International Students’ Immigration Concern Regarding Express Entry Program
This petition had 5,116 supporters
Citizenship & Immigration Canada launched the Express Entry Program in January 2015 to bring in-demand people with the skills to succeed in Canada faster than ever before. It has been over nine months since its launch and the lowest cut-off score so far has been at 450 points. According to the Express Entry Year-End Report 2015, only 4% of the candidates in the pool are above 450 points, leaving the rest 96% of the candidates waiting for the score to come down till they run out of their work permit. Sadly, all of them are skilled workers, mostly in the age group of 20-35, already eligible to file Permanent Residency under Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Skilled Trades Program.
International Students in Canada have an immense contribution to the Canadian demographics, culture and its values. Not only being a minimal burden on healthcare system and well blended in the Canadian culture, International Students have a huge impact on the Canadian economy. Based on a report by Foreign Affair, Trade and Development Canada in 2010, following are some numbers (http://bit.ly/1VA8gGn) :
- $8 billion on expenditure, $4.9 billion contribution in GDP
- 87,000 approx jobs created
- Almost half a billion dollar in direct tax revenue to the Government of Canada
The above figures are from before 2010. The inflow of International students has drastically increased since then, resulting in a greater impact on Canadian economy.
Performance of Comprehensive Ranking System (Year-End report 2015) (http://bit.ly/1UgncmI)
Lowest Cut-off Score so far (June 2, 2016): 450
Candidates above the lowest Cut-off Score: 2,510, 4% approx.
Candidates below the lowest Cut-off Score: 60,042, 96% approx.
Current Cut-off Score: 534 (as of May 6, 2016)
Short Term Solutions:
- Eligible candidates who are already working in Canada can apply under the same rule which was active at the time of their entry to Canada.
- Extend the current Post Graduation Work Permit for workers who are eligible under express entry system.
- Award extra points to candidates eligible under Canadian Experience Class(mostly International Students).
Long Term Solutions:
- Educate employers about LMIA and make it convenient: In reality, the 600 points awarded to LMIA has created exploitation channels in the form of consultants, lawyers, employers misusing the situation of International Students. Government can introduce programs to educate and encourage employers as to how LMIA can benefit both the parties towards a better Canada.
- Transparent structure of the Express Entry Program: The current system is very opaque and creates an uncertain future for eligible as well as to-be eligible candidates. The system itself prevents an individual to make timely decision in regards to his/her own future. There is no specific criteria mentioned to determine the next cut-off in regards to 1) number of people selected 2) the score 3) timing of the next cut-off. Also, like the Express Entry Mid-Year Report, the reports can be frequent, at least quarterly.
The Express Entry Program has not resulted in being as successful as the Government thought it to be. Major setback for International Students as majority of them who have spent over $30K and 4 Years of Youth Life learning the Canadian culture and adding value to the system with their skills and hard work, will be forced to move out of Canada. If this program is an experiment of the Government in order to clear the immigration backlog, evidently enough, it is already impacting the lives of thousands of International Students who would have been eligible for Permanent Residency and be able to add value to the beautiful and peaceful country that Canada is.
This is a united and unanimous voice of thousands of lives which are left in the shadow of uncertain future. Let’s get together and support this to make our voices heard!
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