In August 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced some modifications to Canadian immigration policy targeting primarily the Federal Skilled Workers Class program (FSWC), as well as the creation of a distinct program for skilled tradespersons. These changes aim to make it easier for foreigners with a work permit to gain permanent residence as well.
Proposed updates to the FSWC program are the following:
Minimum Language Proficiency - Points allocated for language ability (in either English or French) will be raised from 16 to 24.
Emphasis on Younger Workers - Up to 12 points will be awarded to individuals aged 18-35.
Credential Assessment -Individuals who hold credentials that are not recognized in Canada will not be eligible to apply to the FSWC program.
Arranged Employment -Canadian employers, whose workers are applying through the FSWC program, will have to secure a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).
Changing Adaptability Requirements - A principal applicant to the FSWC who has Canadian work experience is awarded a maximum of 10 points. 5 points will be awarded for study in Canada.
Introduction of Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)
In order to better facilitate the entry of skilled tradespersons to Canada, CIC has created the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) of immigration. This will be open to tradespersons with skills in areas such as: Industrial, Electrical, and Construction Trades; Maintenance and Equipment Operation Trades; Supervisors and Technical Occupations in Natural Resources. etc.
Applicants must receive: a) a qualifying offer of employment in Canada of at least 1 year duration; b) a Certificate of Qualification from a provincial or territorial authority; c) minimum language proficiency of at least Canadian Level Benchmark 5 ("initial intermediate"); d) 24 months of work experience in their skilled trade during the last 5 years; e) professional qualifications that prove their ability to perform their job.
Revisions made to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are:
Reducing Work Requirement - The Canadian work component of the program will be reduced from 24 to 12 months within the last 36.
Language Requirement - A minimum language threshold will be established at Canadian Language Benchmark 5 ("initial intermediate"). Applicants who do not meet this requirement will not be able to apply to the CEC.
For further information please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) news website.