New Federal Skilled Worker Program to Launch on May 4, 2013

Latest Changes in the Selection Criteria

The most important factors in this new version of the program will be language proficiency and age (youth).

Changes to the selection criteria announced so far include:

  • Minimum official language thresholds and increased points for official language proficiency, making language the most important factor in the selection process.
  • Increased emphasis on younger immigrants who are:
    • More likely to acquire valuable Canadian work experience,
    • Better positioned to adapt to changing labour market conditions, and
    • Likely to spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada’s economy.
  • Introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), so that education points awarded reflect the foreign credential’s true value in Canada.
  • Changes to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labour market.
  • Additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.

Changes in procedure

First, applicants will have to demonstrate that they meet the minimum language threshold, which is Level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment System.

Second, applicants will have their education credentials assessed BEFORE coming to Canada. A list of assessment organizations designated by the Minister will be made available early in the New Year.

Expectation on processing time

CIC anticipates the processing time to be less than a year.

Please note:

  • The above changes will NOT apply to people who have applied to the FSWP prior to May 4, 2013 with a qualifying arranged job offer or under the Ph.D. stream.
  • The New FSWP will only accept a fixed number of applications per year.
  • Finally, an Expression of Interest (EOI) model is being developed and implemented, which will provide employers with access to a pool of skilled workers.

This program is still being finalized by CIC and we fully expect more details in the New Year. Check back often for updates.