More changes for Skilled Worker Applications and other Economic Visas

Proposed Changes to the Skilled Worker Category

“Immigration is key to economic growth and prosperity,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny. 

Following the controversial immigration reform in March 2012 proposing to wipe out a waiting list of more than 280,000 foreign workers and returning $130 million they paid in processing fee, Minister Kenney announced further proposed changes to Canada’s immigration system that are expected to make it faster, more flexible and more focused on jobs, growth and prosperity.

The proposed changes to the Skilled Worker Category include:

Creating of a New Skilled Trades Program

“Our Government recognizes that our country faces a critical shortage in certain skilled trades” said Minister Kenney.

To fill Canada’s growing labour shortages in construction, natural resources and similar industries, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced plans to make it easier for skilled tradespersons to immigrate to Canada.

Currently, the criteria in the Federal Skilled Worker grid favour professionals and managers more than skilled trades and skilled tradepersons currently make up only three per cent of all Federal Skilled Workers entering Canada.

However, the proposed Skilled Trades criteria will assess skilled tradepersons placing more emphasis on practical training and work experience rather than formal education to attract more plumbers, electricians, crane operators and construction workers.

These changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program are applauded by the industry. “It sounds like great news and we have been very happy with the statements Minister Kenney has made recently about immigration policy, including statements in the federal budget,” said Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA).

If the proposed changes are approved, Canadian immigration will announce a full list of the changes later this year.

Changes for Assessing Skilled Worker Credentials

A new proposal was announced that would change how foreign skilled workers’ education credentials are assessed. Among these new changes would be the requirement that applicants under the Federal Skilled Worker program to have their foreign education credentials assessed and verified before they arrive in Canada.

“By having their foreign education credentials assessed before their arrival to Canada, foreign skilled workers will have a better sense of how their credentials fit into the Canadian labour market and will be able to contribute their full skill set to the economy more quickly.”

The new process will help immigrants get a sense of how their education credentials are likely to fit in the Canadian job market before they arrive in Canada, preventing them from arriving in Canada and not being able to work in their fields.

Placing Priority on specific fields 

Another proposed change will allow Kenney to use his ministerial authority to place a priority on a specific field such as medicine. As a result, existing applications from doctors would be processed first regardless of where they fall in the pool of applicants.

Developing a Start-up visa for Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Furthermore, Kenney initialized consultations geared towards the possibility of creating a new and specialized program to attract immigrant entrepreneurs. Priorities of the Economic Action Plan 2012 outline Kenney’s commitment to, “supporting entrepreneurs and diversifying Business Immigration Programs which will target active investments in Canada.” Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) intends to consult with industry associations in the development of a “start-up” visa program for entrepreneurs in the coming months. Under the proposed changes, the Government could create short-term programs, ending after a five year trial period, for no more than 2 750 applicants. If the program proves successful during the trial period and the Department wishes to maintain it, CIC would be required to formally introduce the new economic class in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

Update on new changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program

CIC announced some details of the new changes to the FSW program that will take effect May 4, 2013.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

  • Afzalul

    Dear sir,

    I am Afzalul Enayet from Bangladesh, I have completed 4 years B.B.A hons. In Finance. I have 2 Years Job Experience as Finance. My wife is Masters in Botany in Biology (4 years hons+1 year masters). She has no experience in that particular field. Both of us age is within 30. Both of us have no IELTS score. But we want to migrate in Canada as Federal Skilled Worker. Now who are the most appropriate to apply and how much IELTS Score we need each?


    • Hello Afzalul

      You look like you may have a good case for a FSW application. You both are educated and qualified. Both of you should write the IELTS test. If often comes down to which spouse has the best IELTS score in deciding who should be the main applicant


  • Mrudul

    Dear sir,

    I m Mrudul Patel from india, I have completed mba In Finance with 3 Years Job Experience as Account/ Finance . my wife is also MBA In HR , she is also 2 years experience in field of Human resource , can we applied for canada ?? We are valid for PR process in Canada ?

    • Hello Mrudul

      Thank you for the post. You may qualify for PR under the FSW program but we would have to do a formal assessment first.

  • sset

    i am a registered nurse with one year experience and im 0 years old is there any age limit if you wish to apply in a skilled worker isa

    • Hello SSET
      You are 0 years old? Well you are the first O years old person I have ever spoken to 🙂
      I think that was a typo. If you are an RN, you may be eligible but we would have to do a formal assessment before you can know for sure.


  • omid

    Dear Sir
    i am 45 and vetrinery Doctor in iran,i have vetrinery pharmacy and i am expert in my job,
    i am intrested in imigrate to canada,if possible direct me how i can imigrate to canada

    thanks ,best regards

    • Hello Omid
      Thank you for your message. You may be able to qualify for immigration to Canada. Send us an email with details of your resume and we can get back to you with an assessment.

  • mohamed selim

    People who applied as federal skilled worker in 2004 and not accepted,can they apply again ?

    • Hello Mohamed
      Yes nothing is preventing a second application for a Skilled Worker case generally. However if you apply again you would have to qualify under the current system

  • Mansoor khan

    Are Afghan terps allowed to get visas to Canada ?

    • Hello Mansoor

      Yes Afghan interpreters can be eligible for applying for Canada visas. However, an application has to be formally made at the Canadian Embassy. Are you an interpreter for the Canadian government there?

  • techie

    Above written post seems to be very helpful for me to understand about the concept of canadian business immigration.

  • canadian visa

    A good step by Canada government as Immigration is key to economic growth and prosperity.Thus it is would be helpful for Canada and give opportunity to people getting canadian visa.

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