Dr. Joseph Kurian was instrumental in forming the Canadian Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage in 2004 and has worked to remedy the situation foreign-trained physicians find themselves in.
Newcomers report foreign credential recognition as one of their top challenges once they immigrate to Canada.
Now, more skilled immigrants to Canada will be able to access the help needed to jump-start their credential recognition process through expanded overseas orientation services.
The Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP), run by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), will receive additional funding of $15 million to expand services in India, China and the Philippines. A new office will also open in London, England, in the fall of 2011, which will also serve various Nordic and Arab states according to demand.
The CIIP began offering orientation services in the Philippines, China and India on a pilot basis in early 2007. The existing sites, along with the London office, will offer access to more than 70 per cent of the selected federal skilled workers around the world. These locations will also offer access to approximately 44 per cent of selected provincial nominees around the world.
The free sessions provide labour market information, individual advice and planning, and referrals to a wide range of services available in Canada. The orientation sessions will be complemented by occupation and sector-specific fact sheets, online tools and resources to help immigrants begin their licensure and accreditation process overseas.
“To date, close to 7,000 people have graduated from the CIIP pilot program overseas,” said James Knight, President and CEO, ACCC. “As a result, they are better prepared to contribute to Canada’s prosperity through employment or by starting a new business. ACCC will work with our member institutions and our many partners to expand and enrich CIIP, bringing even greater benefits to newcomers and to Canada.”
The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications is a landmark agreement to speed up foreign credential recognition for newcomers to Canada.