Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced that the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will begin accepting applications on May 4th, 2013. In anticipation of this opening date, many prospective immigrants from around the world have already begun preparing their applications for submission.
Pressure on FSWP hopefuls increased when CIC announced that “the new FSWP will accept a fixed number of applications this year”, affirming that a cap would be placed on application intake. While an exact figure has not yet been announced, some proactive individuals have wasted no time in taking steps to ensure that their applications will be ready for speedy submission in May.
With just over three months left before the FSWP reopens, the clock is ticking for people wishing to prepare their applications. While some program details are forthcoming, most program requirements have been clearly explained by CIC. With this in mind, CIC News has compiled a summary of where the FSWP stands as of January 30th, 2013:
Selection criteria for the FSWP have been reworked to better target immigrants who are likely to succeed in Canada. Based on information provided by CIC, individuals must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to apply:
- Have at least 1 year of full-time paid work experience in the last 10 years;
- Demonstrate at least adequate-intermediate language proficiency in all four skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) in English or French. Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7;
- Obtain at least 67 points on the new point grid, which is based on factors such as language proficiency, age, work experience, education, and adaptability; and
- Have any foreign educational credentials assessed, authenticated, and given an equivalent value in Canada
Attorney David Cohen, of Campbell Cohen immigration law firm, encourages eligible applicants to act quickly in order to ensure that their applications are accepted for review. “Depending on your level of preparedness, time may already be running out,” he said. “Whether you are preparing an application by yourself or working with a representative, you should be aware that this is the most popular program for Canadian immigration. Intake caps are likely to fill quickly.”
One important element of the new FSWP is the language requirement. In order to prove language proficiency, applicants will need to submit scores from an exam issued by a designated testing agency. Three organizations have been designated to administer tests that will be used for Canadian immigration purposes: the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), and the Test D’evaluation du Français (TEF).
Individuals who do not pass a minimum language threshold (Canadian Level Benchmark 7) in all skill levels will not be eligible to apply.
The time it will take to schedule and sit a test, as well as to receive and send results, can vary depending on the language test taken and an individual’s current place of residency.
The IELTS English exam, results of which are accepted as proof of English-language proficiency, is held around the world multiple times a year. Testing frequency varies depending on sites, with tests being held up to four times a month in popular locations.
Once a test has been completed, the IELTS organization states that results will be posted by mail in 13 days. In total, individuals can expect the language testing process to take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months until results are obtained. CIC will only accept applications to the FSWP if official test scores are included.
Another important new component of the FSWP is the requirement to have all foreign credentials assessed, authenticated, and given an equivalent value in Canada. Like language test scores, credential assessments must be included in an application to the FSWP.
CIC has announced that specific Canadian organizations will be designated to perform assessments. However, more details regarding which organizations will be designated, as well as how the process will take place, have yet to be announced.
“Unfortunately for prospective applicants, the question of how to get credentials properly assessed has yet to be answered,” said Attorney David Cohen. “However, with careful planning, applicants can take steps to making sure they are in a good position to take action once further details are released.
When the FSWP opens its doors on May 4th, 2013, hopeful immigrants from around the world will be sending in their applications for Canadian permanent residency. The program’s high popularity, combined with anticipated limits to application intake and visa issuance, will likely result in a many prospective immigrants missing out on their chance for immigration in 2013. Thankfully, those who are committed to beginning their Canadian immigration journey can benefit from having the initiative to act quickly and take charge of their future.
To learn more about the FSWP, or any of the over 60 options for Canadian immigration, please fill out a free online assessment form.