The Numbers Don’t Add Up
As noted on CIC News, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration this week tabled the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration 2013. Not only does the report paint a picture of the current state of affairs in the sphere of Canadian immigration, it also provides a peek as to what’s in store for 2014.
Overall, Canada intends to take in between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents next year. Of these, about 164,500 will be economic immigrants and about 68,000 will be sponsored family members. The remaining 28,400 will consist of humanitarian cases, mostly asylum seekers.
Certain aspects of the report stick out. Firstly, the much touted Expression of Interest (EOI) application management model that was going to be implemented in 2014 now has a target date of early 2015. Consultations between the federal government and the provinces and employers are still ongoing according to the report, and so one has to wonder if even the latest anticipated start date is optimistic.
Secondly, the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) backlog of applications has essentially been worked through. From a peak of 640,000 people in 2008, the FSW backlog stood at 65,000 persons at the end of July, 2013. Taking into account the applicants in the backlog who will be refused and the applications processed between August and the end of 2013, there won’t be much FSW grist for the Canadian immigration mill as we head into 2014.
That the backlog was reduced, in good part, on the backs of close to 300,000 persons, whose applications were terminated by the government, is a whole other story that I have commented on in the past. Suffice to say that the decision to close files without a decision was controversial and arguments against it will be heard by the Federal Court of Appeal.
Thirdly, the numbers in the report don’t add up, at least with respect to the new economic immigrants projected for 2014. Something is missing. The figures provided (46,000 provincial nominees, 31,000 destined to Quebec, 15,000 Canadian Experience Class, etc…) fall well short of the 164,500 total number of economic immigrants mentioned in the report. Even allowing for some residual backlog and the meagre 2013 FSW Ministerial Instructions, it is hard to imagine reaching 164,500 unless a new set of Ministerial Instructions in 2014 opens the door to more FSW applicants.