CIC News – New Federal Skilled Worker Program starts to accept applications beginning May 4th, 2013

Ottawa, December 19, 2012– The new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will reopen for application, starting on May 4th, 2013, according to Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Minister Kenney announced that the Government’s number one priority is to serve better in remaining jobs, growing economy and keeping long term prosperity. Thus, Mr. Kenney ensured that the selection criteria for skilled immigrants can answer the needs of Canadian economy; and help skilled immigrants adapt easily to Canada’s life and fully realize their potential in the new country.

The improvements to the FSWP points grid are based on a large body research which has consistently shown that language abilities and youth are the two key factors to the success of skilled immigrants in Canada.

The final changes of the program selection criteria include:

  • Language is the most important factor in the selection process;
  • Young age is received more points in the criteria;
  • The Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) will be introduced; which helps reflect the true value of immigrant’s education in Canada.
  • The process of employment changes to shorten the waiting time, if skilled applicants can show their qualification, which matches the Canadian labor market; and
  • More points for Adaptability sector for the language ability of spouse and Canadian work experience.

Minister Kenney admitted that there are too many immigrants in Canada, which have experienced underemployment and unemployment, and this has been detrimental to these newcomers and to the Canadian economy. The positive point about changing of the selection criteria of FSWP is to ensure the new immigrants fully contribute their skills and qualifications to the economy as soon as possible.

In addition, there are two new steps to the new selection system.

  1. Applicants demonstrate the minimum language threshold, which is level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmark assessment system. To prove their language proficiency, applicants need to get the language test from existing agencies designated by the Minister
  2. Applicants must have their education credentials assessed before landing in Canada. The list of organization that can assess the education credentials will be available early in the New Year. The assessment of foreign educational credentials aims to provide applicants the realistic understanding of how their credentials are compared to the Canada’s education standards. Plus, the action of upgrading applicants’ education can be done prior to coming Canada.

The changes will not apply to people who have applied for the program before May 4th, 2013 with reserved job or under Ph.D. stream.

The new system will also reduce the processing time to few months, rather than few years. Plus, the new Federal Skilled Workers program will accept the fixed number applications each year to fasten the processing time and avoid backlogs.

The Government is also working on the development and implementation of an Expression of Interest (EOI) model in the medium term, which will provide employers to easily access to the pool of skilled applicants.

(Source: CIC)

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