New Foreign Skilled Program Update!

So many are waiting for the doors to the Foreign Skilled Worker program to re-open in January 2013. The Minister of CIC announced on December 19, 2012 that those doors will open on May 4, 2013. Many of the final changes to the selection criteria were also announced, and include:

  • Minimum official language thresholds and increased points for official language proficiency, making language the most important factor in the selection process;
  • Increased emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience, are better positioned to adapt to changing labour market conditions, and who will spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada’s economy;
  • Introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), so that education points awarded reflect the foreign credential’s true value in Canada;
  • Changes to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labour market; and
  • Additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.

Two new steps will be added to the process. First, applicants will have to show a level 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark assessment. Second, applicants will have to get their education credentials assessed before they come to Canada using an organization that will have been approved by CIC. We will get a list of these organizations when the program is revealed next year.

Any applicants who have already applied under the current program using an offer of Arrangement Employment will not be affected by these changes and will be processed according to the current existing program.

The Minister claims that the goal of all these changes is to reduce backlog and allow for much faster processing of permanent residence applications in the FSW stream. There is mention of several months wait, instead of over a year. I guess that’s good news. CIC will be accepted a set number of applications in this field every year.

Through a new Expression of Interest Model (EOI), more assistance will be given to employers who wish to sponsor a new immigrant via employment, by providing them access to a pool of skilled workers. No further details were revealed about how this model will work.

Please stay tuned to our website for ground-braking updates about Canadian Immigration developments.