On April 18, 2013, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced final details about Federal Skilled Worker Program, scheduled to begin accepting applications on May 4, 2013.
In order to be considered for processing, eligible applicants must meet one the following eligibility criteria:
- Have at least one year of continuous, full-time (or equivalent) paid work experience in the past decade in one of the 24 eligible occupations and attain at least 67 points based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) immigration selection factors; or
- Qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Opinion and a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer; or
- Have completed a PhD in Canada, or have completed two years of study in Canada towards a PhD, in both cases at a recognized institution.
All applicants applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program will also be required to undergo language testing in order to demonstrate their ability in English and French and have their foreign educational credentials assessed for equivalency against Canadian standards.
Designated Educational Credential Assessment Organizations
On April 17, 2013, four organizations have been designated by Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to conduct the educational credential assessments. The designated organizations are:
- Comparative Education Service;
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
- World Education Services; and
- Medical Council of Canada
Applicants who have completed their studies in Canada will not be required to undergo an educational credential assessment, unless they are also including a foreign credential in support of their application. In addition, any educational credential assessment report issued after April 17, 2013, will be valid for immigration purposes for a period of five years from the date that it was issued by a designated organization.
Program Caps and Limitations
With respect to the 24 eligible occupations, the government has placed an overall cap/limit of 5,000 applications that will be accepted for processing. Within the 5,000 limit, a maximum of 300 applications will be accepted for processing per eligible occupation.
For applicants under the PhD stream, the government will accept a total of 1,000 applications from May 4, 2013 to April 30, 2014.
The authority for the changes, known as Ministerial Instructions, allows the government to keep the intake of applications for economic immigration in line with the number and types of jobs available in Canada, as well as reduce application backlogs and processing times.
Attorney David Cohen encourages applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible, “There is no time to waste if a potential applicant wants any chance of having their Federal Skilled Worker application accepted for assessment”.
Attorney Cohen went on to explain that these new rules favor the fastest and most organized applicants. “The reality of these new rules is that an applicant has only one try to get his or her application accepted. If an application has even a tiny error, it risks being returned without processing, and by the time that error is corrected, the odds of the occupation category being closed are that much greater.”
Today’s announcement, including the eligible occupation list of 24 occupations, should not discourage potential immigrations from considering Canada as a destination. Attorney Cohen encourages potential immigrants: “Remember that there are over 60 immigration programs across Canada from which to choose. If the Federal Skilled Worker program is no longer an option, I’ll advise my clients to explore other alternatives.”
Find out if you qualify for Canadian Permanent Residency by completing a Canadian immigration assessment form.