Canadian military service is now open to permanent residents; this will certainly benefit Indians.

The adjustment coincides with Canada’s publication of its Immigration Levels Plan for 2023–2025.

As the military suffers with low recruitment levels, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have announced that permanent citizens, including many Indians, will now be able to enlist.

The action also comes five years after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) declared that they were revamping their “outdated recruitment process” to allow citizens of other countries who have lived in Canada for ten years or more to become permanent residents.

Permanent residents were previously only eligible under the Skilled Military Foreign (SMFA) entrance programme, which was “Open to individuals… that would cut training expenses or satisfy a unique need… such as a trained pilot or a doctor,” according to the Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia, a nonprofit organization of retired and active CAF members.

Candidates must be Canadian citizens, at least 18 years old (or 16 with parental agreement), and have completed grades 10 or 12, depending on whether they intend to serve as officers. The same rules will apply to long-term residents.

With only roughly half the candidates it needs each month to reach its target of recruiting 5,900 new members this year, the CAF raised the alarm in September about a significant recruitment shortage, which was keeping thousands of positions vacant.

The Royal Military College of Canada’s Christian Leuprecht, a professor there, believes it makes sense, despite the fact that the armed forces have not confirmed whether the latest action was taken to increase recruitment.

“Because there were enough applicants in the past, the CAF had the luxury of being able to restrict itself to nationals. The CAF had resisted allowing permanent residents to join the ranks because it would entail extra costs and dangers, such as those related to obtaining security checks. However, many other nations claim that hiring foreigners is nothing new and has been done for many years.

Since Canadian citizenship is very simple to obtain for permanent residents, it’s not obvious that would offer a significant incentive in the Canadian scenario, he said. He said, “Countries like France employ military service as a prerequisite for citizenship or an expedited route to citizenship.”

Anita Anand, the defense minister, stated in March that the CAF must expand to satisfy international demands brought on by Russia’s ongoing, unjustified invasion of Ukraine.

“When there is so much at stake for Canada and the world, time is of the importance in all we do. Since the end of World War II, the threat to global peace and security has never been greater than it is today “During a news conference, she remarked.

What value can a remarkable nation like ours add to the conversation? The adjustment coincides with Canada’s publication of its Immigration Levels Plan for 2023–2025. By the end of 2025, the initiative seeks to bring 5,000 new permanent residents to Canada each year. The number of applicants available to the military may increase significantly as a result.

In 2021, around 1 lakh Indians moved to Canada permanently. India is the top nation of birth for recent immigrants, according to Statistics Canada data, where one in five people who immigrate to Canada are born.
Nearly a quarter of Canadians, according to the census taken in 2021, are landed immigrants or permanent residents. Immigrants are also excellent prospects for the military since they frequently come to Canada when they are still young adults and are therefore more likely to be physically active.

Opening up recruitment to legal residents will also alter the military’s demographics, which now have 16% women and less than 12% visible minorities. White guys make up the remaining three-quarters.

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