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Languages Canada applauds Liberal MPs call to speed up immigration processing

OTTAWA, February 4, 2016 – Languages Canada, Canada’s national language education association representing more than 225 private and public members that offer accredited English and French programs, applauds recent pressure from several Liberal MPs to speed up immigration processing.

At recent national caucus meetings, Liberal MPs asked the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, to address the “mess” in the processing times of immigration applications. While Conservatives were the source of blame for the slow processing of applications because they were in power, questions are now being raised as to what the Liberals are doing to speed up the processing times.

Visa denials and processing delays, as well as policy changes, are hindering growth for the language education sector. Since June 2014, international students studying language in Canada have not had the right to work. As a result of these changes combined with the delays, Canada has suffered as a leading language education destination. Language Canada estimates that there would have been approximately 20,000 more students enrolled a schools in 2014.

“These policies and regulations have made it extremely difficult for international students to study in Canada – we are making it more and more likely they will choose another destination, like Australia or New Zealand, over Canada. This has serious implications for not only our sector, but for Canada’s international education sector at large and even for Canada’s immigration objectives. The three most important criteria for a productive immigrant are language, work experience, and Canadian credentials, along with an effective process for visas,” explains Gonzalo Peralta, Executive Director of Languages Canada.

More than 130,000 international students come to Canada every year to learn English and/or French, and up to 30% of them stay after their language program to further their studies in a Canadian university or college.

Language programs generated $1.5 billion in revenue for the Canadian economy and $652 million for Ontario in 2014.

Languages Canada is Canada’s national language education association representing more than 225 private and public language education members that offer accredited English and French programs.

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Sarah Snowdon
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