On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, the Government of Canada announced new occupations and caps for the popular Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program. Additional important information has been announced for the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) programs.
The new changes go into effect for all three programs on May 1, 2014.
“This is a long-awaited and exciting announcement for applicants all over the world,” said Attorney David Cohen. “I am certain that in the coming days we will see an incredible amount of excitement generated for the FSW program in particular, which has historically been the most popular path to Canadian Permanent Residency.”
Federal Skilled Worker Announcements
Effective May 1, 2014, the FSW will be accepting an overall total of 25,000 new applications. Applicants must have at least one year of work experience in one of 50 eligible occupations. A maximum of 1,000 applications will be accepted per eligible occupation.
The eligible occupations include many widely practiced professions. They are as follows:
Applicants under the FSW program will be assessed according to the same criteria as 2013. Applicants are assessed on a points grid that takes into account important factors such as education, language skills, work experience, age, and adaptability to Canada. All applicants must meet minimum language requirements in either English or French.
In addition to skilled workers, the FSW program includes streams for PhD holders and individuals who have received eligible job offers from Canadian employers. A maximum of 500 PhD applicants will be accepted under the upcoming program. Applicants who hold valid job offers are not subject to any intake caps.
“While it is exciting to see so many occupations on this list, the most popular are likely to fill very quickly,” said Attorney David Cohen. “I strongly encourage anybody interested in this program to seize the moment and prepare to submit their application much sooner rather than later.”
Federal Skilled Trades Announcements
The FST program is for applicants with experience in a skilled trade. As of May 1, the FST program will be accepting a maximum of 5,000 applications for review. All NOC B level trades will be eligible for this program. This amounts to a total of 90 different occupations.
A maximum of 100 applications will be accepted under any single occupation. The 90 eligible occupations fall into the following general categories:
Canadian Experience Class Announcements
The CEC program was created for individuals who have already gained skilled work experience in Canada. As of May 1, the program will accept a maximum of 8,000 new applications. Any skilled occupation is eligible*, however for NOC B level occupations a maximum of 100 applications will be accepted per occupation.
*The following six occupations are not eligible to apply under the CEC:
What This Means for Applicants
Many prospective immigrants have been eagerly waiting for these changes to be announced. This new information confirms that all three programs are open for business once again.
The FSW program is more open to applicants than it has been in the past few years. The cap has increased more than five times over, from just 5,000 last year to 25,000 this year. In addition, the number of eligible occupations has more than doubled, from just 24 last year to 50 as of May 1. This means that skilled workers who were not eligible for the program in previous years because of their professional experience may now be eligible to apply.
“I am excited to hear that Canada is opening up its doors to so many talented professionals,” said Attorney David Cohen. “This is the last time applicants can apply under the FSW program in its current format. Starting in 2015, the Government of Canada has announced that it will be transitioning to a new immigration selection system known as ‘Express Entry’. This is just one more reason for interested applicants to act now, and take steps toward achieving their immigration goals.”
To find out if you are eligible for the FSW, FST, CEC or any of Canada’s over 60 immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.