With two more eligible occupations for the current Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) having capped out so far this month, potential candidates are rushing to file their applications before the end of 2014. This is due to the fact that until December 31, candidates may apply directly for Canadian permanent residence under the program. As of January 1, 2015 and the launch of the Express Entry immigration selection system, this will no longer be the case.
The current FSWP has a list of eligible occupations deemed in demand in Canada, with 47 of the original 50 occupations remaining open, according to the most recent information provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Under Express Entry, an eligible occupations list is not scheduled to be a factor under the FSWP. Consequently, individuals who are eligible for the current FSWP and who have at least one year of work experience in the last 10 years in an eligible occupation that has not yet capped out should apply for Canadian permanent residence before December 31, 2014. Each occupation has a cap of 1,000 applications accepted for assessment by CIC.
At the time of writing, the occupations that have capped out are:
- Financial and investment analysts (NOC 1112)
- Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173)
- Computer programmer and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
An interesting phenomenon evident in recent weeks is that even though the Express Entry system will invite a number of eligible candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence under the renewed FSWP, people are demonstrating a sense of urgency and scrambling to submit their applications under the current FSWP. Moreover, candidates are realising that any delay in submitting an application would entail the risk of their occupation being capped out, and so they are making sure to submit their applications as soon as possible.
“Individuals who are still preparing an application under the current FSWP are under time constraints on two fronts. While previously they may have been completely focused on submitting a complete application before the December 31 deadline, they are now realising that should also be wary of the increasing number of eligible occupations that are capping out,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“There is a lot to be said for being in control and managing one’s own destiny — it brings peace of mind. As the saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. My advice to anybody thinking of applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program would be to apply as soon as possible before more occupations become capped out, which seems inevitable as we approach the scheduled launch of Express Entry, and while they are able to apply directly for Canadian permanent residence.”
Individuals hoping to apply under the FSWP before December 31 should be aware of all eligibility criteria and, if they have not already done so, take a language test in either English or French. Proving language proficiency in an official language of Canada is mandatory for all applicants, and it can take some time to arrange and pass a language test. All people applying under the FSWP must also get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their completed foreign educational credentials.
Language testing and the requirement to obtain an ECA are scheduled to remain in place for the FSWP once Express Entry is launched, but eligible occupation lists are not.
To find out if you are eligible for the current Federal Skilled Worker Program, or any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.