The new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) in Canada will take effect on 4th May next year when the programme will re-open for applications, it has been announced. It will ensure that Canada is selecting the skilled immigrants that it needs economically and who are the most likely to succeed and fully realise their potential, according to Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
‘The government’s number one priority remains jobs, economic growth, and long term prosperity. The improvements to the FSWP points grid are based on a large body of research which has consistently shown that language proficiency and youth are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants,’ he said.
The final changes to the FSWP selection criteria include minimum official language thresholds and increased points for official language proficiency, making language the most important factor in the selection process. There is also an increased emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience, are better positioned to adapt to changing labour market conditions, and who will spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada’s economy.
The changes introduce the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), so that education points awarded reflect the foreign credential’s true value in Canada. There are also changes to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labour market and additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.
Quote from ExpatForum.com : “This may seem such a silly question but before applying for the Skilled workers and professionals Visa to immigrate to Canada do you need to have a job offer in place or can you apply then start looking for jobs?”
‘For too long, too many immigrants to Canada have experienced underemployment and unemployment, and this has been detrimental to these newcomers and to the Canadian economy,’ said Kenney, ‘Our transformational changes to the FSWP will help ensure that skilled newcomers are able to contribute their skills fully to the economy as soon as possible. This is good for newcomers, good for the economy, and good for all Canadians’.
There are two new steps to the selection system – first applicants will have to demonstrate that they meet the minimum language threshold, which is level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmark assessment system. Applicants will be able to get a language assessment from existing agencies designated by the Minister and listed on the CIC website.
Secondly, applicants will have their education credentials assessed prior to arriving in Canada – a list of assessment organisations designated by the Minister will be made available early in the New Year. The assessment of foreign educational credentials will provide prospective newcomers with a more realistic understanding of how their credentials compare to education standards in Canada. It will also give them the opportunity to upgrade their education prior to coming to Canada if they choose. The changes will not apply to people who have applied to the FSWP prior to 04 May, 2013 with a qualifying arranged job offer or under the PhD stream.
As recently announced, due to the actions taken over the past months, new applications under the FSWP will be processed in a few months, rather than a few years. In order to ensure fast processing times and to avoid backlogs, the new FSWP will accept a fixed number of applications each year. In the medium term, the government is also moving forward to develop and implement an Expression of Interest (EOI) model, which will provide employers with access to a pool of skilled workers.