Why UAE migrants to Canada see hopes sink as they fail to qualify

The much anticipated opening of a new immigration class to Canada has not resulted in a run on applications, as most aspirants do not qualify.

On January 2, 2012 the newly established Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) for immigration to Canada opened its doors for applications.

The programme, which is to accept 3,000 applications this year, allows qualified and experienced trades people to immigrate to Canada in a move to address serious labour shortages in some regions of the country.

As many aspirant migrants in the UAE have been in the benches for months, if not years, waiting for the opportunity to submit their application, the announcement of the intake for this class was received with great enthusiasm; false enthusiasm so it  seems.

"The criteria for this class is very narrow, and most applicants do not qualify for this class," says Pej Mohyeddin, an immigration consultant at Bayat Legal Services in Dubai.

A week after the intake of applications was announced, Bayat Legal Services has not submitted a single applicant for the programme, he tells. "There have been a few applicants, but they did not qualify."

The same counts for Vision Consultancy Services, an immigration consultancy company in Dubai. "We received a few applications. But we want to be honest with our clients. When they do not qualify we do not submit their applications. None of the applicants qualified for this programme," said Jalil Parker, manager at the Dubai office.

The FSTC scheme is divided into group A and group B, the former listing 17 moderate-in- demand jobs, while the latter includes 26 high-in-demand jobs. While job categories in Group A have a 100 applications cap, applications for Group B are limitless.

However, it is the job offer preference that makes qualification for one of these job categories difficult, say immigration consultants.

"The main issue or better yet, the obstacles that the applicants are facing are to find an offer for full-time employment from Canada. This is one of the requirements, which I would say the most difficult. We are getting a good amount of calls and walk-in's but the query is: can we get a job offer! We are an immigration law firm, not a recruitment company and therefore the answer is no," explains Pej.

On the official Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website, it is explained that "the caps apply whether or not people have a qualifying offer of employment or a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority."

However, applicants who are able to present a job offer letter have preference, explains Jalil. "The reason that Canada is trying to attract skilled trade people is to deal with an unemployment problem. If people come to Canada but are not able find a job, they end up on the street and the unemployment rate goes up. So the preference is for applicants who are in demand by a company."

For those who do not qualify for the newly opened class there is a wait of four months until the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) will open its doors to applications. "People who want to apply through this program should be preparing their applications now, because certain documentation can take much time," advises Jalil.

The FSWC is the most popular category among migration aspirants to Canada, but intake of applications has been on hold due to amendments made to the immigration policies, and many applicants saw their aspirations stranded.

Image courtesy Shutterstock

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