Changes to visa process for skilled workers in Canada

by Ray Clancy on November 14, 2013

 

Canada hopes to attract top quality skilled workers and the immigration department is making changes aimed at making the visa application and processing system more efficient and user friendly.

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The aim of the new changes is to manage intake, maintain reasonable processing times and prevent a backlog of applications from developing.

Major changes are being made to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) programme. the aim is to manage intake, maintain reasonable processing times and prevent a backlog from developing, according to a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) spokesman.

CIC is also is introducing an annual cap on the number of new CEC applications. CIC will accept a maximum of 12,000 CEC applications from this month until 31 October 2014.

The spokesman explained that despite the annual cap on applications, the department will admit approximately 15,000 individuals under the CEC in 2014.

CIC is also seeing an over representation of certain occupations in the programme. In order to bring in as diverse a skill set as possible, the department will introduce limits on the number of applications under certain occupations.

‘The Canadian Experience Class has allowed more than 25,000 people to stay in Canada permanently to contribute their skills and talents,’ said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

The CIC will also introduce sub-caps of 200 applications each in certain skilled occupations. These are mostly technical and administrative jobs or those in the skilled trades. Managerial and professional occupations will not be sub-capped, but they will be subject to the overall cap of 12,000 applications.

Six specific occupations will no longer be eligible for the CEC. These are cooks, food service supervisors, administrative officers, administrative assistants, accounting technicians and book keepers, and retail sales supervisors. The spokesman pointed out that there is a backlog for these applications and those already being processed will continue in the system.

‘The government is taking concrete action to reduce backlogs and processing times. By making these changes to the Canadian Experience Class, we are moving toward a more effective and efficient immigration system,’ said Alexander.

CIC will maintain the same language criteria for applicants but will verify them upfront. The current language requirements are Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC 0 and A occupations, and CLB 5 for NOC B occupations.

‘This new measure will ensure that applicants who do not meet the minimum language requirements are screened out earlier and processing resources can be concentrated on those who are more likely to qualify,’ the CIC spokesman explained.

‘At the same time, this is more client friendly, as applicants who do not have the required language proficiency will have their applications returned to them along with the processing fee,’ he added.

 

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