Is the point system an effective method to assess potential Canadian immigrants?

Do we need to increase the number of permanent residents to come into the country through the Federal-skilled Program? This is one of the many questions that our class of no more than 40 settlement workers in at AISSA was trying to answer during a two day workshop. AISSAA or the Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies in Alberta.

Every year, at least four or six seminars or workshops are conducted by AISSA to update settlement workers from different agencies on the trends and issues that matters most to their immigrant and newcomer clients. I was lucky to have my name listed as one of the participants in this two-day workshop. At the start of the workshop, the federal skilled program was discussed and the attention was directed towards the immigration point system that the program is using in order to assess eligibility of applicants. So the question that was raised by so many of the participants was whether the point system is an effective tool in predicting if an applicant would be successful in Canada once become landed immigrant.

I noticed that most participants whose country of origin was Africa were not really in favour of the point system. They said that it discriminates other people from African nations due to much point awarded to applicants in the areas of education and language (it was clear from the videos and handouts distributed in the two day workshop that there were only few countries where applicants are really successful in the Federal skilled program). These participants from African countries were even suggesting that it would be better if the government scrap the point system in determining if an applicant would be successful in Canada once landed, and instead change it with an alternative tool which would measure the applicants base on their experience and education and not heavily really on the IELTS score or English proficiency.

These participants whose country of origin was Africa even suggested that it would be better if the CIC would liberate the other permanent residency routes like the Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds and the Refugee Streams just as much as the CIC liberates the Federal – Skilled program. This comment arises during the discussion as it was learned from one of the videos and handouts that the Federal-skilled program has the most number of permanent residents admitted to Canada with in the recent years, and leaving the Humanitarian and Compassionate Ground and the Refugee streams with a lot small number. And since Canada has been known in the whole world as one of the most welcoming and generous country in the world, the participants believe that Canada should let more refugees and other permanent residents through the Humanitarian and Compassionate ground.

In my own honest opinion, I still believe in the point system since it is a good predictor or determinant of ones success in Canada as a landed immigrant. We can’t get away with that. If we need the best skilled workers for our country, we need a good a fool proof tool in assessing prospective immigrants. On the other hand, I also believe that Canada has neglected the Refugee stream and the Humanitarian and Compassionate ground stream over the Federal -skilled for quite sometimes. And I think it is about time that Canada open up the flood gate for these two streams.

Greg Lopez
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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