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Canada to resume fielding fresh immigrant applications from May 4

April 24, 2013 - All News

Staff Report
Effective May 4, Canada is set to reopen the door to newcomer applications in the Federal Skilled Worker program stream.
The eligibility list has however been shrunk further to 24 occupations, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced last week.
There are other caps imposed on specific job sector as well.
In addition, four organizations have been designated to provide the now-required independent third party assessments of foreign educational credentials for applicants who studied outside of Canada. These assessments, which must be completed before an application is submitted, are aimed at helping newcomers through the FSWP to get off to a better start and into the Canadian labour force more quickly when they arrive.
“The government’s focus remains on jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “Under the new Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canada will be able to attract the skilled immigrants our economy requires, who are the most likely to succeed and contribute their full skill set to the Canadian economy.”
An official ministry release said future applicants should be aware of several key elements that will have an effect on the application process:
• A new eligible occupations list, with a total of 24 occupations;
• An overall cap of 5,000 new applications for all eligible occupations, including a sub-cap of 300 new applications for each eligible occupation;
• Four organizations have been designated to conduct educational credential assessments (mandatory for applicants submitting foreign educational credentials); and
• Applicants must show proof that they meet the minimum threshold of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in all four language skill areas: speaking, reading, writing and oral comprehension.
“As a result of the actions taken by the government to deal with the massive backlogs and unacceptably long wait times, FSW applications will be processed in approximately one year,” said Kenney.
“We will not be able to remain competitive and attract the skilled immigrants we need if we allow backlogs and wait times to grow again. That’s why we are capping application intake and focusing on specific occupations that are experiencing labour shortages in Canada. This will also help us transition nicely into the just-in-time immigration system of the future,” he explained.
Program details
The FSWP selects immigrants based on their ability to succeed economically in Canada. After meeting eligibility requirements, applicants are assessed against selection criteria, also known as the “points grid”. There are 100 points available to applicants, with points awarded for official language abilities, age, education, work experience, employment already arranged in Canada, and adaptability. The current pass mark is 67.
After a thorough review of relevant research, an extensive program evaluation, stakeholder and public consultations, research and study of best practices in other immigrant-receiving countries, improvements to the FSWP were announced in December 2012. These improvements come into force May 4.
A pause on the intake of most new FSWP applications has been in place since July 1, 2012, except for those with a qualifying job offer and those who applying under the PhD stream. The pause will be lifted and an eligible occupations stream re-established on May 4.
There are some new requirements that applicants can start preparing for, such as language tests and foreign educational credential assessments. The complete application process, featuring the new selection criteria, will be available on CIC’s website by May 4.
All individuals who are considering applying on or after May 4 should be aware that if their application does not meet the new criteria, it will not be processed.
A prospective applicant should ensure they meet at least one of the following requirements:
• They have at least one year of continuous work experience in one of the 24 eligible occupations;
• They have a qualifying offer of arranged employment; or
• They are eligible to apply through the PhD stream.
If prospective applicants are confident that they meet at least one of the above requirements, they must also meet the minimum language threshold and obtain an educational credential assessment (if submitting a foreign educational credential).
Eligible occupations list
The eligible occupations stream will have an overall cap of 5,000 new applications and sub-caps of 300 applications in each of the 24 occupations on the list.
The 24 eligible occupations, with their corresponding National Occupation Classification code, are as follows:

0211 Engineering managers
1112 Financial and investment analysts
2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
2131 Civil engineers
2132 Mechanical engineers
2134 Chemical engineers
2143 Mining engineers
2144 Geological engineers
2145 Petroleum engineers
2146 Aerospace engineers
2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers)
2154 Land surveyors
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
3142 Physiotherapists
3143 Occupational Therapists
3211 Medical laboratory technologists
3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
3215 Medical radiation technologists
3216 Medical sonographers
3217 Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, nec (not elsewhere classified)

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