Out of around 200,000 people issued immigrant visas each year, 40% are economic immigrants or their dependents. In its 2012 Economic Action Plan Budget, the Canadian Government said it intends to create a fast and flexible immigration system that is specifically targeted at meeting Canada’s labor requirements. The ultimate plan is to make sure that immigrants are carefully assessed and possess credentials that enable them to find work faster.
To meet the growing demand for workers in certain areas of the labor market, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is proposing the following three-part solution to improve economic immigration results:
#1: Reform the the FSWC (Federal Skilled Worker Class) by changing the balance of points given to applicants based on existing criteria, introducing language thresholds, raising the standards for assessing educational credentials earned from a foreign country, improving the arranged employment process and preventing fraudulent job offers under the Arranged Employment criterion.
In particular, Canadian immigration authorities are planning to set a minimum level of English proficiency to give more points to applicants who are fluent in the language. This is great news for Filipinos who are used to English being the main medium of instruction in schools. At present, the highest score that can be given for English proficiency is 16, but once changes are implemented, this will be raised to 24.
Applicants who are between the ages of 18 and 35 can also gain more points on the basis of age. Those who are within this age range will be given a 12 at maximum.
Work experience will also be awarded less points, from the existing maximum of 21 to 15.
Points for having relatives in Canada will remain, but there will be a minimum age for them to count towards the applicant’s favor. Too old or too young relatives cannot offer much assistance to an immigrant while integrating himself into the Canadian society, so they are not given equal importance as middle-aged relatives who are more realistically capable of providing such help.
#2 :Introduce the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) to target skilled tradespersons who can fill shortages in the labor sector.
The new program will be opened to skilled tradespersons who have experience in specific occupational areas, including: Maintenance and Equipment Operation Trades; Supervisors and Technical Occu-pations in Natural Resources, Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades; Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities- Supervisors and Central Control Operators; Ag-riculture and Related Production; as well as Chefs and Cooks, and Bakers and Butch-ers. Those who will be applying under this program will have to meet language requirements, provincial qualifications and work experience of not less than two years.
#3: Cut down required work experience to 12 months.
To qualify, applicants must be able to show that they have worked in a skilled position in Canada for 12 months, as opposed to 24, within the last 36 months in Canada.
All of these are proposals and final changes will be announced at a later time.