Immigration Rules To Saskatchewan Tightened Up To Stop Abuse

The Province of Saskatchewan is imposing stricter rules for immigration as a way to protect the system from abuse.

(Read also: Canadian citizenship fraud investigated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Under the new rules, only one family nominee will be allowed for each household until the principal applicants and their families are fully settled in the province.

That indicates, for instance, that a person employed in Saskatchewan for a minimum of six months could nominate a sibling and his or her family for immigration. However, if this person has many siblings, they cannot be nominated all at once. Nominees under family category will now also require a job offer for a high-skill position.

Immigration Minister Rob Norris thinks it is unfair for families to be submitting multiple applications at once. He says in some cases, the number of ongoing applications per family at a given time can even number up to 20.

He adds, a number of people in other Canadian provinces have also been abusing the system by relocating to Saskatchewan for the main purpose of helping their families to immigrate to Canada, even when these people do not really have the intention of staying permanently.

He also observes that approved residents have been taking advantage of Saskatchewan’s family class category to enter Canada, and then relocate elsewhere within the country after a while. The Minister stresses that this is not what the category was made for.

According to the Opposition NDP (New Democratic Party), family-class nomination has been a very popular route for immigration. It raises concern on the possible effects of the new rule.

Another view, this time by New Democrat Cam Broten, considers the changes as a defeat of family class stream’s very purpose as far as how people who have relocated to Saskatchewan from Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver understand the process – especially when people really wish to be reunited with their loved ones – grow their families and be economically and socially productive in Saskatchewan. Broten is convinced the new rule will be a serious obstacle for the reunification of some families.

The proposed law is also intended to protect foreign workers through a provision where immigration consultants and recruiters are required to be in good standing in Saskatchewan. In line with this, the ministry will create an official list of consultants and recruiters that companies can consult.

Having no such list, according to Norris, could repeat the same problems that have happened in the past, such as a small business spending a year and a half searching for specialized workers through a certain recruiter, and ending up with nobody who was truly qualified for the job. Having spent a lot of money through the process, the business suffered because of this, says Norris, who labels such consultants and recruiters “bad apples.” He also says he has had talks with federal, provincial and territorial authorities on creating a national “bad apple” list to prevent these people from moving from one province to the next.

Consultations on foreign worker legislation are ongoing and will continue until May 23, 2013.

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