin. Moreover, there is already a large multicultural population living in Canada thus the new immigrants find readily find people to identify with. Consequently, the young, energetic lot of immigrants has consistently expressed their desire to move to Canada to exploit the available opportunities. To the advantage of the Canadian economy, the housing industry business has expanded, and the tourism sector enlarged revitalizing the countrys economy.
The Canadian Immigration policy caters for the humanitarian rights since it accommodates refugees and other victims of war or disasters. In spite of this scheme being formerly segregative especially during the Second World War, it has since been modified to non-selectively foster the rights of this vulnerable group. The inclusion of this segment in the policy has earned the nation extolment in its endeavor to advocate for human rights. Besides, the country has secured increased funding channeled towards the needs of the refugees. Consequently, it has been possible to expand the infrastructure of the country stretching to the healthcare, agricultural, and education sector. In retaliation, the refugees have turned out to be a source of cheap labor for the industries within the country, qualified professionals that steer the resources available, and the brainchild of the rich culture that attracts tourists.
The Canadian point-based immigration system is transparent. It is a requirement before being accepted as either a temporary or a permanent resident to undergo an examination that entails language proficiency tests, academic qualifications, and health assessment to garner a minimum total of sixty-seven points. Emphasis is put on merit and not any other affiliations an immigrant may have to the citizens of the country. Feedback of the scores of the applicants is relayed to them through their personal emails, and they have room to critic the results. Biases, corruption, and favoritism have been kept in a check by this system. Subsequently, crime cartels, drug lords, and other criminals have been unable to infiltrate the country through this legal system hence reducing foreign instigated crimes. The selection process also aids in ensuring that only the best persons qualify for the available opportunities and saves the employers and other concerned stakeholders the hustle of establishing an elimination criterion for the immigrants.
With the agglomeration of the immigration department and the government, the prospective immigrants have been assisted into settling in the country. There exist better terms for the immigrant employees who are unable to travel to Canada once they qualify. The government has released funds that aid in the facilitation of the transport, settlement, and processing of other documents that are imperative for the procurement of permanent resident status. The immigrants can easily access social facilities such as medical services and education. This move is a deviation from the previous stand of the policy that based its selection criterion entirely on financial muscles of the immigrant. Moreover, the immigration department is out to offer job replacements for the immigrants who happen to lose their premier opportunities. For this reason, Canada has become a lucrative destination not only for job seekers but also businesspeople and students. Canadians have embraced a hospitable culture to the foreigners; a factor that makes the environment conducive and allows them to showcase their talents and prowess in the fields of specialization.
Weaknesses of Canadian Immigration Policy
Generosity on the part of the immigration department poses a challenge to the future generations in Canada. The immigrant population is constantly on the rise with an increase in the number of permanent residents. Most of these permanent residents are fast qualifying for citizenship and thus become entitled to the other benefits enjoyed by the native citizens. The immigrants having flocked the lucrative areas in the countrys economy, the citizens risk losing out on the control of their economy. With the influx of qualified foreign personnel for the various fields that hold the economy, the cultivation of competition lingers. It is likely to be a tough decision for the government to make; whether to lay off foreign workers and replace them with the natives or not. Also, foreign business prospects pose unfair competition for the locally produced goods and giving low returns to the industries that manufacture the products. Besides, trade liberalization grants more privilege to the foreign merchants leaving the local tradespeople with little if any benefits to accrue.
Guided by the principle of non-discrimination, the country stands to harbor terrorists and some of the hardcore criminals. Despite the rigorous vetting process adopted by the immigration policy, it would be imprudent to presume that the process is non-porous. There have been reported cases of fraud that could have acted as avenues that paved the way for the infiltration of these perpetrators. When terrorism takes root in the country, the tranquility, political stability, and economic freedom risk being toppled. Insecurity poses jeopardy to several crucial aspects of the economy such as tourism, education, and foreign investment. It also alienates the nation against its neighbors who are likely to withdraw any form of co-operating relations with Canada in fear of being associated with the wayward activities. As a result, the country is likely to lose its already established trade associations and spend an enormous amount of resources to suppress the criminals quests.
The Canadian immigration policy caters for refugees and other political asylum seekers. Notably, the immigrant population within the country has significantly been growing at a rate even than the native population. Progressively, this expanding population is exerting pressure on the available resources and social amenities. The government risks being coerced into stretching its budget to broaden the healthcare, education, housing, and feeding services coverage. These being recurrent expenditure, the country will be forced to abandon its development projects to attend to the immediate needs of its citizens and the immigrants. Therefore Canadas projected economic status in the future is likely to remain unachievable. Furthermore, the political asylum seekers could have been perpetrators of injustices and violence in their states of origin and are victims of law evasion. If Canada offers them refuge, it will be regarded as a traitor to the assailants country and should the case be of international concern they risk being accorded economic embargoes which add to the detriment of the economy.
In spite of the point-based immigration scheme being an invaluable means of scrutinizing and vetting the immigrants, it could be an opportunity to lose many benefits from the immigrants. The policy demands that the immigrant applicants pay a fee upon registering their desire to reside or work in Canada. All the immigrants, some of whom could be having talent that Canada could tap and cultivate in its development, cannot afford to pay. For this reason, Canada has lost potential sports persons, skilled professionals, and outstanding students who could have transformed the face of Canada. Besides, elimination of the candidates on health grounds has barred many from accessing the resources of the country. Victims include investors and tourists who have direct implications on the economy of the country.
One of the most apparent flaws in the point-based immigration policy is the feedback mechanism. Candidates who fail to obtain the threshold marking have chronically expressed their dissatisfaction with the process to the point of threatening to make a follow up through the law. Besides, the infiltration of fraud into the system has lowered its quality since the unwelcome parties have made their way into the country. Subsequently, the anticipations of some of the immigrants have not been met upon arrival in Canada. The job opportunities promised to them, and the other related security benefits pledged have at times not been fulfilled. That is due to the indulgence of cartels in the immigration process and seizing the opportunity to dupe the gullible applicants with empty promises. The result of this fiasco has been distrust among the immigrants in the process and by extension the country.
Canada continues to be a destination for most immigrants due to the existence of a clearly outlined immigration policy and the plethora of opportunities available for grabbing. The immigrants play a crucial role in beefing up the countrys economy and the inception of better terms to receive these immigrants harbors a lot of advantage to the state. On the contrary, relaxing the policies is likely to act to the detriment of the country by paving the way for criminals and terrorists; a factor that poses insecurity challenge within and without Canada. Moreover, unrestricted migration into Canada is cause to worry since it will impose stress on the countrys resources and foster undue competition which has a negative impact on the countrys economy. The remedy to this calamity is the institution of reforms that will check for the excess immigrations yet not limiting talent and potential in the immigrants who could change Canada for the best.
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