Many Canadian immigration programs remain open, despite the Canadian government’s announcement that it will be taking a ‘temporary pause’ in accepting Federal Skilled Worker applications. In this article, CIC News will briefly explore current open programs, as well as the future of the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
Individuals were disheartened to hear that the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program has temporarily suspended the intake of applications. This led some potential applicants to mistakenly believe that Canadian immigration is ‘closed’. On the contrary, immigration to Canada not only continues, it continues to thrive.
Overall, Canada will continue to accept permanent and temporary residents at a similar level as recent years. Last year, the country welcomed 250,000 new permanent residents and almost 200,000 temporary foreign workers. There are no plans to decrease these numbers, and this is proof that the door to Canada remains very much open. There are a number of popular Canadian immigration programs that are continuing to accept applications from eligible individuals, which will ensure that immigration continues on all levels.
Current Status of the Federal Skilled Worker Program
The current halt on accepting new applications to the FSW program is temporary, and does not affect all FSW streams. Two FSW streams are still open: Arranged Employment and PhD. Individuals with an offer of Arranged Employment, as well as those who are completing or have just completed a PhD program in Canada, may still be eligible to apply.
As for the FSW stream that has been temporarily closed, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has stated that the program will re-open in January 2013.When the program does reopen, it has been hinted that it will include an increased emphasis on language skills and younger immigrants. Minister Kenney has also announced the government’s intention to create a new stream that targets skilled tradespersons.
Regardless of when and how the FSW reopens, potential immigrants should keep in mind that it is just one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, and that the door to Canada remains open. Below is a brief overview of programs that are open at the time of publication.
Canadian Immigration Program Without a Required Job Offer
Quebec Skilled Worker Program: Many immigrants have turned to Quebec’s popular immigration program as a way of coming to Canada and obtaining permanent residency. Last year, 51,736 new permanent residents arrived in Quebec – the highest level of immigration to any province except Ontario. They were selected through one of a handful of programs specific to the province.
The Quebec Skilled Worker program is continuing to accept applications. It is a separate program from the FSW, and has not been affected by the FSW’s temporary pause. It uses its own unique points-based system to assess applicants, and is open to individuals from more than 100 fields of study.
Other Open Canadian Immigration Programs
Provincial Nominee Programs: Almost every province/territory in Canada has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). These allow the provinces to target immigrants with skills and/or connections that they place high value on, and to streamline the process for those targeted immigrants. Every PNP has slightly different immigration streams and requirements. For instance, did you know that:
- Most PNPs have their very own Skilled Worker streams. Generally, they require that the applicant already be working in the province.
- Alberta’s PNP has special streams for tradespersons, engineers, and semi-skilled workers
- Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba all have streams for individuals with family connections in the province
- British Columbia’s PNP has a stream for designated health professionals and semi-skilled workers in the province
Canadian and Quebec Experience Class: These popular streams are designed for temporary workers and international students. The Canadian Experience Class is intended for individuals planning to settle outside of Quebec, while the Quebec Experience class is meant for those who will settle in the Province of Quebec.
Temporary Foreign Workers: Tens of thousands of individuals come to Canada from around the world each year to perform temporary work. This work can last anywhere from a few days to multiple years. In fact, Canada is currently experiencing a labour shortage, which means that more than ever, foreign workers will be called upon to fill job openings throughout the country.
Temporary work requires a job offer from a Canadian employer. For some, this is a first step to achieving permanent residency status.
Family Sponsorship: Canada remains committed to keeping families together. Federal sponsorship programs are continuing as usual. As mentioned above, some PNPs also include family connection streams.
Though their paths to Canada may be different, every year thousands of new residents come to Canada to start a new chapter in their lives. Though the Federal Skilled Worker program is one of Canada’s more well-known programs, it is far from the only path to Canadian Permanent Residency. Potential immigrants are encouraged to explore their options and determine which is right for them.
To find out if you are eligible for one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, fill out a free online assessment today.