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I.  Immigration Overview

Immigration to Canada is predominantly regulated by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 2001 (IRPA).[1]  Canada had been known to have a fairly broad and generous immigration policy, but since 2006, the government has pursued reforms to “focus Canada’s immigration system on fuelling economic prosperity” and to place “a high priority on finding people who have the skills and experience required to meet Canada’s economic needs.”[2]  Since 2008, Canada has been tightening its immigration policies and focusing on economic class immigrants (i.e., immigrants who have the skills and abilities to contribute to Canada’s economy) and short-term labor market needs.[3]  According to 2012 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) figures, economic immigrants receive about 60% of permanent resident visas, the majority of which are awarded under the Federal Skills Workers Program and the Provincial Nominee Program.[4]  Canada welcomes about 250,000 permanent residents from all categories each year.[5]

Immigration to Canada is administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency, which is responsible for border enforcement, immigration enforcement, and customs services. 

A.  Categories of Immigrants

1.  Permanent Residence

Canada accepts several categories of immigrants for permanent residence.  In addition to economic class immigrants (skilled or business immigrants, including provincial nominees), it admits specified family members and adopted children under the family class category, refugees, and others not falling into these specific categories who qualify for entry on humanitarian or compassionate grounds or for public policy reasons. 

a.  Economic Class

Canada admits three types of business immigrants as part of its Business Immigration Program: investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed persons.[6]  However, CIC has temporarily stopped accepting new applications for its investors and entrepreneurs program.  Business immigrants are not assessed on the points system.  Canada’s provinces have their own Nomination Programs for business immigration programs.

Apart from the Federal Skilled Workers Program, which is based on a points system (see below for more details), Canada also grants permanent residency to skilled workers under its Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).  The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for persons “who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.”[7]  This relatively new program started on January 2, 2013, to deal with labor shortages of skilled traders in some regions of the country.[8]  Under the CEC program any skilled workers who have twelve months of skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before they apply and the requisite language skills can transition from temporary to permanent residence (additional requirements apply).[9]

The Canadian government has signed agreements with a number of Canada’s provinces that allow the provinces to sponsor immigrants[10] under their respective Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) “who will meet specific local labour market needs.”[11]  They receive priority processing time from CIC.  The criteria for admitting immigrants vary by province and territory.  According to the CIC, “In the last ten years, the PNP has become the second largest source of economic immigration to Canada.  In 2011, more than 38,000 provincial nominees (including their spouses and dependants) were admitted to Canada, an almost six fold increase since 2004.”[12]

All the provinces and territories except Quebec and Nunavut have signed nominee agreements with the federal government.  Quebec has a separate arrangement under the Canada-Quebec Accord.  The Province of Quebec administers its own immigration program, which “establishes its own immigration requirements and selects immigrants who will adapt to living in Quebec.”[13]  Quebec uses a points system that is similar to the federal government’s points system to assess its applicants, but it awards a higher number of points for fluency in the French language.  Applications accepted by Quebec are submitted to the federal government for medical examinations and background checks.

b.  Family Class

Family class immigrants are not assessed on a points system, but preference is given to certain applicants based upon their relationship to their sponsor.  According to CIC, “If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner, dependent child (including adopted child) or other eligible relative to become a permanent resident.”[14]  It further states that “[t]here are two different processes for sponsoring your family under the FC.  One process is used for sponsoring your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner and/or dependent children. Another process is used to sponsor other eligible relatives.”[15]

c.  Refugees

In the last few years Canadian refugee policy has been generally seen as relatively generous, to such an extent that many critics contend it invites fraud and abuse.  However, in the past year, in an effort to thwart “bogus” refugee claims, Canada’s Parliament passed Bill C-31, also known as Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act.[16]

2.  Temporary or Guest Workers (Low-Skilled) and Permanent Residency

Temporary workers are issued work visas for prescribed periods of time.  The federal government of Canada administers the Temporary Foreign Worker Program,[17] which authorizes eligible foreign workers to work in Canada for an approved period of time if “employers can demonstrate that they are unable to find suitable Canadians/permanent residents to fill the jobs and that the entry of these workers will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market.”[18]  According to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website, “[e]mployers from all types of businesses can recruit foreign workers with a wide range of skills to meet temporary labour shortages.”[19]

Programs for the hiring of foreign low-skilled workers include:

  • The Low Skilled Worker Pilot (C & D) project, instituted in 2002, which allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) with “lower levels of formal training.”[20]  The pilot project also has an agricultural stream.[21]
  • The Live-in Caregiver Program, which “allows families to hire a foreign live-in caregiver, often called a nanny, when Canadian citizens and permanent residents are not available.”[22] 
  • The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, which “matches workers from Mexico and the Caribbean countries with Canadian farmers who need temporary support during planting and harvesting seasons, when qualified Canadians or permanent residents are not available.”[23] 

The provinces and territories also have their own Provincial Nominee Programs that may be available to lower-skilled workers.

Most low-skilled workers are not eligible to become permanent residents in Canada.  However, workers under the Live-in Caregivers Program can apply to become permanent residents as long as they meet certain requirements.[24]  Low-skilled workers may also be eligible to gain permanent residency through Provincial Nominee Programs.[25]

Three departments jointly administer the temporary labor migration programs: CIC, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency.[26]

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II.  Number of Immigrants and Country of Origin

According to Statistics Canada, as of July 2012, the Canadian population was estimated to be 34,880,500.[27]  According to CIC’s statistics, approximately 257,515 persons were admitted to Canada for permanent residence in 2012.[28]  Of those, approximately 160,617 were admitted as economic class immigrants and their dependents, 64,901 as family class immigrants, 23,056 as refugees, and 8,936 in other immigrant categories.[29]  According to a CIC press release, “[f]or the seventh consecutive year, Canada continued the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history, according to preliminary 2012 data . . . .”[30]

CIC’s annual report to Parliament on immigration in 2012 compared 2011 immigration figures with those of the previous year and found that, 

[w]hile 2011 had lower overall admissions than that of 2010, which reached 280,691 admissions, it is important to note that a combination of unique factors created a high watermark year for admissions in 2010. In the context of the last five years, the overall 2011 admissions were closer to the average of 250,000 admissions per year. The proportions among the economic, family and protected persons categories [are] comparable to previous years, with a slightly higher proportion in the economic category. In 2011, 62.8 percent of admissions were economic immigrants (along with their spouse/partner and dependants), 22.7 percent were in the family reunification category, and 14.5 percent were protected persons and other immigrants.[31]

The top ten source countries for immigrants to Canada in 2011 were the Philippines (34,991), China (28,696), India (24,965), the United States (8,829), Iran (6,840), the United Kingdom (6,550), Haiti (6,208), Pakistan (6,073), France (5,867), and the United Arab Emirates (5,223).[32]  In 2012, China (32,990), the Philippines (32,704), and India (28,889) were the highest source countries of immigration.[33]

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III.  Points System Under the Federal Skilled Workers Program

According to CIC, “[s]killed workers are people who are selected as permanent residents based on their ability to become economically established in Canada.”[34]  Canada’s process for selecting skilled workers is fairly complex. 

Prior to 2002, applicants were assessed on a points system that generally required applicants to have a job offer for a position that no Canadian citizen was willing and able to fill.  In enacting the IRPA, Parliament adopted a slightly different philosophy.  The law seeks to identify the types of persons who are most likely to integrate into the Canadian workforce based upon their background.  This change of philosophy is based upon findings that persons with certain education and work backgrounds generally become well integrated into Canadian society regardless of whether or not they have a specific position waiting for them.

A.  Basic Eligibility and Work Experience Requirements

For an application to be eligible for processing, the applicant must either have an offer of full-time permanent employment from a Canadian employer or “be an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or have graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet certain criteria”[35]  Alternatively, the applicant must have one year continuous full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work experience, of a “skill type 0 (managerial occupations) or skill level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades)” under the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC).[36]  However, pursuant to the Immigration Minister’s instructions, the list of qualifying skilled occupations has been narrowed down to twenty-nine specific, high-demand occupations.[37]

If an application meets minimum requirements, it will then “be processed according to the six selection factors in the skilled worker points grid.”[38]

B.  Selection Criteria

Applicants must obtain at least sixty-seven points out of a total of one hundred possible points on the selection grid.  According to CIC, “If your score is the same or higher than the pass mark, then you may qualify to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker. If your score is lower than the pass mark, you are not likely to qualify to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker.”[39]

The six selection criteria and the maximum number of points available for each are as follows:   

  • Education: A maximum of twenty-five points can be earned by a person who has a Master’s Degree or a Ph.D. and at least seventeen years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.  The lowest number of points available is five for completion of high school.[40]
  • Languages: A maximum of twenty-four points can be awarded to persons who are highly proficient in both official languages of Canada.  An applicant can be awarded up to twenty-four points for basic, moderate, or high proficiency in English and French.  Written and oral tests are administered to ascertain a person’s abilities in different language areas, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing.[41]
  • Experience: A maximum of twenty-one points can be awarded for experience in approved occupations.  The IRPA allows CIC to designate certain professions as being restricted to guard against labor surpluses.  However, at the present time, it appears that there are no professions that are designated as such.  The maximum of twenty-one points can be earned with four or more years experience in an approved occupation.  For each year less than four, two points are deducted.  The minimum number of fifteen points can be earned through one year of qualifying experience.[42]
  • Age: A maximum of ten points is awarded to persons who are between twenty-one and forty-nine years of age.  Persons outside this range lose two points for each year that they are under twenty-one or over forty-nine.[43]
  • Arranged employment: A person may be awarded ten points for having a permanent job offer that has been confirmed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.[44]
  • Adaptability: A person may be awarded ten additional points for a spouse’s education, previous work in Canada, and family relations in Canada.[45]

CIC has temporarily stopped accepting new applications under the Skilled Worker program as of July 1, 2012, in order to reduce a backlog of applications.  (This temporary suspension does not affect applications under the job offer and PhD stream.)  CIC will start accepting applications again when revised selection criteria take effect on May 4, 2013.  (See discussion of proposed changes, below.)

Moreover, CIC currently has an annual cap of 10,000 new Federal Skilled Worker applications and a cap of 500 for each of the twenty-nine occupations.  However, applicants with “qualifying job offers are not affected by the cap.”[46]

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IV.  Pros and Cons of the Points System

Canada’s points system is designed to attract immigrants who show promise of being able to join in and contribute to their new communities.  According to CIC, it has by and large succeeded in meeting the “immediate and longer-term need for highly skilled professionals, and addresses Canada’s broader immigration objectives.”[47]

One of the major advantages of the system is that it is largely transparent.  Potential applicants can review the selection criteria to determine whether they may be able to attain sufficient points to reach the pass mark of sixty-seven points.  Another advantage of the system is that it gives persons who are unable to travel to Canada to arrange employment a better chance of being accepted than was previously the case.

One disadvantage of the points system is that transparency can lead to complaints of unfair treatment.  Persons who fall short of the pass mark often believe they should have been awarded more points in one or more categories.  This is particularly true of the more subjective categories, such as adaptability.

A 2010 evaluation of the Federal Skilled Workers Program found that, although the program has “moved towards a more objective, transparent and efficient process of selecting skilled workers, the processing times remained long and the backlog increased.”[48]

Professionals who have been unable to find employment in their chosen field or have their foreign credentials recognized by professional licensing bodies have been another source of complaints under the current system.  Most professions, such as those in medicine and law, are licensed by provincial governing bodies.  For example, each province has its own law society.  Professional licensing bodies have discretion in determining what types of additional training or examination foreign-trained professionals must undergo before they can practice in that province.  In response, with recent changes to the selection criteria, a new rule will require that “applicants wanting to immigrate as Federal Skilled Workers would have their foreign education credentials assessed and verified by designated organizations before they arrive in Canada.”[49]  According to CIC, the pre-arrival assessment

would let applicants know how their education credentials compare to Canadian credentials and . . . give immigrants a sense of how Canadian employers are likely to value their education.  This will also screen out people without proper education levels and is an important step in helping to address the problem of immigrants arriving and not being able to work in their field.[50]

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V.  Recent or Proposed Changes to the System

Recent changes made to the selection criteria that reportedly will go into effect on May 4, 2013, will provide more points for younger applicants and persons with greater language proficiency.  CIC in a recent press release has outlined the changes, which will include the following:

  • Minimum official language thresholds and increased points for official language proficiency, making language the most important factor in the selection process;
  • Increased emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience, are better positioned to adapt to changing labour market conditions, and who will spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada’s economy;
  • Introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), so that education points awarded reflect the foreign credential’s true value in Canada;
  • Changes to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labour market; and
  • Additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.[51]

Consideration was given to the need to address the issue of unemployment and underemployment when making these changes.  According to CIC, these changes were instituted because Canadian and international research had “consistently shown that language proficiency is the single most important factor in gaining better rates of employment, appropriate employment and higher earnings”[52]  As a result, “[l]anguage ability is now the most important factor on the grid, representing a total of up to 28 points in recognition of its critical importance in ensuring successful outcomes.”[53]  CIC also notes that recent studies indicate that “younger immigrants integrate more rapidly into the labour market and spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada’s economy.”  The revised selection grid awards younger immigrants with a maximum of 12 points up to age 35, “with diminishing points awarded from 35 to age 46.”[54]  There will be no points awarded after age 46.  However, “workers aged 47 or older will continue to be eligible for the Program.”[55]

Because Canada has received a large number of applications for permanent residence in recent years, consideration has been given to raising the pass mark from the current sixty-seven points to a higher number.  The previous pass mark of seventy-five points was lowered after backlogs had been reduced.  However, with the recent change to the selection criteria, the pass mark remains at sixty-seven.

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VI.  Employment Outcomes

The philosophy behind the current Canadian immigration law is that most promising immigrants are able to become well-established in Canada.  The government appears to believe that the current system is generally working well, although it has acknowledged that despite the high level of education of immigrants,[56] the problem of unemployment and underemployment has grown in recent years.  A Country Profile by the Migration Policy Institute, which looked at immigrants in the workplace, states the following:

In their first years after arrival, immigrants tend to have lower rates of labor market participation than the Canadian-born population. This is because a number of migrants spend time upgrading either professional, trade, or language skills, or are unable to find work that matches their skill and education levels.

In the first quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate for native-born Canadians was 6.3 percent, compared to 9.1 percent for all immigrants and 14.2 percent for recent immigrants. Eventually, the labor force participation rates of the foreign born converge with those of the Canadian-born population. For instance, 91 percent of male immigrants aged 25 to 44 who arrived in Canada between 1981 and 1991 participate in the labor force, while 92.5 percent of Canadian-born men in the same age bracket are in the labor force.

Yet many immigrants—particularly new arrivals—have difficulty fully participating, and are often underemployed or overly represented in low paying jobs. There is considerable concern about the ability of immigrants to quickly and easily convert their often high human capital and willingness to work into strong employment, earnings, and socioeconomic mobility.

A number of recent studies have found significant and sustained income differences between newcomers and the Canadian-born population. Among immigrants who arrived in the later part of the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the gap in initial earnings relative to the Canadian-born population has steadily increased over time, and this gap does not appear to close quickly with length of time in the country. Statistics Canada found that 16.5 percent of immigrants were classified as “low income” for at least seven of their first ten years in the country, and all immigrants are more likely than native-born Canadians to be low income. Furthermore, even those immigrants who have lived in the country for ten years or more do not match the national average for earnings.[57]

More recent data found that in 2011, the employment rate of core-aged immigrants was 75.6%, compared with 82.9% for their Canadian-born counterparts.[58]  Moreover, “[e]mployment rates were progressively higher the longer immigrants had been in the country. In 2011, these rates ranged from 63.5% among those in the country for five years or less (very recent immigrants) to 79.8% among those here for more than a decade.”[59]

In addition, the recent changes to the selection criteria, as outlined above, were implemented in order to address some of these issues.  In a December 2012 press release, Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney stated that “[f]or too long, too many immigrants to Canada have experienced underemployment and unemployment, and this has been detrimental to these newcomers and to the Canadian economy.”[60]

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VII.  Services for Immigrants

Persons accepted for permanent residence in Canada generally have immediate access to all social services and enjoy the same constitutional rights and protections as Canadian citizens.  Immigrants can enroll in the health insurance programs run by the provinces, receive free language training, get assistance in finding employment and housing, enroll in elementary and secondary schools, and pay in-province college tuition.

In order to assist immigrants in learning for which benefits they may be eligible, Services Canada has created a benefits homepage.[61]

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VIII.  Illegal Immigration

A.  Statistics on Illegal Immigrants

Although there are no official statistics on the number of illegal immigrants in Canada, some estimate that there may be between 20,000 and 200,000 undocumented workers living in the country.[62]  In 2008, the Toronto Star reported that Canada’s border agency had lost track of 41,000 illegal immigrants.[63]

B.  Sanctions for Unlawful Entry and Overstaying

The IRPA does not specifically criminalize unlawfully entering the country or unlawfully overstaying a visa.  Both of these types of actions, however, fall under the general prohibition against contravening the law without exercising due diligence to prevent doing so.  Crown prosecutors have discretion to try general IRPA offenses either by way of an indictment or in summary proceedings.  The distinction between indictable and summary offenses is similar to the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors in the United States, and a crime that can be tried either by way of an indictment or in summary proceedings is considered to be a “hybrid” offense.  The maximum penalty for a person who commits such a general offense as entering the country unlawfully or unlawfully overstaying a visa is a fine of Can$50,000 and imprisonment for two years, if prosecuted by way of an indictment, and a fine of Can$10,000 and imprisonment for six months, if prosecuted in summary proceedings.[64]  Crown prosecutors usually base their decisions as to whether a defendant should be tried by way of an indictment or in summary proceedings upon such factors as the seriousness of the violation, the defendant’s intentions, and the defendant’s prior record.

While the IRPA does provide for the prosecution of persons who enter the country illegally or illegally overstay a visa, trials for these offenses are rare.  Most persons caught violating the general provisions of the immigration laws are deported or ordered to leave Canada.[65]

C.  Sanctions for Hiring Undocumented Workers

Another general offense under the IRPA is hiring undocumented workers.  Section 124(1)(c) states that anyone “who employs a foreign national in a capacity in which the foreign national is not authorized under this Act to be employed” is guilty of an offense.  The maximum penalties for this offense are the same as those for entering the country illegally or overstaying a visa illegally.  A person is not guilty of the offense of illegally hiring an undocumented worker if he or she exercised “due diligence.”[66]  The Act and its regulations do not specify what the accused must show in order to prove that he or she did in fact exercise due diligence.

The IRPA also makes both counseling misrepresentation and general misrepresentation criminal offenses.  Misrepresentation can be committed by withholding material facts, giving misleading information, and refusing to answer questions in legal proceedings.[67]  These offenses are punishable with a maximum fine of Can$100,000 and imprisonment for five years, if prosecuted by way of an indictment, and a maximum fine of Can$50,000 and two years of imprisonment, if prosecuted in summary proceedings.

In addition to criminalizing misrepresentation, the IRPA has special provisions for using, exporting, and dealing in forged documents that purport to establish a person’s identity.  Using a forged document is punishable with up to five years of imprisonment, and exporting or dealing in forged documents is punishable with up to fourteen years of imprisonment.  Canada has had numerous problems with forged passports.  In several reported cases, international incidents have arisen out of discoveries that foreign intelligence agencies were using forged Canadian passports.  Forged Canadian passports are reportedly popular with criminals because immigration officials in other countries are less likely to regard them with suspicion, due to the fact that Canada has a relatively large and diverse immigrant population.

Along with the penalties for hiring illegal immigrants, Canada also has strict laws against human smuggling and trafficking.  A person who smuggles fewer than ten persons into the country is liable on a first offense to a fine of up to Can$500,000 and imprisonment for up to ten years.  For a subsequent offense, the maximum fine is doubled and the maximum period of imprisonment is raised to fourteen years.  Those who smuggle more than ten persons into the country are liable to a fine of up to Can$1,000,000 and imprisonment for life.  Disembarking persons at sea is a separate offense that is also punishable with a fine of up to Can$1,000,000 and imprisonment for life.  This section was created in response to several instances in which owners of foreign boats filled them with illegal aliens and abandoned ship just before they washed up on Canadian shores.  In determining the appropriate sentence for persons who engage in human trafficking, judges must consider such aggravating factors as whether the aliens suffered any bodily harm or degrading treatment.

D.  Border Security

Border security and management is primarily the responsibility of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).  Its mandate is to ensure “the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada.”[68]  The Agency’s legislative, regulatory and partnership responsibilities include

  • administering legislation that governs the admissibility of people and goods, plants and animals into and out of Canada;
  • detaining those people who may pose a threat to Canada;
  • removing people who are inadmissible to Canada, including those involved in terrorism, organized crime, war crimes or crimes against humanity;
  • interdicting illegal goods entering or leaving the country;
  • protecting food safety, plant and animal health, and Canada's resource base;
  • promoting Canadian business and economic benefits by administering trade legislation and trade agreements to meet Canada's international obligations;
  • enforcing trade remedies that help protect Canadian industry from the injurious effects of dumped and subsidized imported goods;
  • administering a fair and impartial redress mechanism;
  • promoting Canadian interests in various international forums and with international organizations; and
  • collecting applicable duties and taxes on imported goods.[69]

On February 4, 2011, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama announced the Beyond the Border Declaration, which “outlines joint priorities to strengthen shared security and improve the legitimate flow of people, goods and services across our borders.”[70]  This action plan “sets out joint priorities for achieving that vision within the four areas of cooperation identified in the Beyond the Border Declaration: addressing threats early; trade facilitation, economic growth and jobs; cross-border law enforcement; and critical infrastructure and cyber-security.”[71]

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Prepared by Tariq Ahmad
Legal Research Analyst
March 2013


[1] Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, Text.html.

[2] Notice, CIC, Transforming the Immigration System (May 25, 2012), media/notices/notice-transform.asp.

[3] Naomi Alboim & Karen Cohl, Shaping the Future: Canada’s Rapidly Changing Immigration Policies at iv (Oct. 2012),  

[4] Canada – Permanent Residents by Category, 2008–2012, CIC, (last modified Feb. 27, 2012).

[5] Id.

[6] Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Persons, CIC, index.asp (last updated Dec. 1, 2010).

[7] Determine Your Eligibility—Skilled Trades, CIC, (last updated Feb. 6, 2013).

[8] News Release—New Federal Skilled Trades Program Accepts Applications Starting Today, CIC, (last updated Jan. 2, 2013).

[9] Determine Your Eligibility—Canadian Experience Class, CIC, (last updated Jan. 25, 2013).

[10] Provincial Nominees, CIC, updated Oct. 22, 2012).

[11] Fact Sheet—Provincial Nominee Program, CIC, employers/provincial-nominee-program.asp (last updated Mar. 28, 2012).

[12] Id.

[13] Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers, CIC, (last updated Nov. 9, 2009).

[14] Family Sponsorship, CIC, (last updated Oct. 26, 2012).

[15] Id.

[16] Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, S.C. 2012, c. 17, 2012_17/page-1.html.

[17] Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), (last updated Feb. 4, 2013).

[18] How to Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW)—A Guidebook for Employers, CIC, english/resources/publications/tfw-guide.asp (last updated Jan. 18, 2013).

[19] Id.

[21] Agricultural Stream, HRSDC, description.shtml (last modified Nov. 21, 2012).

[22] Live-in Caregiver Program: Program Description, HRSDC, foreign_workers/caregiver/description.shtml (last updated July 25, 2012); see also Determine Your Eligibility—Hiring a Live-in Caregiver, CIC, (last updated Oct. 19, 2012).

[23] Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, HRSDC, foreign_workers/ei_tfw/sawp_tfw.shtml (last updated June 10, 2009).  For additional, more detailed information, see Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: Requirements, HRSDC, foreign_workers/sawp/requirements.shtml (last updated Feb. 15, 2013).

[24] Become a Permanent Resident—Live-in Caregivers, CIC, permanent_resident.asp (last modified Oct. 19, 2012).

[25] Can Lower-Skilled Workers Apply for Permanent ResidenceUnder the Canadian Experience Class?, CIC, (last modified Nov. 7, 2012).

[26] How to Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW): A Guidebook for Employers, supra note 18.

[27] Canada’s Population Estimates: Age and Sex, July 1, 2012, Statistics Canada, (last modified Sept. 27, 2012).

[28] Canada – Permanent Residents by Category, 2008–2012, supra note 4.

[29] Id.

[30] News Release — Canada Continued to Welcome Highest Sustained Level of Immigration in Canadian History in 2012, CIC (Feb. 27, 2013),

[31] CIC, Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration 2012—Section 2: Managing Permanent Immigration and Temporary Migration (Oct. 31, 2012), annual-report-2012/section2.asp.

[32] Facts and Figures 2011—Immigration Overview: Permanent and Temporary Residents: Permanent Residents by Source Country, CIC, (last modified Oct. 16, 2012).

[33] News Release — Canada Welcomes Record Number of Immigrants, Visitors and Students from China in 2012, CIC (Mar. 4, 2013),; News Release — Canada Welcomes Record Number of Immigrants, Visitors and Students from the Philippines in 2012, CIC (Mar. 4, 2013),; News Release — Canada Welcomes Record Number of Immigrants, Visitors and Students from India in 2012, CIC (Mar. 4, 2013),

[34] Determine Your Eligibility—Skilled Workers and Professionals, CIC, skilled/apply-who.asp (last modified Nov. 7, 2012).

[35] Id.

[36] Id.

[37] Ministerial Instructions: Ministerial Instructions (MI3): Federal Skilled Workers, Immigrant Investor Program, Entrepreneurs, CIC, (last modified Jan. 1, 2013).

[38] Determine Your Eligibility—Skilled Workers and Professionals, supra note 34.

[39] Other Selection Factors—Skilled Workers and Professionals, CIC, skilled/apply-factors.asp (last modified June 26, 2010).

[40] Points for Education—Skilled Workers and Professionals, CIC, skilled/factor-education.asp (last modified Mar. 31, 2007).

[41] Points for Proficiency in English or French—Skilled Workers and Professionals, CIC, (last modified Nov. 9, 2011).

[42] Points for Work Experience—Skilled Workers and Professionals, CIC, immigrate/skilled/factor-experience.asp (last modified June 26, 2010).

[43] Points for Age—Skilled Workers and Professionals, CIC, (last modified Mar. 31, 2007).

[44] Points for Arranged Employment—Skilled Workers and Professionals, CIC, immigrate/skilled/factor-employment.asp (last modified Aug. 9, 2007).

[45] Points for Adaptability—Skilled Workers and Professionals, CIC, skilled/factor-adaptability.asp (last modified Mar. 31, 2007).

[46] Ministerial Instructions: Ministerial Instructions (MI3): Federal Skilled Workers, Immigrant Investor Program, Entrepreneurs, supra note 35.

[47] CIC, Evaluation of the Federal Skilled Worker Program: Executive Summary (Aug. 2010),

[48] Id.

[49] News Release, CIC, Minister Kenney Proposes to Assess Foreign Education Credentials Before Skilled Workers Arrive (Mar. 28, 2012),

[50] Id.

[51] New Federal Skilled Worker Program to Accept Applications Beginning May 4, 2013, CIC, (last modified Dec. 19, 2012).

[52] Backgrounder—Overview of the New Federal Skilled Worker Program, CIC, department/media/backgrounders/2012/2012-12-19.asp (last modified Dec. 19, 2012).

[53] Id.

[54] Id.

[55] Id.

[56] Diane Galarneau & René Morissette, Immigrants’ Education and Required Job Skills (Statistics Canada, Dec. 2008),

[57] A.E. Challinor, Canada’s Immigration Policy: A Focus on Human Capital, Migration Information Source (Migration Policy Institute, Sept. 2011),

[58] Study: Canada’s Immigrant Labour Market, 2008 to 2011, Statistics Canada, (last updated Dec. 14, 2012).  For more analysis on recent Canadian immigrant labour market trends, see Analysis of the Canadian Immigrant Labour Market, 2008 to 2011, Statistics Canada, (last updated Dec. 20, 2012).

[59] Id.

[60] New Federal Skilled Worker Program to Accept Applications Beginning May 4, 2013, supra note 49.

[61] I Am a Newcomer to Canada,,[email protected]? lang=eng&catid=27&geo=99 (last modified Mar. 1, 2013).

[62] Lilian Magalhaes et al., Undocumented Migrants in Canada: A Scope Literature Review on Health, Access to Services, and Working Conditions, 12(1) J. Immigr. & Minority Health 132, 151 (2010), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC3084189/.

[63] Richard Brennan, 41,000 Illegal Immigrants Gone Missing, Toronto Star (May 6, 2008),

[64] Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001 c. 27, § 124(1)(a).

[65] Information obtained from the Immigration Office at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, in 2006.

[66] Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, § 124.

[67] Id. § 127.

[68] About the CBSA, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), (last modified June 7, 2011).

[69] Id.

[70] Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, Canada’s Economic Action Plan, Government of Canada, (last visited Mar. 1, 2013).

[71] Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness (2011),

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Last Updated: 06/09/2015