Language Testing to be Required for Some Provincial Nominees

Speaking in Saskatchewan, the Canadian Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, Jason Kenney, stated that some applicants to Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) will be required to prove English or French language capabilities before submitting their immigration applications.

Beginning in July, PNP candidates applying to semi- and low-skilled jobs will be required to prove their proficiency in either French or English. “You can’t succeed in a society if you don’t have the capacity to communicate in it,” said Kenney, “and it’s unfair, I think, to newcomers to make them believe otherwise.” He elaborated on this point, stating that research suggests that language proficiency is key to successful integration of newcomers to Canada.

PNP programs have become increasingly important to provinces seeking to bring in targeted immigrants to bolster their economies and labour markets. Saskatchewan alone welcomed approximately 5,300 new immigrants through their PNP in 2010. These program changes are some of the many overhauls to the immigration system that the current government seeks to gradually implement in the future.

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