This year is the last year for immigration applicants to apply directly to the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
Starting 2015, the Express Entry program of the Canadian government will bring a huge change to the country’s immigration system, and this change may well alter the qualifications in selecting who can work in and immigrate to Canada.
Under the new system, applicants will be able to express interest to immigrate to Canada, but they will be grouped in a pool from which the federal government, provincial governments, and Canadian employers can choose.
Applicants will have no direct influence as to where they might work or for what company.
Because of this upcoming change, all interested applicants are now encouraged to submit applications while there is still time and while they can still choose the program to which they want to apply.
Under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, there are 50 occupations included.
However, this number of occupation is now down to 49 after one occupation (NOC 2174 – computer programmers and interactive media developers) already reached its cap.
There are other open occupations, although some of them are nearing the limit. Those who can still submit an application should do so before the year ends or before other occupations close.
What to Do if Your Chosen Occupation is No Longer Available
(a) Apply for another occupation
If you have at least 1 year of work experience during the past 10 years in another occupation other than your target occupation in your application, you can apply under that occupation instead.
(b) Apply in an occupation related to your target occupation
There are occupations in the FSWP that have different National Occupation Classification codes but are almost the same in terms of their description. For instance, the job description for computer programmer is almost similar to that of software designer or software engineer. You can apply for this occupation instead, which is still open.
(c) Secure a valid job offer from a Canadian employer
If you have an offer for a full-time job from a Canadian employer, you will be exempted from the cap. So even if the cap has been reached for your chosen occupation, you can still apply.
(d) Apply under a Provincial Nominee Program
This program is offered by different provinces (except Quebec, which has a different program), in accordance with the labour market needs of the specific province. You will need a job offer from a Canadian employer to qualify for this program.
(e) Have your spouse apply if he/she is qualified for an occupation
If you’re not qualified but your partner is, you can switch position and have him/her apply for an occupation he is qualified in. After all, the decision will most probably affect your entire family. If he/she applies, the entire family can still move to Canada.
(f) Apply under the new Express Entry come 2015
This is only a last resort. If the other options mentioned above are not possible, you can just wait until the new program is in place and express interest to immigrate to Canada. You can be chosen to apply by the federal government, by any provincial government, or by any employer in Canada under any of these programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, or Provincial Nomination Program. Take note, though, that there is no guarantee that you will be chosen.
Taking Action Now
For those who plan to apply in an occupation that is still open, it is important that they apply at the soonest time possible – after all, it’s less than two months before this year closes.
Find out if you are qualified and prepare the necessary documents. You will need to get at least 67 points in the assessment system based on the criteria in place. Additionally, you must have sufficient funds and must pass the required medical exam and security check.