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Canadian Government Creates Faster Credential Recognition Process For Immigrants

by David Cohen

The Canadian government has committed to making settlement in Canada easier for new immigrants by creating the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. This framework will allow foreign-trained workers in certain professions to have their credentials assessed more quickly than before.

Under this new program, internationally-trained workers in professions such as nursing, engineering and architecture will find out within one year whether their credentials will be recognized in Canada.

Up until now, each province and territory has had different standards and time frames for evaluating foreign credentials, which has often resulted in newcomers to Canada working outside their profession for long periods while waiting for their credentials to be recognized. This new initiative will ensure that international credentials are reviewed quickly and comparably across the country.

“We want newcomers to be able to use their skills and work to their full potential. It’s good for them and good for the Canadian economy,” said Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada Jason Kenney.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) said that federal, provincial and territorial governments across Canada will work together to provide immigrants with improved workforce participation services, better pre-arrival services, and fair, transparent, consistent and timely assessments.

“We want a system that is fair, that’s consistent, that’s efficient, and that’s accessible,” said HRSDC Minister Diane Finley.

She added that these services will help internationally trained workers put their training and knowledge to work in Canada sooner after they arrive.

“We want to encourage newcomers to put their talents to work here and make it happen sooner. This is essential to help people find fulfilling jobs, rewarding work that contributes to Canada’s future,” Finley said.

The framework will initially be put in place for the following occupations by December 31, 2010:

  • Architects;
  • Engineers;
  • Financial Auditors and Accountants;
  • Medical Laboratory Technologists;
  • Occupational Therapists;
  • Pharmacists;
  • Physiotherapists; and
  • Registered Nurses.

By December 2012, the framework is expected to apply to the following occupations:

  • Dentists;
  • Engineering Technicians;
  • Licensed Practical Nurses;
  • Medical Radiation Technologists;
  • Physicians; and
  • Teachers.

About The Author

David Cohen is senior partner at the Canadian immigration law firm of Campbell Cohen and has been practicing Canadian immigration law for almost 30 years. He graduated from Montreal's McGill University, Faculty of Law, and is a member of the Quebec and Canadian Bar Associations as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Most recently, he was appointed a governor of the Fondation du Barreau du Québec. David Cohen is managing editor of the Canadian Immigration Newsletter, a monthly publication with readership of more than 150,000 subscribers. He also moderates a web-based public discussion forum, which covers topics relating to Canadian migration and settlement.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.