February 19, 2010
The Economic Times

TORONTO: To help new immigrants get their credentials recognized in their country of origin before landing in the country, Canada on Thursday announced opening of new offices in India, China, the Philippines and Britain.

More that 250,000 new immigrants come to Canada each year from around the world, including over 30,000 from India.

As their foreign degrees and professional credentials are not recognized here, most of them initially struggle to get Canadian degrees to become eligible for jobs.

But since they are hard up and cannot pay for their education, engineers and doctors often end up as cab drivers on the roads of Toronto and other cities.

The Canadian government, which has recently taken a number of measures to ease the pain of new immigrants, Thursday announced to open offices in India, China, the Philippines and Britain to help fast-track the credential recognition process of prospective immigrants in their countries of origin.

The office in London will also serve Nordic and Arab countries.

The government will provide $15 million to the Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP), run by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), to expand credential recognition services in India, China and the Philippines, immigration Jason Kenney said in Vancouver Thursday.

The CIIP has already been offering orientation services in India, China and the Philippines on a pilot basis since 2007.

With the opening of new offices, the minister said, more than 70 per cent of skilled immigrants coming to Canada will be covered by credential recognition services being run oversees.

“We want newcomers to be able to use their skills as soon as possible in Canada. This funding will help them jump-start the credential recognition process before they arrive in Canada. It’s good for them and good for the Canadian economy,” Kenney said.

The oversees initiative for credential recognition will supplement the two-year (2009-10) Economic Action Plan in Canada under which the government has allocated $50 million to fast-track foreign credential recognition to quickly integrate immigrants into the labour market.

In 2008, the government had also allowed foreign students to seek permanent residency if they get local employment after finishing their degree.

It is estimated that the Canadian economy loses more than $2 billion each year for not utilising the professional skills of new immigrants.


Reference: The Economic Times