MANILA – With Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party elected as Canada’s new Prime Minister, immigrants who have considered studying, working or settling in the country can expect some changes in its immigration system and policies.
Just like his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the 43-year-old Liberal leader also vowed to promote multiculturalism in the country.
In 1971, under the older Trudeau’s term, Canada adopted an official multiculturalism policy, which later on became an actual law. This policy advocated the acceptance and respect of the identities, traditions and religions of various races and ethnicities in the country. All had equal rights and the law favored no individual or group.
Having been associated with multiculturalism, the Liberal Party abruptly addressed and eased immigration issues. Calling for ‘real change,’ Trudeau sought to introduce reforms to the present Canadian immigration system – prioritizing economic opportunity and family reunification.
“Immigration is critical to job creation and long-term economic growth for the middle class. In so many ways, Canada is what it is today thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of those who chose to build their lives here,” the newly elected Prime Minister said during one of his meetings with the voters.
“During the Harper (former Prime Minister Stephen Harper) decade, our immigration system has been mismanaged, politicized and re-oriented away from welcoming those who choose to make Canada their new and permanent home,” he added. “Liberals will reform our immigration system and make family reunifications a core priority of our government.”
Here are Trudeau’s proposed reforms in the immigration system:
*Nearly double the budget for processing family class sponsorship
*Double the number of applications allowed for parents and grandparents to 10,000 each year
*Cut down wait times – which currently average almost four years for parents and grandparent applications
*Provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings by giving additional points under the Express Entry system
*Restore the maximum age for dependents to 22 from 19, to allow more Canadian to bring their children to Canada
*Grant immediate permanent residency to new spouses entering Canada, eliminating the two-year waiting period
*Make it easier for international students and other temporary residents to become Canadian citizens by restoring the residency time credit
*Make changes to the Canadian Experience Class, to reduce the barriers to immigration imposed on international students
*Make it easier and more affordable to hire caregivers by eliminating the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee for Canadian families looking for caregivers
*Work with provinces and territories to develop a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families, protecting caregivers by allowing them to change employers in the case of bad relations or abuse
*Renew and expand commitment to helping resettle more refugees and deliver a refugee program that is safe, secure and humane
– immigration system measures from the Liberal Party’s platform