Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Breaking News: Details of the New Canadian Skilled Worker Program Revealed

The Canadian government has finally unveiled revised Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). According to the Proposed regulatory changes announced on August 17, 2012 to the FSWP which, according to the Canadian government, will allow Canada to better select skilled workers who can “hit the ground running” upon arrival.

These following changes are being proposed after an extensive program evaluation, stakeholder and public consultations, as well as other research,

  • Making language the most important selection factor by establishing new minimum official language thresholds 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;
  • Simplifying the arranged employment process to prevent fraud and abuse yet enable employers to staff positions quickly; and
  • Awarding points for spousal language ability and Canadian experience.

Education Credential Assessment:

Another proposed change is the introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment – a mandatory requirement that FSWP applicants have their education abroad assessed against Canadian education standards by designated organizations. CIC will then award points according to how an applicant’s foreign educational credential compares to a completed educational credential in Canada. It does not necessarily guarantee that they would become licensed to practice in a regulated occupation.

Effective Date:

The Final publication of the regulations is scheduled for late 2012 and the new FSWP points grid will likely take effect in January 2013. While there is currently a pause on new applications (except for FSWP candidates with a qualifying offer of arranged employment or those applying under the PhD stream), CIC expects to begin accepting applications again early next year.


As indicated above, in its three-pronged approach through amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) to improve economic immigration outcomes Citizenship and Immigration Canada is proposing:
  1. Update the FSWC by re-balancing the points among existing criteria, introducing mandatory language thresholds, requiring an educational credential assessment at the time of application if the educational credential submitted is from a foreign jurisdiction, streamlining the arranged employment process, and reducing the potential for fraudulent job offers under the Arranged Employment factor; 
  2. Introduce a new Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) to facilitate the immigration of certain skilled trades-persons in Canada, in response to labour market needs; and
  3. Reduce the CEC work experience requirement to ease the transition to permanent residence of temporary skilled foreign workers who have demonstrated an ability to integrate into the Canadian labour market.
More details:
  • Minimum language skills thresholds, different for NOC level 0 and A, and different for level B
  • Number of points for the first language being increased to 24 while those of the second language being decreased.
  • Points for Age being changed favouring younger applicants (18 to 35 = 12 points, each year over, 1 point less)
  • Change in points for experience - maximum 15 points for 6 years experience
  • Mandatory foreign educational credential assessment with the application
  • Change in points for education
  • No points for spouse's education but 5 points for spouse's language skills at level CLB 4, 5 points for relative in Canada 18 years and older.

Taking the aforementioned into consideration, it is imperative that reaching a very high level language proficiency is now mandatory for FSWs and CECs as according to the proposed changes you must score 6.0 or higher on every IELTS category (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).  For the new Skilled Trades Class, applicants must score 5 or higher on every category except reading, which, in our opinion, can be 4.  We would recommend that interested clients should have their language test done as soon as possible to determine their probability of securing points in language factor. Furthermore, since it also appears obvious that International Credentials must be evaluated in Canada.  As authorized immigration advisers based in Canada, we are well aware of the procedures incidental to evaluation process and are in a position to to assist with the credential evaluation process. With the introduction of these new and significant changes it is prudent that the applicants should only use the services of regulated and authorized immigration advisers who possess proper training and expertise in Canadian immigration law to ensure that a faultless case is submitte to the CIC for consideration.

For more information on the eligibility under the revised Federal Skilled Worker Program, please feel free to contact us in Toronto, send us an email at info@amirismail.com or complete our online assessment form available at www.amirismail.com

Based in Toronto, Canada, Mr. Amir Ismail is an Authorized Immigration Adviser and a Member in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) as well as the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). Follow his facebook page at www.facebook.com/canadaimmigration, twitter www.twitter.com/canadaimmigrate and Linkedin profile at http://ca.linkedin.com/in/amirismail