Toronto: Canada plans to establish a key office in India to facilitate recognition of foreign credentials, a move likely to help Indian immigrants seeking jobs in the country.
"We want newcomers to be able to use their skills as soon as possible in Canada," Jason Kenney, the Citizenship and Immigration Minister, said, adding that in the past immigrants arrived at the airport only to sink or swim.
Kenney said the government proposed to open new offices in India, China, the Philippines and Britain for recognition of foreign credentials.
The Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP), which began in 2007 as a pilot programme, will get USD 15 million over the next three years to expand its services in India, China and the Philippines, as well as to open a new office in London.
The new office will serve prospective immigrants to Scandinavian countries, Britain and the Gulf States.
However, Canadian MP Olivia Chow said the government needs to improve the recognition of foreign credentials.
She said the government was still announcing half measures as the current plan of recognising foreign credentials would not happen until December 2013.
Chow said the government should expand mentorship, bridging and internships programmes for immigrants in Canada and expand opportunities for new immigrants in the federal government.
The CIIP offers prospective immigrants a variety of services, including information about labour market in Canada and ways to apply for jobs and how to get their university credentials recognised.
The service has helped 7,000 people so far, Kenney said, rattling off examples of recent immigrants who successfully got jobs in Canada after being helped by the CIIP.