Skilled immigrants to Canada may soon have to certify their educational credentials with third parties before arriving in the country, according to a new proposal by the immigration ministry.
Canada welcomes some 250,000 new arrivals every year, mostly skilled professionals, investors and entrepreneurs seen as filling key gaps in the local labor market.
However, many of the immigrants discover after their arrival that their credentials are not recognized in the country, resulting in doctors and lawyers working as taxi drivers and waiters.
“We’re saying: truth in advertising. Don’t bother coming to Canada if you don’t have at least an even shot at having your education and your skills recognized,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told reporters on Wednesday.
“And I think we’re doing those people a favor and we’re doing Canada a favor. There’s no shortage of people who want to migrate here. Let’s invite those who have the best chance of success.”
The proposed evaluations would give potential immigrants a better idea of how their credentials match up with the needs of the Canadian labor market and weed out those not qualified to work, officials said.
The screening process would not guarantee employment or result in the awarding of appropriate professional licenses.
Canada’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in February, according to official figures.