In April 2015 Budget, government of Canada have addressed two concerns that are of major importance to new Canadian Immigrants. The budget addresses
– Help with Training and smooth transition of newcomers.
– Ease in sending money to families back home.
Help with training and smooth transition of newcomers
Pilot loan program made permanent
In 2012 Government of Canada launched “The Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot Project“. Its focus was to help internationally-trained individuals get their skills up to Canadian standards by providing small loans. Government of Canada has announced it will be a permanent Program for the benefits of skilled foreign individuals.
The project helped number of immigrants who did not have the financial means to take the exams or courses required by Canadian regulations and lack credit history to get bank loans to cover the costs. According to the figures released by Government, nearly 1,500 loans, worth a total of CAD $9 million, were approved in just first two years of the launch. Less than one per cent of loanees defaulted on repaying the sum. Now the Program has been made permanent, with an additional $35 million set aside for future loans over the next five years.
These loans can be used for (but not limited to);
- Tuition for any course/training
- The price for licensing exams
- Child care costs, if it means it will aid a person to go back to school to upgrade his or her skills to match Canadian standards.
Educational accreditations are typically validated by provincial organisations, so funding for this loans program is provided to nine community-based organizations in selected communities across Canada, including:
- S.U.C.C.E.S.S., in British Columbia;
- Immigrant Access Fund, in Alberta;
- Immigrant Access Fund, in Saskatchewan;
- SEED Winnipeg Inc., in Manitoba;
- WIL Employment Connections, in London, Ontario;
- Association Communautaire d’emprunt de Montréal (ACEM) , in Quebec;
- New Brunswick Multicultural Council Inc. in new Brunswick;
- Canada Microcredit Educators Group, in Prince Edward Island; and
- Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia.
Ease in sending money to families back home
Remittance services to be improved
According to 2012 World Bank report it is estimated that after individuals arrive in Canada they send a total of $24 billion a year back to their home countries. Currently this information is not tracked by government agency but Government of Canada intends to change that in future.
In this budget, government of Canada has set aside $6 million over five years to improve remittance services for people who want to send money abroad. Government will set up an official website that will provide an opportunity for people to compare fees of all the services providers.
“Remittances represent an important source of income for families in the development world and can help pay for essential needs such as nutrition, education and health care,” stated the budget.
The costs of sending remittances can vary widely, depending on the financial institutions and countries. Service Providers (Banks and remittance agencies) make money on both the flat-rate fees and exchange-rate premiums they charge. In 2011 G20 meeting, Canada signed an international pledge to help reduce these and we have seen some effects since then.
Lately we have seen more focus on immigrants and immigration system from government of Canada. All the new immigrants and people who are coming in next few can be rest assured that Canada takes the immigration seriously.
Canada will benefit by benefiting the immigrants!