Thursday 20th September 2012

Picture of Toronto

Canada is to put a limit on the number of older British expats that are offered visas to live and work in the country in a bid to modify the country’s expat demographics.

Hoping to lure younger expats to live and work in the country, changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program will entail that middle-aged expats from the United Kingdom will not benefit from the same access to visas. According to reports, the Canadian government is concerned that expats from Britain are much older than those coming from other countries and are therefore adding to the problem of an ageing workforce. As such, from next year onwards, British expats over the age of 35 will be marked down on the assessment for the skilled worker program.

However, it may not be all doom and gloom for older British expats. While they may lose points because of their age, their language skills will give them a chance to score higher points with the new program giving a higher weighting to those that speak English. As such, expats that have a high standard of English (both spoken and written) will gain bonus points.

Discussing the intended changes a representative from Citizenship and Immigration commented: “The federal skilled worker program will favor younger workers from next year.

“The changes will favor younger immigrants who will make a more important contribution to the Canadian economy over the longer term but Canada remains open to older, highly accomplished immigrants.”

“The changes we are making to update the selection criteria are based on a large body of data and evidence we’ve accumulated over the years showing what skills and qualifications are most likely to lead to success for skilled immigrants,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Canada is an extremely popular destination for British expats. Approximately 20,000 people move there from the U.K. each year and many of the country’s top cities, such as Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary, frequently appear in the top lists of the most desirable places in the world in which to live.

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