PRESS RELEASE March Budget Changes Threaten to Rock the by versus


									                              PRESS RELEASE

                               March 31, 2008

   “Budget Changes Threaten to Rock the Foundation of Immigration”

                 Immigration consultants offer alternatives

CAPIC Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants –
ACCPI L’Association Canadienne des Conseillers Professionnels en
Immigration (CAPIC-ACCPI) strongly objects to recent proposals included in
the budget bill which would fundamentally change Canada’s Immigration
system by giving the Minister of Immigration the right to deny an application
even after it has been approved by a Visa Officer.

The view of immigration professionals is that the change is unnecessary. They
offer alternatives for dealing with the issue of backlogs.

Since the recent proposals apply only to applications filed after February 27th,
2008, they will not affect the backlog of permanent resident applications. Any
processing time the government frees up will have to be directed to processing
the new Canada Experience Class and the rapidly growing Temporary Worker
programs. Those waiting in the Skilled Worker Backlog will still be waiting for
many years to come.

In view of Canada’s urgent economic needs, in particular growing labour
shortages, it is not difficult to understand why the Minister might want more
powers, but there is another, better way without resorting to what she has

CAPIC suggest that the following be done to reduce the backlog and meet the
urgent need for more workers:

   •   increasing immigration intake levels to 1% of Canada’s population
   •   funding CIC infrastructure projects such as replacing paper files with
       electronic files so they can select immigrants with needed skills who are
       in the backlog and expedite their processing;
   •   encourage better decision making practices at Visa Posts to approve
       needed Temporary Workers, eliminating employers’ frustrations;
   •   working with HRSDC to exempt most companies in BC and Alberta
       from having to spend months proving what everyone knows – that there
       are not enough workers available in Canada to meet their needs;
   •   preventing the backlog from growing by announcing a negative list of
       occupations – a list of occupations excluded from qualifying applicants
       for immigration, based on sectors of high unemployment which exist in
       any economy;
   •   changing the way that processing times for applications are reported to a
       simple “we are now processing applications received on
       [day/month/year]” would give applicants a much better idea how long
       they will have to wait. CIC already does this for some applications filed
       in Canada. No one can control how many people want to come to
       Canada, so no one can control the size of the backlog. Applicants only
       want to know that their applications have been received, and how long
       processing will take. Experience with other systems shows that this will
       reduce complaints which will therefore reduce the burden on the
       dedicated professionals in CIC who are already working at full capacity.

We believe our suggestions would make great progress towards improving the
system, and note that the Minister already has the authority do all of the above.


CAPIC Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants –
ACCPI L’Association Canadienne des Conseillers Professionnels en
Immigration (CAPIC-ACCPI)

CAPIC-ACCPI is the largest association of Canadian immigration consultants
and all registered full members agree to abide by the Code of Ethics mandated
by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC). CAPIC supports
continuous improvement in all areas of the Canadian immigration system, and
works tirelessly to champion the cause of fair treatment of our clients and to
have our members recognized as professionals deserving of our client’s trust.

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