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Federal Skilled Worker Program Update

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The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program remains open until April 30th, 2014. As the date for final submission of applications draws closer, CIC News checks in to see where the program currently stands, and what this means for prospective applicants.

Many Occupations Remain Open

At present, 15 of the 24 eligible occupations remain open to submissions. Many of these professions are in popular fields such as engineering and healthcare.

Within the engineering field, applications in the following occupations are still being accepted:

  • Chemical engineers
  • Mining engineers
  • Geological engineers
  • Petroleum engineers
  • Aerospace engineers

Within the healthcare field, applications in the following occupations are still being accepted:

  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistance
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologist
  • Medical radiation technologists
  • Medical sonographers
  • Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists

Also open are the following occupations:

  • Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • Land surveyors

Most of these fields are not only open, but appear to be far from exceeding their individual intake caps of 300 applicants.

The FSW Program Today

The current program is accepting a maximum of 5,000 applications for review. Applications will only be received from applicants with experience in one of 24 eligible occupations. A maximum of 300 applications will be accepted per occupation.

In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be accepted for review:

  • Have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in an eligible occupation in the last ten years;
  • Pass a minimum threshold of language ability in either English or French; and
  • Meet or exceed a minimum points threshold based on factors such as education, age, language skills, work experience, and adaptability

The Canadian Government has stated that it intends to process new applicants to the program within 12 months.

Advice for Prospective Applicants

The government has given no word on what the FSW program will look like after April 30th, 2014. However, we do know that Canada is preparing to transition to an entirely new economic immigration system, known as the Expression of Interest (EOI) system, by 2015.

“With so much about the future unclear, applicants who think they are eligible to submit today would be well advised to do so,” said Attorney David Cohen. “With a little more than three months left until the end of April, an organized applicant could certainly prepare and submit under the current eligibility requirements.”

With over 60 Canadian immigration programs to choose from, the FSW Program is by no means the only option for skilled workers.

“If you do not see your occupation on the list, remember that this is just one of many programs that may be available to you,” said Attorney David Cohen. “Applicants should keep an open mind and look at all the immigration options available to them. They may be surprised to find out what program fits their goals and experience the best.”

To find out if you are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, or any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment.