Canada Unveils Comprehensive Immigration Strategies to Reduce Temporary Residents by 2027

In an ambitious move to manage and streamline its immigration system, Canada has announced new strategies to decrease the number of temporary residents in the country. By the end of 2023, Canada hosted approximately 2.5 million temporary residents, constituting about 6.2% of its population. The government aims to reduce this figure to 5% by 2027. These strategies follow the 2023 introduction of Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy, which seeks to attract highly skilled tech professionals through expanded immigration programs. Canada Strategies to Reduce Temporary Residents

New Measures for International Students

One of the significant components of this new approach focuses on international students, particularly non-graduate students. Canada has implemented tighter regulations to address issues of educational institutions accepting more international students for revenue generation without providing the necessary support and resources for their success. This approach includes:

Capping New Student Visas:

In January 2024, Canada announced a temporary cap on the number of new international student visas to be issued over the next two years. For 2024, the cap is set at 360,000 new visas, reflecting a 35% reduction from the previous year. This measure is intended to allow the government to assess and ensure the integrity of the international student program. Students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as those in elementary and secondary education, are not included in this cap. Canada Strategies to Reduce Temporary Residents

Post-Graduation Work Permits:

There will be significant changes to post-graduation work permits (PGWPs). Graduate students will benefit from an extended three-year work permit for those earning a master’s degree from Canadian institutions. However, international students at certain private institutions will face new restrictions. Starting September 1, 2024, students beginning programs at these private institutions will no longer be eligible for PGWPs. This decision addresses concerns about the quality of education at non-accredited institutions and the rapid increase in international student numbers.

Focus on Skilled Students:

Despite these restrictions, Canada remains committed to attracting and retaining international students with in-demand skills. The government will continue to create clear pathways to permanent residence for students in high-demand fields, especially those in master’s and doctoral programs. Additionally, Canada is exploring new measures to better transition these students into the labor force.

Enhanced Visa Requirements for Mexican Nationals

In response to a dramatic increase in asylum seekers, Canada has introduced new visa requirements specifically targeting Mexican nationals. In 2023, Mexican citizens made up 17% of all new asylum claims in Canada. However, about 60% of these claims were either rejected, withdrawn, or abandoned, prompting the government to take decisive action:

New Visa Requirements:

As of February 29, 2024, many Mexican nationals seeking to travel to Canada will no longer be eligible for an electronic travel authorization (Eta) and must apply for a visitor visa instead. This policy aims to pre-emptively identify and restrict those likely to make unfounded asylum claims.

Eligibility Criteria for Eta:

Mexican citizens may still qualify for Eta under specific conditions:

They must travel to Canada by air.

They intend to stay in Canada for less than six months.

They have either held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years or currently hold a valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa.

Land and Sea Entry Requirements:

Mexican nationals entering Canada by land or sea, or those who do not meet the new eTA criteria, must obtain a physical visa from a Canadian consulate or embassy prior to travel. The Canadian government provides a questionnaire to help Mexican travelers determine whether they need a visa.

Ongoing Review and Future Plans

The Ministry of Immigration is conducting a comprehensive review of existing immigration programs. This review aims to identify labor market needs and opportunities to minimize abuse within the system. The government’s goal is to create a more balanced and sustainable immigration framework that aligns with Canada’s economic and social needs.

Further details on these initiatives and additional measures will be outlined in the Fall 2024 release of Canada’s annual Immigration Levels Plan. This document is expected to provide a clearer picture of how the country will manage its immigration system moving forward, particularly concerning temporary residents. Canada Strategies to Reduce Temporary Residents

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FAQ: Canada’s New Immigration Strategies to Reduce Temporary Residents

What are Canada’s new immigration strategies?

Canada has introduced new measures aimed at reducing the number of temporary residents from approximately 2.5 million (6.2% of the population) to 5% by 2027. This includes tighter regulations for international students and new visa requirements for Mexican nationals.

Why is Canada implementing these new measures?

The new measures aim to address the integrity of educational institutions, reduce the number of unqualified asylum seekers, and ensure that the influx of temporary residents aligns with Canada’s economic and social needs.

What changes have been made regarding international students?

Canada has capped new international student visas at 360,000 for 2024, a 35% reduction from the previous year. Graduate students will receive an extended three-year work permit if they earn a master’s degree from Canadian institutions. However, students at certain private institutions will no longer be eligible for post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) starting September 1, 2024. Despite these changes, Canada will continue to welcome international students in high-demand fields, particularly those in master’s and doctoral programs.

Why is there a cap on new international student visas?

The cap allows the government to assess and ensure the integrity of the international student program. It aims to prevent institutions from accepting more students than they can adequately support for revenue purposes.

Who is exempt from the cap on new international student visas?

Students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as those in elementary and secondary education, are exempt from the cap.

What are the new visa requirements for Mexican nationals?

Many Mexican nationals must apply for a visitor visa instead of relying on electronic travel authorization (Eta) to travel to Canada. Mexican citizens may qualify for Eta if they travel by air, intend to stay less than six months, and have held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years or possess a valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa. Those entering by land or sea, or who do not meet the Eta criteria, must obtain a physical visa from a Canadian consulate or embassy before traveling.

Why are these new visa requirements being imposed on Mexican nationals?

The new visa requirements aim to identify and restrict those likely to make unfounded asylum claims before they reach Canadian borders. This change is in response to the high number of asylum claims from Mexican nationals, many of which were rejected, withdrawn, or abandoned.

What support will be provided to international students with in-demand skills?

Canada will continue to create clear pathways to permanent residence for students with in-demand skills and is exploring new measures to better transition these students into the labor force.

What further reviews are being conducted by the Ministry of Immigration?

The Ministry is reviewing existing immigration programs to identify labor market needs and minimize system abuses. Details on further measures will be provided in the Fall 2024 release of Canada’s annual Immigration Levels Plan.

Where can I find more information?

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please refer to the official Canadian government website.

Disclaimer: This article is based on information from various sources and is intended for informational purposes only. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please refer to the official Canadian government website.

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