Canada expands immigrant preference

Oct. 31, 2012 at 4:45 PM

OTTAWA, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Canada is widening it preferential immigration policy for would-be immigrants with Canadian experience in 2013, the federal immigration minister said Wednesday.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the total number of immigrants would remain unchanged around 250,000 for 2013, where it has sat since 2007, The Globe and Mail reported.

However, a program established in 2008 within national immigration policy called Canadian Experience Class is being expanded, Kenney said.

He said as many as 10,000 people already in Canada would be fast-tracked, an increase of 3,000 from this year, the report said.

The class includes foreign college and university students and temporary workers living in Canada already familiar with speaking English or French and who have had at least some integration into Canadian culture.

So far, the top three countries of origin for those eligible for the experience class immigration are China, India and the Philippines, the report said.

Application for residency for people living outside Canada can take as long as eight years, but under the experience class designation, can be approved with one year, the report said.

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