Federal Skilled Worker Program Opens to Immigration Applicants

New Canadians taking their Citizenship Oath. After nearly one year, the Federal Skilled Worker Program opened to new applications on May 4 with a set of changes to the applicant assessment process (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

The federal government began accepting Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications on Saturday, marking an end to a nearly one year moratorium on the skilled worker program.

The annual reset of the program’s quota was scheduled for July 1 2012, but was postponed due to a backlog of FSW applications that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) said it needed to work through, and to give CIC time to make changes it said were needed to make the program better meet Canada’s economic needs.

The new annual quota for the FSWP is set at 5,000 applications, which is less than the 10,000 application cap of 2012, and is expected to be filled quickly as immigration hopefuls rush to apply after a years-long wait. The 5,000 applications accepted are expected to represent about 12,500 people as they will include spouses and dependents of principal applicants.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney promoted the goals of the program changes on Friday, saying they would benefit Canada:

“The government’s number one priority remains jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Our changes ensure not only that Canada can select the immigrants most needed by our economy, but that they are best positioned for success.”

These changes include a greater weight placed on English or French language ability, applicants of a younger age, and Canadian work experience, in assessments of FSW applicants. The changes were made after research and consultations to find the factors that most often accompanied successful economic integration and employment by immigrants.

The program has also introduced a requirement for applicants to provide Educational Credential Assessements (ECAs) for credentials earned outside of Canada, provided from one of three organizations designated to provide ECAs.

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Federal Skilled Worker Occupation List Released

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced 24 occupations that will eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) today released the list of 24 occupations that will be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) when it launches next month on May 4th.

Furthermore, four organizations designated to provide Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) for applicants who studied outside of Canada.

The eligible occupations are:

  • Engineering managers
  • Financial and investment analysts
  • Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • Civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Chemical engineers
  • Mining engineers
  • Geological engineers
  • Petroleum engineers
  • Aerospace engineers
  • Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers)
  • Land surveyors
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Medical laboratory technologists
  • Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • Medical radiation technologists
  • Medical sonographers
  • Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified)

The organizations designated to provide ECAs are:

  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • World Education Services
  • Medical Council of Canada

Moreover, CIC announced a 5,000 cap for new FSWP applications, and a sub-cap of 300 applications for each eligible occupation.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the new applications would take one year to process:

“As a result of the actions taken by the Government to deal with the massive backlogs and unacceptably long wait times, FSW applications will be processed in approximately one year.”

“We will not be able to remain competitive and attract the skilled immigrants we need if we allow backlogs and wait times to grow again. That’s why we are capping application intake and focusing on specific occupations that are experiencing labour shortages in Canada. This will also help us transition nicely into the just-in-time immigration system of the future,” Kenney added.

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Immigration Canada Announces A Priority Occupations List for Federal Skilled Worker Program

Citizenship and Immigration Canada warned would-be applicants in a notice on March 1st that those who prepare their applications before the priority occupations list is published in April do so at their own risk

After months of speculation that the new Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) would not have a priority occupations list, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has officially announced that the program will in fact have a priority occupations list when it starts taking applications on May 4th of this year.

CIC issued the notice on March 1st, and warned applicants who prepare their applications before the list is published that they do so at the risk that their occupation is not on that list and that their application will therefore not be accepted.

The notice also stated that three important facets of the new FSWP will be announced in April: the cap on the number of applications for the program that will be accepted this year, the composition of the priority occupations list, and the organizations that will be designated to conduct educational credential assessments.

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Canadian Immigration Hopefuls Gearing Up For Launch of Federal Skilled Worker Program

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be accepting applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program starting May 4th

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the mainstay of the Canadian government’s economic class immigration stream, last accepted applications on May 8th 2012, when the program’s 20,000 application cap for the July 1st 2011 to June 30th 2012 period was reached.

On July 1st 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that the program would be put on moratorium to give the immigration department time to process FSWP applications in its backlog and to design new rules and put in place new processes for a revamped skilled worker program that better meets Canada’s economic needs.

Now, after a nearly one year wait, the program is set to begin accepting applications on May 4th 2013, providing skilled foreign workers who lack the financial means to qualify for Canada’s investor and business class programs and without a job offer from a Canadian employer, with an immigration program they can potentially qualify under.

Alex Khadempour, a licensed immigration consultant for CICS Immigration Consulting Inc., says that the majority of people who have contacted his firm over the last several months have been enquiring about the FSWP.

“There just aren’t any options through existing Canadian immigration programs for the vast majority of people who are interested in immigrating. Many who contact us are pinning their hopes on the return of the Federal Skilled Worker Class,” said Mr. Khadempour in an interview with CICS News.

One of the major new requirements of the revamped skilled worker program is the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) said Mr. Khadempour: “we recommend to every one who contacts us to get their academic documents ready so that they can get their ECA as soon as CIC designates the Credential Assessment Organizations. All Federal Skilled Worker applications will require an ECA under the new rules.”

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Canada’s Most Popular Immigration Program Will Not Have Priority List – Minister

The Federal Skilled Worker Program will not have a priority occupations list when it restarts on May 4th according to a tweet made by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney last August (Twitter)

A 140 character tweet from Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney last August may have answered one of the most pressing questions about the updated rules of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) when it relaunches in May: will it be limited to a select group of occupations?

The FSWP as it exists now is restricted to individuals qualified in one of the vocations on the priority occupations list.

The program is scheduled to begin accepting applications again in May of this year after a 10 month moratorium, and is expected to have a wide range of changes made to its selection rules.

One aspect of the program’s selection rules that was uncertain was whether a priority occupation list would exist under the revamped rules post-May 4th.

The Minister’s tweet on August 18th 2012, seen below, suggests it won’t:

Instead, applicants will be required to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from one of the designated credential assessment organizations to determine their educational credentials’ equivalent value in Canada.

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New Federal Skilled Worker Program to Launch May 4 2013

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced today that the long-awaited Federal Skilled Worker Program will be launched on May 4th 2013 (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced today that the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will re-open on May 4 2013 with the new selection rules.

CIC closed the FSWP to new applications in July 2012, saying it needed time to reduce the program back-log and re-design the point system used to select immigrants to better meet Canada’s economic needs.

The re-launched FSWP will award more points for youth and English/French language proficiency, factors CIC says its body of research shows contribute to economic success for immigrants.

FSW applicants will need to meet the Canadian Language Benchmark 7 standard for English proficiency to qualify for the program, which is the equivalent to scoring 6 on the IELTS, the most widely taken English language assessment test.

The new FSWP selection rules will also utilize an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) process that will be introduced with the program, which will award points for foreign educational credentials based on assessments of their equivalent value in Canada.

A list of organizations designated  by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to do the assessments will be released in early 2013.

“For too long, too many immigrants to Canada have experienced underemployement and unemployment, and this has been detrimental to these newcomers and to the Canadian economy,” said Kenney.

“Our transformational changes to the FSWP will help ensure that skilled newcomers are able to contribute their skills fully to the economy as soon as possible. This is good for newcomers, good for the economy, and good for all Canadians.”

CIC also said that new FSWP applications will be processed in months, instead of years, owing to the work the department has done in reducing the existent backlog and limits the program will put in place in quantity of applications it will accept.

Federal Skilled Worker Program fact-sheet

  • Maximum points awarded for a principal applicant’s proficiency in a first official language increased from 16 to 24 points, in proficiency in a second official language reduced from 8 to 4 points
  • Maximum of 12 points awarded to applicants aged 19 to 35, with decreasing points awarded until age 46
  • Maximum number of points awarded for foreign work experience reduced from 21 to 15
  • Points awarded for spousal education replaced with a maximum of 4 points awarded for spousal language proficiency
  • Maximum of 10 points awarded for Canadian work experience
  • Points awarded for foreign education credentials to be determined by an assessment of the foreign credential’s equivalent value in Canada as assessed by an organization that is designated to provide credential assessment and authentication

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One of our licensed immigration consultants can speak with you in person, online or on the phone about your unique immigration situation and give you a breakdown of your options.bookappointment