Expected Changes in Revised Federal Skilled Worker Program

Regulatory changes were announced today to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. These changes will allow Canada to better select skilled workers who can “hit the ground running” upon arrival.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada’s largest economic immigration program, said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “The changes we are making to update the selection criteria are based on a large body of data and evidence we’ve accumulated over the years showing what skills and qualifications are most likely to lead to success for skilled immigrants.”

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada the following changes are soon to made to the Federal Skilled Worker Program:

    • Language will be the most important selection factor. There will be new minimum for official language and increasing points for language;
    • Increasing the emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience and remain in the workforce longer;
    • Increasing points for Canadian work experience and reducing points for foreign work experience;
    • The arranged employment process will be simplified In order to prevent fraud and abuse yet allowing employers to fill positions quickly.
    • There will be points awarded for spousal language ability and Canadian experience.

Also, one of the changes made to the Educational Credential Assessment will be that all FSWP applicants have their education abroad assessed against Canadian education standards by designated organizations. This proposed requirement will be mandatory in which CIC will then award points according to how an applicant’s foreign educational credential compares to a completed educational credential in Canada. Note: this will not guarantee that the applicant would become licensed to work in a regulated occupation.

“This is an important step we are taking to address the problem of immigrants arriving and not being able to work in their field,” stated Minister Kenney. “This new requirement will help potential newcomers make informed choices about immigration and Canadian career paths”, said said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Final publication is scheduled for late 2012 and the new FSWP points grid will likely take effect in January 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

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