Language Testing for Provincial Nominee Applicants
Each province and territory is responsible for the design and management of its own PNP, which must be consistent with federal immigration policy, legislation and the terms of bilateral agreements. However, it was announced on April 11, 2012 Minister Jason Kenney changes to the Provincial Nominee Program which will require all semi-skilled or low skilled applicants must undergo mandatory Canadian language testing in listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities and must meet the minimum requirements effective July 1, 2012.
The goal of the provincial nominee program is to better support the economic and labour shortage needs across Canada by selecting individuals who will benefit the Canadian economy while being able to adapt, settle and playing a significant role in building and maintaining the highest quality of life across the country. Currently, most provinces have established a Province Nominee Program guideline which outlines a language practice however no testing or supporting documents are required. Eastern provinces who are using the point system have established a language requirement assessing applicants on the two official languages of Canada as part of the PNP application. An applicant must choose one official language and will be assessed against their first choice.
In my opinion to fill the labour shortage issue throughout Canada should not only be measured on an individual being able to perform a task or completing a job for an employer routinely rather understanding what is required to complete the job, understanding and assessing the risks safely within the occupational safety guidelines and regulations of each province. Being able to communicate basic needs, the ability to read simple instructions and job requirements will protect the applicant/employee as well as the employer from potential safety risks. The new language requirement will help make Canada stronger economically and a key player globally. Not only will the employer benefit from the new language requirements but the applicant benefits by better establishing oneself personally and financially.
Another benefit of having the PNP language requirements will eliminate the immigration of individuals into a Province only to seek entry into Canada for permanent residency. This has been an on-going issue and investigation in Prince Edward Island as many individual have used the PNP stream to gain access and Canadian permanent residency status however individuals have not participated in the day to day activities rather have moved away after obtaining permanent residency status.
Applicants have used the PNP process to reunite with family members in Canada which is not the purpose of this program nor should it be used for it.
The Provincial Nominee Program is now Canada’s second largest economic immigration program, with admissions having grown from 8000 immigrants in 2005 to admissions of 42000 people this year.