visa stampEarlier this month, Canadian Experience Class (CEC) issued its 20,000th visa, a success for one of Canada’s most recent immigration programs.

Created as a way to attract and retain some of the world’s most valuable skilled workers, CEC presents a path to permanent residency for international students and workers already in Canada. It is recognized as the country’s fastest-growing immigration program.

“We are working hard to attract and retain the best and brightest students from around the world,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, speaking at a ceremony celebrating the occasion.

Attending the ceremony was Guarav Gore, an Indian national who became the 20,000th visa recipient.

“As a student, I saw the wealth of opportunities that are available in Canada,” said Mr. Gore. “I felt welcome. I wanted to stay, pusue a career here, and contribute to the economy as well as the country. I was happy to discover that it was possible through the CEC and that I could use my skills immediately upon graduating.”

Changes have recently been made to the CEC in order to make the program more responsive to labour market needs, as well as welcoming for applicants. These changes include reducing required Canadian work experience from 24 to 12 months in the past 36, as well as introducing a minimum threshold of language competency.