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Canada relaxes immigration norms

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 12

THERE is good news for professionals aspiring to immigrate to Canada. With the Canadian Government relaxing the pass marks needed for immigration to Canada from 75 to 67, even those with only one year of work experience could be eligible for immigration to that country.

For students too, the eligibility has become easier with education only up to graduation becoming the criteria. Also, under the new laws, some cases of immigration where the application was made prior to January 1, 2002 could reapply.

Mr Ravi Jain, a senior immigration lawyer at Canada's solicitor company Green and Spiegel, who was here to service clients, explained, "This is a response to the fact that the Canadian Immigration Department was falling well short of its target for skilled worker immigrants which could seriously affect the Canadian economy. It would take approximately 2,00,000 to fill the gap," he said.

The sectors where Indians are in most demand in Canada are information technology and engineering. However, he felt that immigration to Canada had become easier for other educated Indians as well because "they were highly skilled, English-speaking and adaptable". The age group most favoured by the Canadian administration was 21 to 49 years.

Further, he noted that hundreds of clients who did not qualify previously could consider re-applying, especially youngsters who have just graduated, people who are just graduates and those with only about a year's work experience.

However, he cautioned against unqualified consultants who often "exploit their own people". He said from now immigration consultants for Canada were being regulated and they were now required to fulfil certain qualifications and affiliate themselves to a Canadian law firm to represent clients.

He also revealed that many detailed changes to Canada's immigration laws were to be implemented soon.

"These proposed changes are at the consultation stage and will become law soon and so potential immigrants should be aware of them. The changes are necessary to respond to issues not foreseen when Canada adopted a completely new immigration scheme on June 28, 2002," he said.

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