Charles Darwin on Canadian Immigration

January 9th, 2007

Some 150 years ago Charles Darwin coined the term “natural selection” in his book entitled “The Origin of Species”.

Simply put, the theory of natural selection can be described as a biological process, by which individual organisms with favorable traits (characteristics) are more likely to survive and reproduce (succeed) than those with unfavorable traits.

While some creationists argue that “intelligent cause” offers a better explanation for who we have become, there can be little doubt that Darwin’s theory holds true for the Canadian immigration process.

Here are some facts to consider:

– For whatever reasons, there are today many more people in the world wanting to immigrate to Canada than there are permanent resident visas that Canada is prepared to issue.

– The excessive demand for Canadian permanent resident visas is unevenly spread throughout the general population. So, for example, many more individuals who reside in India, China and the Philippines apply for Canadian permanent residency than do individuals who reside in Germany, Norway and Austria. It is important to note that applicants must submit their applications to the Canadian Visa Office responsible for their country of citizenship or for their country of residence, if they were lawfully admitted to that country for at least one year.

– The Canadian immigration application process is not fair or impartial from a procedural standpoint. If it were, applications in a particular category of immigration (skilled worker, for example) from all over the world would be put into a single queue and treated on a “first in – first out” basis. That way, application processing times would be the same for the applicant residing in Berlin and the applicant residing in Bangalore. Why Canada does not implement a more equitable application processing procedure will be the subject of a later blog.

– At many Canadian Visa Offices the demand for residency permits continues to surpass the supply of available visas and the already lengthy application process (4 plus years) keeps growing.

Here is where natural selection comes into play:

It’s not as if Canadian immigration policy makers are unaware of the lengthy processing delays faced by many applicants. Rather than reducing the processing times, by adding more visa officers and issuing more visas or reducing the demand for visas by raising the passmark, they have instead issued a challenge to would-be immigrants. The challenge is straight-forward – you must find the ways to significantly reduce the time to obtain a Canadian permanent resident visa. And they do exist. Often, this involves finding work in Canada, but there are other ways as well. The more determined and motivated of you will figure it out and succeed in getting to Canada within months. You are the people Canada wants.

Is this a fair challenge? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that it is made to everyone who has to wait in a long line. No, in that not everyone is equipped to succeed – as in the Darwin’s theory.

Apropos this very subject, there is a story in the news these days about some labourers from China who managed to secure temporary work permits and are now employed in Canada by a meat processing company. These foreign workers apparently paid a broker $10,000 each, for their Canadian jobs. The headlines imply that somehow this is morally, if not legally, wrong. But isn’t this exactly how the system is supposed to work?

Without a genuine job offer these particular foreign workers probably could not qualify for a Canadian permanent resident visa. Even if they could qualify, the application process without a job offer would take 5 years to complete from China. These determined individuals instead figured out a way to get to Canada in about a month’s time and once here to immediately begin relatively well-paid work. Oh yes, and after 6 months on the job they will be able to apply for permanent resident visas under Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program. And they did this all legally. So it cost them each $10,000. I don’t see any losers in this picture.

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