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Canada to accept up to 265,000 new immigrants in 2008

Canada to accept up to 265,000 new immigrants in 2008

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced that Canada expects to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 newcomers in 2008. The target is set out in the 2007 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration tabled today in the House of Commons. The report provides information on immigration activities in 2006 and outlines the immigration plan for 2008.

Ottawa, October 31, 2007 “” The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced today that Canada expects to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 newcomers in 2008.

The target is set out in the 2007 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration tabled today in the House of Commons. The report provides information on immigration activities in 2006 and outlines the immigration plan for 2008.

“Our government believes that immigration plays an important role in building our communities and growing our economy,” said Minister Finley. “The immigration targets tabled today will help ensure that Canada continues to grow and benefit from all that newcomers and their families bring to our country.”

The Canadian Experience Class, first announced in the 2007 budget and a key element of the government’s long-term immigration plan, will be implemented in 2008 for certain skilled temporary workers and international students with Canadian degrees and Canadian work experience. Once the class is established and for the first time, individuals meeting specific criteria will be able to apply for permanent resident status from within Canada.

The Canadian Experience Class adds to other initiatives to address labour market needs and to help in the successful integration of newcomers. These include establishing the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO), improving the Temporary Foreign Worker program and expanding the Provincial Nominee Program.

The FCRO is working with the provinces and territories to help internationally trained individuals get their skills assessed and recognized. The Provincial Nominee Program allows provinces and territories to identify and nominate immigrants who will address their labour market needs.

Canada is continuing its humanitarian tradition by, for example, resettling 800 Karen refugees from Thailand and committing to welcoming 2,000 more. Canada also played an important role in negotiations on the protracted situation of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal, agreeing to resettle 5,000 of them over the next few years.

The federal government has also committed an additional $1.3 billion in settlement funding over five years, and $342 million per year ongoing, to help newcomers succeed.

The Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, which must be tabled by November 1 each year, is a requirement under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.