Immigration

Minister promises ‘faster, more efficient’ immigration

A summit on immigration was held to discuss ways to improve immigration process

Pier 21 Immigration Museum.
Pier 21 Immigration Museum.   Emma Jones

The province is working to make its immigration processes simpler and more accessible, said Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab today.

Diab said the improvements involve putting the immigration application process online by the end of 2015.

“Anybody who has navigated immigration would appreciate that,” Diab said, explaining that the move to go paper-free is in response to consultation with recent immigrants about their application process.

“We expect that the process for those who apply will be faster, clearer and more efficient,” Diab said, adding that the online application will be available in both English and French.

She made the comments at an immigration forum at Pier 21 that drew approximately 200 business owners, community members, post-secondary education leaders and settlement partners from across Nova Scotia to discuss the future immigration to the province.

The event was the culmination of eight conversations across the province that took place over the summer, allowing stakeholders and community members to share information and resources for improving immigration to Nova Scotia.

Diab was titled immigration minister in 2013, a position put in place to strengthen Nova Scotia’s immigration strategies, she said, stating that the province has been doing very well in improving the climate for immigrants over the two years she has been employed.

“We’ve done a lot to improve immigration,” she said, “from introducing four new immigration streams and nearly doubling our nomination cap to improving settlement services, and we know more needs to be done.”

Colin Dodds, one of two advisers to the premier on immigration, said Nova Scotia welcomed 2,670 new immigrants last year.

“More immigrants came to Nova Scotia last year than in the past 10 years…and more of them are staying,” Dodds said.

Wadih Fares, Dodds’ co-adviser, emphasized the encouraging claim.

“I say this with all humility, we are doing a good job but we need to do more,” Fares said, insisting that Nova Scotia set a precedent to let 7,500 immigrants into the province every year from now on.

“We have this momentum, let us leverage [it],” he said.