He/She Who Hesitates is Lost
The “lost” in this proverb, which dates back to England of the early 1700’s, does not mean “unable to find one’s way home”. Rather, the saying signifies that if you react too slowly to situations, especially urgent ones, you will generally “lose” a good opportunity. More about this a little later.
Earlier this month Canadians were busy congratulating themselves over the results of a survey which covered 18,000 people in 24 countries. The question put to these individuals was simple: “If you were presented with the opportunity of moving to Canada, would you?” Overwhelmingly, the respondents answered in the affirmative – including 77 percent of those canvassed in China and 68 percent from India. Seventy-two percent believed that Canada is welcoming to immigrants. Heck, even 30 percent of Americans would choose Canada, if they could.
On the heels of this glowing report, what did the Canadian government do? Well, this past weekend the Minister of Immigration issued instructions to his Department to 1) declare a moratorium on new applications under the Federal Immigrant Investor Program and 2) limit the number of Federal Skilled Worker applications, without an accompanying job offer, to 20,000 for the next 12 months. Moreover, to be eligible as a skilled worker without a Canadian job offer, the principal applicant must have worked for at least one year in the past 10 in one of only 29 listed occupations that are considered “open” for Canadian immigration purposes. To top it off, no more than 1,000 applications will be considered under any one occupation – first come, first served.
This brings me back to the title of this blog. To the existing requirements under the Federal Skilled Worker Category, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has added one more – be quick with your application, or risk losing your opportunity of qualifying for a permanent resident visa under this category.
The good news is that some of the provinces, and especially the province of Quebec, still believe in the human capital model, in which one’s total background is given greater importance than their experience in a particular occupation. All it may take is a willingness to learn a little French.