After the long wait, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney reveals the final details on the Federal Skilled Worker Program whose application intake is set to open on May 4, 2013.
To be eligible for processing, applicants to the immigration program must:
• Have worked a minimum of one year in continuous, full-time employment within the last ten years in any of the 24 occupations considered eligible;
• Earn a minimum of 67 points on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s selection test
• Be Arranged Employment-qualified with a Labour Market Opinion;
• Have a full-time permanent offer of employment from a Canadian employer; and
• Have completed a doctoral degree in Canada, or finished two years of studies leading to a doctoral degree in Canada, both at a government-recognized institution.
All Federal Skilled Worker applicants also need to take language tests to prove their English or French language abilities, and submit all educational credentials acquired outside of Canada to be assessed for equivalency with the Canadian educational system.
Designated Organizations for Educational Credential Assessment
Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kennedy designated on April 17, 2013 four organizations to perform the task of assessing applicants’ foreign educational credentials based on their level of suitability with Canadian standards. These organizations are:
• Medical Council of Canada – http://www.mcc.ca/en/
• International Credential Assessment Service of Canada – http://www.icascanada.ca/fsw/
• World Education Services – http://www.wes.org/ca/fswp/
• Comparative Education Service – http://learn.utoronto.ca/international-professionals/comparative-education-service-ces
Applicants who are using Canadian educational credentials in support of their application do not have to undergo assessment by these organizations, unless they would like to include credentials obtained overseas. Additionally, all foreign credential assessments made after April 17, 2013 will be valid for the next five years from the date they were issued.
Limitations and Caps
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will be processing up to a maximum of 5,000 applications for all 24 eligible occupations, where 300 applications will be considered for each eligible occupation.
For applications forwarded under the PhD stream, the government will process up to 1,000 applications within May 4, 2013 to April 30, 2014.
Ministerial Instructions, the authority for the changes, allows the government to control application intake for economic immigration programs based on the availability of jobs in Canada, as well as to speed up processing times and cut application backlogs.
It is best for applicants to start working on their applications and submit them as soon as possible in order not to waste time and have their applications assessed before the slots are filled.
The new rules are meant to accommodate applicants who can work fast on their immigration plans and can do so in an organized manner. Being able to submit an application at the soonest possible time helps one avoid the situation where an application gets returned for errors and can no longer be resubmitted simply because the caps have been filled.
In any case, these changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program must not discourage individuals from pursuing their plans of Canadian immigration. If they don’t make it to this program, there are more than 60 others that can be considered as alternatives.