Blog > 2012 > A Fly in the Ointment

A Fly in the Ointment

March 27th, 2012

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is on a mission to transform Canada’s immigration policy. If all goes according to plan, gone will be the days when ambitious immigrants start near the bottom and work their way up the ladder of economic success. The new skilled worker immigrant will be younger and a well-trained tradesperson or a highly educated professional type with flexible human capital and a high level of language skills. For good measure, many applicants will need a prearranged job to be eligible for Canadian immigration.

Not surprisingly, Canadian commentators have generally reacted favourably to the idea of prioritizing would-be immigrants with prearranged employment. On the surface, it makes a lot of sense, but dig deeper and you will behold a whole lot of rot. The long and short of it is that employment-based immigration is rife with fraud and corruption.

Don’t take my word for it. Instead, read the comments below from the people who ought to know because they are on the front lines working for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

The Canadian Visa Office in Hong Kong reported that, when it conducted verifications on Skilled Worker visa applications with prearranged employment between 2008 and 2010, only 22% of the cases were shown to be genuine. About 60% of the cases suggested some form of misrepresentation. The conclusion was that “there are serious problems with the validity of job offers in the Skilled Worker program”.


The Canadian Visa Office in Taipei reported in March 2010 that “it is apparent that there are programme integrity concerns present in the Arranged Employment movement”. The report examined 31 cases and found that “the overwhelming majority of applicants who were issued visas in this category did not subsequently enter into the arranged employment, in the majority of cases because the applicants simply failed to show up”.


The Canadian Visa Office in New Delhi reported in January 2010 the results of an investigation and stated that “the exercise examined in detail more than one third of all visa cases involving approved Arranged Employment applicants who became Permanent Residents of Canada within the past year […] Fewer than 40% of the applicants contacted were employed for even four months by the Arranged Employment employer after arrival, and over 60% of the cases never worked for the prospective employer in Canada”. This suggests that nearly 90% of the Arranged Employment applications submitted did not meet the program intent.

Source for the above: Lexbase (through Access to Information). To read the full report click here.

The list goes on and on because people really want to come to Canada and big bucks are involved. There’s no reason to think that opportunists are limited to Hong Kong, Taipei, and New Delhi. You can be certain that Canadian jobs are for sale on the streets of Moscow, Dubai, and London as well. It’s just too good to pass up, especially when most of the money exchanges hands beyond the reach of Canadian provincial restrictions on recruiting. And this is only one aspect of the fetidness lurking beneath the veneer of prearranged jobs.

Consider also the plight of motivated young workers in developing countries. Some of them will agree to mortgage a good chunk of their economic future to pay a huge sum to a middleman for a chance at Canadian permanent residency and an entry-level position in some Canadian business. Again, for the most part, all this goes on in faraway places, where Canadian provincial labour rules are scoffed at, if they are thought of at all.

And don’t think this nefarious activity is limited to employers of the mom and pop variety. A few years back, that 800 pound gorilla, Maple Leaf Foods, was caught up in a scandal involving the importation of Chinese workers to their facilities in Brandon, Manitoba. It turned out that these foreign labourers paid $10,000 each for the opportunity to do a job that few Canadians were interested in.

So, as Minister Kenney continues to extol the virtues of his new and improved employment-based immigration policy, keep in mind that surface stuff can be deceiving.

P.S: A few years back, CIC imposed more stringent language requirements on prospective Federal Skilled Worker applicants. Since then, these newer arrivals are doing relatively well economically, without prearranged employment. There’s nothing wrong with raising the bar, but our government should give more thought to the idea of closely tying a successful application to a factor that is so often abused.

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16 Responses to “A Fly in the Ointment”

  • On March 28th, 2012, Ebby Frimpong said ...

    Dave, this is a good article. There are Federal Skilled applicants who have been waiting for their visas ever since. What should have been done is simply first come first serve. The idea of serving a visa applicant who just applied with his Visa whilst his counterpart who applied before February 2008 is still in the queue is confusing and illogical ab initio. Simply put the requirements down and after it has been satisfied then First come first serve. Period.

  • On March 28th, 2012, Bakarh said ...

    Thanks David , thanks for your black and white clarity . You know almost all political leaders across the world has some grey agenda which always leaves lot to be desired and that never happens , till they are over or late . Some temptations are based on stupid objective and some on clever objectives and both is always anti-human .

  • On March 28th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    Very interesting information that is not all that surprising. Those who favor giving priority to arranged employment immigrants cannot be aware of the realities of the program. How many employers who have a position to fill are willing to wait a year or more for an overseas applicant? The mismatch between employer needs and processing times makes the whole program suspicious.

    As for in-Canada applicants with arranged employment, they are held hostage by the requirements of the program throughout the duration of processing, forced to remain with an employer until the day they land – this gives rise to abuse of foreign employees, who will take it until they no longer have to. No wonder so few remain with the employer…

  • On March 30th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    It is very true that some employers being an arranged employed ,experienced an abused “as only foreign workers”and being “SCARED” to loose jobs and fired.

  • On March 30th, 2012, TOWOBOLA CROWTHER said ...

    The law presents a better opportunity for skilled workers.Though the clause of discrimination any kind should be omitted.The whole process should be based on equal opportunity.Most countries who practice discrimination in the immigration processes of skilled workers are going through acute shortage in the labour market.What happens is that when the processes are too stringent for the immigrants,the only people who fall prey to exploitation in foreign land are those who are carelessly desperate to get into that country.

  • On April 1st, 2012, Anonymous said ...


    I applied for immigration in Feb, 2008. So my application is returned now, will it not be an injustice to me. Is there anything to redress my grievance.

    with regards

    Mahtab uddin

  • On April 6th, 2012, sonya said ...

    sir, i applied before feb,2008.what is my fault, my future is at risk….we have been waiting from 2006 …please do something to help us..why is the canadian government acting so bitterly with the future of thosands of people

  • On April 7th, 2012, Fahim Riaz Chohan said ...

    Thanks, Mr. David Cohen. for pointing this issue.
    I spent 5 precious years in waiting for immigration. I did nothing assuming that I will soon leave my country, so there is no need to start a long term plan. But it all ruined to hear this news. One can not imagine my state at present. We are going to be bluffed.

  • On April 8th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    sir, i applied n 2004 & updation n 2008. but it all ruined to hear this news. so what i dooooo.???????

  • On April 8th, 2012, lei said ...

    Me and my husband have been dreaming to bring our 2 children to Canada. We have been more than willing to gamble just EVERYTHING to get into our dreamland Canada!

  • On April 11th, 2012, Solicitor Manchester said ...

    Great write up – with some great information. I am totally agreed with the previous commenter that “The mismatch between employer needs and processing times makes the whole program suspicious. ” – anyways, thanks for sharing this article with the readers. This is my 1st visit here and love to visit back again :) Keep it up.

  • On April 13th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    Shocked to hear that news. Waiting since 2006. Almost 6 years and now age is at the limit where is very difficult to think even for some other immigration program. Applying to new requirements after 2008 is not possible for thoese who applied per previous requirement list. This is unjustic and unethic and cannot expect from such a country. This proposal is simply rejectable.

  • On April 20th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    I’m an Canadian citizen started with immigration in 2002. True, here is the land of opportunities and dreamland for who to want work, live, and build this country under charter of human right and Canadian law. But remember that putting everything on hold in your life (in your current land) and assuming you”ll be in Canada tomorrow or the next year(s) never was recommended and never will be a wise decision. I’ve gone this road and strongly believe that you have to run immigration tasks as a side line of your current life. otherwise you will end up being blind to all happiness that you can have, taking unreasonable risks, and getting extremely disappointed and hopeless. Loosing current opportunities are something that you may want to think about too.
    so the message is, work on it but don’t tied your life to it.

  • On April 29th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    For those who are well educated and not accepted,this maybe a blessing in disguise for you because there are no jobs here except maybe survival jobs

  • On June 21st, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    I think it is b/cos of the economic recession. Maybe that’s their own way of protecting their boarder. I learn that job is had to find there. who knows. Alot of people are making it still.

  • On March 15th, 2013, Gilles said ...

    Orienting selection only towards the more educated candidiates is a mistake as once they are seleted and do get here they will receive very little support to get them up and started. Their educational level will be challenged by all professional associations (Engineers, Medical, Law, etc) and will have to acquire Canada’s education equivalence documents which will most likely will not be recognize to their full educational levels based on Federal and Provincial equivalence criterias.If these equivalences are not recognized, which is most likely to be the case, then these graduates and professionals will have to go back on the benches to try and achieve the level of education proficiency required here to meet the Federal and provincial graduate requirements to recieve blessing to work in their profession. This process can take up a couple of years at least. Meanwhile attempting to reach the required equivalence level (irrespective of past professional experience) the candidates will have to accept low income entry level jobs to survive in this country, this can be extremely difficult to endure, and is also the reason why more than 20% of new immigrants choose to return back to their birth homeland. Beware of the many promises that are made and ensure that your full educational level will be recognized before coming to Canada, otherwise you might be in for a very unpleasant and hurtful surprise. Meanwhile one question comes to mind, who will fill the ordinary jobs that are available and required to be filled in for the continuyty of this country’s growth. We are underpopulated to maintain and improve our country’s growth rate. Immigrants from all level of society are required to continue building this land of ours. Canada was not first built with the supposedly “ELITE” that the actual Ministry of Immigration is targetting at. This country has become multicultural and it is a very good aspect of our “New” culture but the old cliché vision of our governments and politicians have not kept up nor have been updated with this new reality of ours. One thing is for sure, every immigrant that I know of has become a true Canadian and have brought with them differrent life experiences and vision that has benefitted us all in Canada. If we are what we are today is because of that multicultural aspect and openess. Let us never forget this and continue building this country of ours which has so many opportunities to develop. We must realize that we can’t acomplish that objective without an increasing population and the help of new immigrants. Economical strength is based on population activities and consumption, not to be forgotten. Canada will never again be of solely English or French ancestral cultures, Canada has accepted immigrants that have come to build this country with their differrent cultures, leaving some of theirs behind to accept ours and we have done the same, this is our new reality and our new culture. I am 67 years old, of French Canadian origins and descendants going back to the early colonization era of Canada, I travel extensively internationally for my employment assignments and I am convinced of the veracity of my comments aforementioned here. Canada’s growth can only be secured through opening the doors to more immigrants for all levels of job opportunities.

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