Following a substantial increase in the number of student visas issued in recent years, Canada has welcomed its 10,000th permanent resident through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration stream.
The CEC, created in 2008, offers a pathway to permanent residency for international students and skilled and highly skilled temporary foreign workers. Through the CEC, those eligible can apply from within Canada and expect a decision quickly, whereas in the past, they may have spent several years waiting in the immigration queue.
The CEC is aimed at ensuring Canada retains talented and motivated individuals who have demonstrated a strong work ethic, have an ability to contribute to the economy, and will easily integrate into Canadian life. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney was joined at the announcement by Goomaral (Maral) Chukhalkhuu, originally from Mongolia, who was recognized as the 10,000th CEC permanent resident. Chukhalkhuu earned an Honours Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Carleton University, and then put her skills to work at a bank in Ottawa.
“As a student, I fell in love with this country,” said Chukhalkhuu, a Small Business Account Manager at RBC. “I knew I wanted to stay here and become a part of this wonderful country and the CEC offered me that opportunity.”
The CEC has received praise from many educational organizations across the country, such as the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). “International student graduates are armed with the advanced skills employers need and move directly into employment in communities across the country. This is the real value of the Canadian Experience Class,” said James Knight, ACCC President and CEO.
Retaining international PhD students will also be easier, thanks to a new initiative announced by Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear. Foreign nationals studying at a doctoral level in Canada, as well as recent graduates of a Canadian PhD program, will soon be able to apply as Federal Skilled Workers.