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Amendment to Immigration Regulations, 1978 Implemented

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As scheduled, the amendments to the Immigration Regulations were implemented as per the proposals tabled by the Minister on March 15 of this year. This amendment, which was prefaced with the claim that it was only “technical in nature,” had the main effect of shifting from the Canadian Classification and Dictionary of Occupations (CCDO) to the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The premise was essentially that the age of the CCDO made it an inaccurate means of defining professions in today’s workforce.

The factors which were affected by the amendment are Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP); Occupational Demand; and Experience. The SVP factor has been eliminated entirely in favour of the Education/Training Factor (ETF), based on the Education/Training Indicator in the NOC. Occupational Demand was effected slightly as the conversion of the General Occupations List (GOL) to reflect the occupations defined by the NOC, and more significantly, in that some occupations which previously had a demand factor, are no longer included in the GOL.

Although the maximum and minimum points available in the experience factor remain the same, the calculation has been affected by its new relationship to the ETF. Some occupations which previously had a maximum experience score of eight units are now limited to a maximum of six, and the same applies to some of those with a previous maximum of six units.

The recent amendment has the effect of limiting the possibilities of success for some occupations, in which success was previously possible. Our last newsletter contained a breakdown of the differences in assessment that result from this change. Although a small number of professions actually enjoy the possibility of increased score, this is usually accompanied by increased eligibility requirements, which may further limit the possibilities for applicants in those categories.

Self-Assessment of the eligibility of prospective applicants has also become somewhat more complicated with this implementation. The NOC tends, much more than the CCDO, to group numerous occupations within one category. The effect is that prospective applicants must be able to determine where their classification may fall within the NOC, in addition to trying to determine if they meet the detailed definition of that classification. Determination of eligibility for professions is more precisely defined within the NOC, and may even be broken down by province, further complicating the determination of eligibility.

The amendment to the Regulations implemented on May 1, 1997 affects skilled worker applicants only, although Self Employed applicants are also subject to the same Selection Criteria to some degree. Applicants whose cases were received at visa offices prior to May 1, 1997 may not be negatively affected by the amendment of that date. Current details on the Selection Criteria, and the old Selection Criteria may be obtained at our Web Site.

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