PEI

Immigration delays don't merit a warning, says P.E.I. minister

The P.E.I. government doesn't plan to warn immigrant investors about delays in coming to Canada through the provincial nominee program, because it says the wait will not be long.

The P.E.I. government doesn't plan to warn immigrant investors about delays in coming to Canada through the provincial nominee program, because it says the wait will not be long.

In an email to CBC News last week, Citizenship Immigration Canada said an unexpectedly high volume of potential immigrants nominated by P.E.I. would lead to delays, and that it had advised the province it should warn its nominees. Previously, applications were generally approved within a year. Last week, Auditor General Colin Younker wrote in his annual report the wait could be two to four years.

But Innovation Minister Allan Campbell told the legislature Tuesday he doesn't think it will be that long.

Campbell said he recently met with federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who assured him the immigrants would be processed in a "timely manner." He said he believes that means the nominees could be waiting between 18 months and two years to become landed immigrants. While that's longer than usual, Campbell argued that type of wait doesn't warrant a warning letter from the province.

Kenney said the federal government would be providing a detailed schedule of how long the files will take to process.

CIC was expecting P.E.I. to nominate about 1,000 immigrants in 2008 before the program underwent changes in September. But the province put a rush on finding potential immigrants in advance of those changes, and ended up nominating more than 1,800.

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