OTTAWA — A government program that expedites applications for permanent residency for temporary

foreign workers and international students is poised to expand next year.

According to government sources, Citizenship and Immigration is set to welcome 7,000 people through

the Canada Experience Class in 2012 — the largest influx since the Conservatives launched the

program in 2008.

The program allows those studying in Canada, as well as skilled professionals here on temporary

foreign worker permits, to jump the queue and obtain permanent residency quicker and without having

to first return to one’s home country.

Sources say the move responds to criticism that this government isn’t doing enough for international

students.

It’s also one way the Conservatives are trying to reduce the average age of immigrants to the country.

Last year, there were just under 3,000 people accepted through the program. About 4,000 will have

come through the program by the end of this year.

There were more than 96,000 international students studying in Canada last year. In 2005, there were

Government to expand permanent-residency program for students 11-11-02 10:34 AM

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about 68,000.

tcohen@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/tobicohen

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