Intake caps are slowly closing for the many occupations currently eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program. However, potential immigration applicants should be aware that while caps may be closing (or closed) in some programs, many are still open and accepting applications. Most notably, the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program continues to welcome applications from individuals with a wide range of professional backgrounds.
Intake Caps – A Growing Trend
In the past few years, a growing number of immigration programs have seen limits placed on the number of applications they will accept in a given timeframe. These limits, usually referred to as intake caps, represent a fundamental change in Canadian immigration as a whole.
As one of the world’s most peaceful, prosperous and welcoming nations, Canada has seen an enormous increase in demand for immigration from individuals around the world. In the past, this high demand created significant backlogs of applications waiting to be processed, which resulted in long waiting times that the government deemed to be unfair to applicants.
To eliminate backlogs and ensure that applications are processed quickly and fairly, many immigration programs have now adopted intake caps. Between May 4, 2013 and April 30, 2014, the FSW program will be accepting a total of 5,000 applications for processing. At present, a total of 2,578 have been received. Within the 5,000 applications accepted for processing, only a maximum of 300 applications will be accepted in each eligible occupation.
The QSW program, on the other hand, will be accepting a total of 20,000 applications between August 1, 2013 and March 1, 2014. As of October 15, 2013, a total of 2,600 applications had been received. Unlike the FSW, there are no caps on specific occupations.
The QSW Program
Successful applicants to the QSW program receive Canadian Permanent Residency. Eligible applicants must achieve a minimum number of points on a selection grid, and have at least a high school level education. Priority is given to applicants with experience in one of 146 areas of training/fields of study.
To clear backlogs, intake caps were placed on this program in August 2013. Since that time, the program has been steadily filling up, though at a slower pace than the FSW, thus offering more opportunity for applicants to carefully prepare their files.
Advice for Applicants – Be Proactive
While the QSW program is far from filling its intake caps at the moment, individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada via this program have no time to waste.
“There is no way of knowing how many people are preparing immigration applications as we speak,” said Immigration Attorney David Cohen. “In my experience, caps fill up more quickly the closer we come to the end of the period for which they were put in place. Therefore, individuals who are serious about immigrating would be well served to start today, not wait for the uncertainty of tomorrow.”
The world of Canadian immigration is quickly evolving to meet the changing needs of Canadians and immigrants alike. Individuals who are eligible under current regulations may find their status has changed if they wait too long and allow new immigration rules to be put in place. That is why, for applicants around the world, there is truly no time like the present to begin working towards achieving their immigration goals.
To find out if you are eligible for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, or any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.