March 19, 2014
Minister Chris Alexander travels to China!
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander is taking off for China, on a trip to promote Canada as a destination for business people, students and investors. This diplomatic travel comes right on the heels of the Minister’s February announcement to eliminate Canada’s Federal Immigrant Investor Program and Federal Entrepreneur Program, both exceptionally popular among Chinese investors looking to gain permanent residence in Canada. The Minister will travel to Hong Kong and Shanghai to promote the new focus of his immigration policy on Canada’s economic and labour market needs. He plans to outline visa options available to businesses, students, and families looking to settle in Canada.
On the itinerary is a speaking engagement at Fudan University, and then on to Shanghai University of International Business and the Shanghai Redlead Women’s Hospital, both of which have joint programs with British Columbia’s Douglas College. With China as the top source country for international students for the past 5 years consecutively, the focus will certainly be on education and Canada’s reputation for high quality universities and colleges.
The strong personal ties between China and Canada are evident. China was also the top source country for new Permanent Resident admissions, with 34,000 in 2013. Over 270,000 visitor visas to Canada were issued to Chinese travellers in 2013, a nod to both tourism and family ties with Chinese-Canadians.
The Minister was quoted as saying:
“With the exciting—and indeed transformational—changes we are making to Canada’s immigration system, our government wants to ensure that Chinese applicants are aware of the many opportunities that exist for them in Canada, now and in the future.” – Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
This may go some way to smooth relations with the many wealthy Chinese who recently met in Beijing to air their grievances over the way visa applications to the Immigrant Investor Program were left unprocessed for years.