Freeman Cebu Business

Canada hikes immigrant target: Visa processing firm beefs up Philippine presence

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The recent move of the Canadian government to expand its immigrant target to 305,000 this year prompted Pinoy Care Visa Center Inc. to open more offices in the Philippines as well as in other countries.

The Cebu-based company, which has been in the business for 17 years, will make presence in 10 locations in the Philippines next year, to add to its current 14 offices spread in major cities nationwide.

Prisca Niña Mabatid, Pinoy Care Visa Center Inc., president and chief executive officer (CEO) announced that as the Liberal government of Canada is widening its doors once again to more immigrants to live and work in Canada, it is high time for Filipinos to take advantage of the opportunity.

Earlier, the  Liberal government of Canada announced its plan on welcoming up to 305,000 new permanent residents this year — the highest projected immigration level in decades, and around a seven percent increase on the 2015 plan.

Mabatid said the company plans to hit the underserved territories in Vigan, Naga City, Bicol, Pampanga, Batangas, Ozamiz, Dipolog, Kidapawan and General Santos cities, and re-opening of its Tacloban branch.

The company is also investing to expand its overseas business in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan and India.

Mabatid said aside from the Philippines, these countries offer good business opportunity for consultancy firms like hers, because there is also a good pool of bachelor degree holders who are capable of entering Canada.

The increase in immigration numbers will be primarily through family sponsorship and refugee settlement programs, though more than half of all newcomers will arrive through economic immigration programs.

According to Canadian Embassy, the target mark of 160,600 people in economic programs is in line with admissions through those programs over recent years, even if the target itself is slightly lower than last year.

The 2016 plan marks an increase of about 20,000 in the total number of new permanent residents to be admitted, relative to 2015. Indeed, the 2015 plan also saw an increase of 20,000 over the previous year. Consequently, the 2016 target is about 40,000 higher than that for 2014.

Minister John McCallum the plan is grounded in Canada’s tradition of being a welcoming and generous country. “We will be able to welcome more people to Canada,” he said at a news conference in Brampton, Ontario.

“It [the plan] outlines a significant shift in immigration policy towards reuniting more families, building our economy and upholding Canada’s humanitarian traditions to resettle refugees and offer protection to those in need," McCallum said.

Experienced professionals, tradespersons, businesspersons, and caregivers make up the bulk of all new immigrants to Canada. In making the decision to develop their careers in Canada, these newcomers help to create jobs and growth in new and existing industries.

Canada is seeking to attract workers who will succeed in the Canadian labour market and integrate smoothly into Canadian society. Economic immigration, which is based on an individual’s skills and experience, presents an opportunity for foreign workers and their families to come to Canada through a variety of programs.

According to Mabatid, her company will continue to provide service to Filipinos who desire to work in other countries, especially the most open states like lCanada  and New Zealand. (FREEMAN)

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