Canada is moving towards providing a faster service for all kinds of immigration, work and visa applications by making it possible to apply online. Temporary residents seeking work permits or an extension of their visit in Canada are the latest group to be able to apply online as part of a plan to make all types of applications accessible via the internet.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said that the online Canadian Immigration service is expected to significantly improve the application process and provide a fast and more accessible service. Canadian visa forms submitted by mail often need to be returned because they are incomplete, adding time to the process, but online applications can only be submitted if they are complete, which makes for faster processing times, he pointed out.
The service is currently open to all Canadian temporary residents, except for co-op program work permit applicants who wish to work in the country. The Canadian Government first offered student visas online in June 2008 and since then international students have submitted close to 33,000 online applications.
Skilled workers wanting to emigrate to Canada are already able to take a free online test to determine eligibility and receive information about their immigration options from a skilled migration consultant. Kenney also announced that the immigration department has been asked to process applications from much needed skilled workers quickly. These include registered nurses, plumbers and electricians.
He said that in contrast to many other countries, Canada would continue with the same level of immigration as previous years and focus on attracting skilled workers. The number of students is expected to increase. Already some 130,000 foreign students arrive to study in Canada every year.