2012 level of immigration to Canada expected not to rise

by Ray Clancy on November 2, 2011

New law to curb immigration through fraudulent marragies to be brought into effect in 2012

Canada intends to maintain its high immigration record next year with around 250,000 newcomers in 2012, according to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

‘In our immigration plan for 2012 you’ll see our intention to maintain high levels of immigration to Canada,’ he said.

Canada has the highest per capita of immigration in the developed world but 2012 levels are unlikely to be higher than previous years because of the global economic situation.

‘I don’t think we can increase it very much because the economy is a little unstable. We don’t want to bring immigrants to Canada who will subsequently face unemployment,’ explained Kenney.

‘On the other hand, we do need immigrants to fill jobs in the economy now. So I suspect that our overall level of immigration stay about the same, over a quarter of a million a year,’ he added.

He also said a new law to curb immigration through fraudulent marriages will be brought into effect next year. The new regulation will impose a two year period of conditional residency on foreign sponsored spouses and a five year moratorium on their ability to sponsor someone.

‘If you come in as a sponsored spouse and become a permanent resident and then divorce your Canadian husband or wife, you will not be able to turn around and sponsor someone from overseas,’ Kenney said.

‘This is what every other immigrant receiving country such as Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the US do, and the only question is why we didn’t do it a while ago,’ he added.

It is part of a plan to crackdown on what has been described as a revolving door of marriage fraud.

‘Someone comes in, sometimes they pay a Canadian to sponsor them as a spouse, they immediately get a divorced and then the person who got landed, marries someone overseas, and sponsors them in, and they get paid. We are going to stop it,’ explained Kenney.

Kenney also said that many Canadians have been victimized by foreign spouses who used them as a tool to come to Canada and have immediately left the marriage or abused the spouse.

‘The most effective tool is to stop fraudulent marriages from being approved in the first place because they are so hard to deal with once the person is admitted into Canada. We will continue to be very vigilant. It’s difficult, we want to let the legitimate married couples in but keep the fake ones out and that’s what our officers are trained to do,’ added Kenney.

It is believed that a large number of these ‘fake’ spousal sponsorship visa applications come from China and India. Recently, a large number of applications from China’s Guangzhou province were rejected.

‘Canadians were being paid up to $60,000 by criminal organizations, to sponsor Chinese citizens they had never met and we started interviewing these applicants and we found out they knew nothing about the spouse and they had no consistent story or proof of relationship,’ said Kenney.

However, it is common in India and other South Asian countries marriages are arranged by families and a couple may not know all the details about each other soon after the marriage. Kenney said officials are specially trained to make an assessment of such situations.

‘We know that in many cultures and religions it’s conventional to have an arranged marriage, and our officers approve bona fide arranged marriages all the time. But if it looks like the marriage was not arranged for family, for the purpose of living together, then we will reject the application. So the test is whether the marriage is legitimate or whether it is just done for immigration purposes,’ he added.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nalliah Thayabharan November 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

People visiting Canada on visitor visa are not eligible for any social or health care benefits in Canada. Visitors always had to get health insurance before they could get the visitor visa and it's sponsor's responsibility to take care of the visitors. Since the visitors are not eligible for any benefits there won't be any burden on the government medical care or social assistance.
2012 will be 200 years since the War of 1812. The Canadians look very closely at the events from which evolved this country we now called Canada. Canada is a sparsely populated huge country and the costs to maintain our infrastructure is enormous. The best way to lower our tax burden and maintain our standard of living is to drastically increase immigration. If Canada abolishes the Immigration completely, then we will not have adequate tax payers to pay taxes to support our elderly and those on social assistance.
Conservatives have preached and berated the Liberals on family values. The Conservative mantra "families that pray together stay together" will seem a contradiction if the sponsorship of parents is not allowed. Conservatives want foreign workers to come to Canada and pay taxes to supporting our old age pension, health care, and social assistance programs, but conservatives don't want the foreign workers to live in Canada permanently.
Education and skill training of those immigrants from poor countries were paid by those poor countries. Those poor countries also pay the health care for the aging parents of the immigrants. In the mean time Canada takes advantage of the immigrants' education, skills, experiences and taxes. Those visiting parents on Super Visa will need to travel back and forth maintaining a home here and in their country, making it difficult for the aging parents to feel at home in either place. This is also a challenge at any age and surely not easier the older aging parents. The ultimate outcome of the visitor visa is likely that the parents will end up alone back in their countries.
But this tide will turn soon. China, India and Brazil will discuss this same immigration concerns by 2040. Aging Canadians will join the crowd waiting in line for parental immigration to China, India and Brazil in few decades. In few decades Chinese, Indian or Brazil government may think that aging Canadians will be burden on their system and they should only accept young Canadian workers on temporary work visa so that foreign workers pay taxes to support their own elderly and their citizens who need social security.
– Nalliah Thayabharan

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kay November 13, 2011 at 3:43 am

Hell no. Canada does not need to drastically increase immigration. Canada has been able to maintain infrastrucure for the past 70 years without the heavy immigration. Why all of a sudden do we need more immigrants. As for any burden, the aging will not be a burden because their population is small. Canada is right for what it’s doing. Less immigration means less changes to our culture.

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