TORONTO - Canada's point-based immigration is backlogged with more than 800,000 applications, meaning a wait of at least four years for hopeful professionals.
While immigration officials deny there is a quota system, the immigration legislation awards more points to the educated, bi- or multi-lingual, and those between 21 and 49 years old, the International Herald Tribune reported Wednesday.
However, in the oil-rich province of Alberta, immigration's slow bureaucratic pace has left the oil industry short by as many as 100,000 blue collar workers, a provincial study found.
"The points system is so inflexible," Herman Van Reekum, an immigration consultant in Calgary who helps Alberta employers find workers, told the newspaper. "We need low-skill workers and trades workers here and those people have no hope under the points system."
Canada accepts about 250,000 immigrants each year, with census figures showing that accounts for nearly two-thirds of its population growth, the International Herald Tribune said.
Quebec maintains its own immigration system and its figures aren't included in the rest of the countries.
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