The current application cycle for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), which opened in May, 2014, will finish at the end of this year. With just three months remaining in 2014, potential candidates have a limited window of opportunity to apply for this program. Successful applicants will gain Canadian permanent residence.
What is the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
The FSWP assesses candidates based on their human capital — that is to say, their ability to become economically established upon immigration to Canada — using a points-based system. Applicants must score at least 67 points based on the criteria set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
The current FSWP determines that 50 occupations are in demand in Canada, and candidates must have at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in one of 50 eligible occupations. A total of 25,000 applications will be accepted for processing under the current FSWP, with a cap of 1,000 per eligible occupation. In addition to the fact that there is a limited time period left in which to make an application, candidates should also be aware that some of the occupation caps are close to reaching their limit.
Under the current Federal Skilled Worker Program, an eligible applicant applies knowing with a degree of certainty that he or she will be able to immigrate, so long as he or she is not criminally inadmissible, doesn’t have major health problems, and works in an occupation that has not yet reached its cap. We are now entering the final three months in which the Government of Canada will be accepting applications under the FSWP in its present form.
How do candidates determine their eligibility for the current FSWP?
The first step in the entire process is to determine one’s eligibility for the program. Candidates need to know whether or not meet the eligibility criteria to make an application. If a candidate is eligible to apply, he or she should begin their Educational Credential Assessment immediately and sit the IELTS exam. No one is exempt from the requirement for language testing, regardless of their country of origin or education.
“Candidates still have time, but they need to move fast. In practical terms, they need to determine their eligibility today and, if they are eligible, they need to start the process almost immediately,” says Attorney David Cohen. “Candidates who fulfil the criteria of the current Federal Skilled Worker Program should apply now, knowing with a degree of certainty that they will be able to immigrate to Canada.”
After December 31, 2014, the current rules and procedures for the FSWP will no longer be in place.
What comes after the FSWP?
As of January 1, 2015, candidates will no longer apply directly to the FSWP. From that date, Canada will transition to a new expression of interest immigration selection system called ‘Express Entry’.
Under Express Entry, the federal government and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, will be able to select potential immigrants from a pool of candidates who have declared an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada and who meet the eligibility criteria for at least one of Canada’s economic immigration programs:
The highest-ranked candidates (those deemed to have the best chances for economic success) may then be invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada under one of these programs.
“From January, candidates will be relying on being cherry-picked by either the federal government, a province, or a Canadian employer. Now is the time to take action,” says Attorney David Cohen.
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