Tell Canada: Will new immigration levels and mix improve integration?

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

Some of the MIPEX III findings for Canada are relevant for the Canadian government’s new immigration consultation with stakeholders and the public.


Immigration levels and mix: what do you think?

The Canadian government is consulting stakeholders and the public on whether or not to change the level and mix of temporary and permanent migrant workers, reuniting families, and protected persons. The government also asks how it should more efficiently manage processing times, fight fraud, and deliver greater fairness and better outcomes for newcomers.

September 2011 is the deadline for the online consultation. Anyone in or outside Canada can participate by clicking hereDo reading the background paper here.

MIPEX III has been discussed extensively by the Canadian press. According to The Association for Canadian Studies, a MIPEX Canada partner, the study hows not only why it’s “the best time ever to be a Canadian,” but also why all the time waiting for family reunion make it harder for some immigrants to feel fully settled. You can see much more in the MIPEX media round-up by Maytree Foundation, a MIPEX Canada partner.

Some of the MIPEX III Canada findings are relevant for this consultation:

Canada has one of the best policies to attract permanent migrant workers and their families. Most permanent residents arrive with equal rights and some residence security at the very start of their settlement process. One reason why Canada is a world leader on integration is that a wide range of temporary workers and international students can become permanent residents:

Backlogs are undermining integration in Canada. Legal time limits for family reunion (graph below) and permanent residence exist in most other MIPEX countries (in blue), with some set at 6 months or less (in pink):

All legal residents have equal rights to work in any sector, start a business, use public job services, and enjoy the same working conditions and social security. Nevertheless, newcomers could use more targeted support to access public job services, especially foreign-born women and young workers;

MIPEX III also concluded that Canadian schools are some of the best at targeting the needs of migrant pupils. Multiculturalism policy improves the political participation of immigrants and diversity education for all Canadians. Canada has one of strongest commitments to Pan-Canadian Framework to improve the assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications.