Canada's Annual Immigration Target under Threat

September 25, 2013
Canada's Annual Immigration Target under Threat

A new report, commissioned by the Canadian Government, has shown that the number of permanent Canadian visas issued has dropped 7.5% from May to July on 2012's figures and 22 per cent from May to July in 2010. This drop is being caused by on-going job action by foreign affairs officers.

The report seemingly confirms the claims made by Foreign Service workers. They claim that staff members are being forced to issue temporary resident applications rather than permanent files because of rotating strikes caused by on-going job action.

Timothy Edwards, the President of the Professional Association of Foreign Services Officers, has said that the processing of permanent visas for immigration to Canada has almost "ground to a standstill" at busy visa posts like Delhi and Chandigarh in India. Therefore, the resources have been "thrown" at the temporary section. Edwards claims that his department has been told by the government to pay special attention to student and tourist visas.

6 month Labour dispute

The labour dispute is seriously affecting Canada's $17 billion tourism industry. The job action is entering its sixth month, and there is no immediate resolution in sight. Visa applications are being pushed further back every single day as the backlog grows. In fact, in some cases, there is now a two-year wait.

From May to July 2013 approximately 300,000 temporary resident visas have been issued. That's roughly 242,000 tourist visas, 21,000 working visas for Canada, and 32,000 student visas issued. That is an increase of over 11 per cent from 2012. During the foreign workers strike, even the temporary visas fell dramatically initially. However, after the Canadian tourist board made it clear to the media that there was an issue that could seriously affect the country the number of accepted visa applications increased significantly almost overnight.

Temporary Indian visas in Canada

The number of temporary Indian visas for Canada issued in May and early June this year fell significantly on 2012s figures. However, when the tourism industry brought the issue to the attention of the media, the figures almost doubled throughout the latter part of June and July.

The labour dispute surrounds the fact that Ottawa refuses to close the wage gap between foreign workers and their counterparts. To make this happen the government would need to fork out a one-off payment of roughly $4 million. By 'taking matters into their own hands' the Canadian immigration sector is hoping to force the hand of the government who are already hemorrhaging money through lost tourism.
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