Under Canada’s immigration selection point system an applicant must attain a specific number of points based on several selection criteria including: education, work experience, intended occupation, language skills, age and personal suitability. Applicants must presently score a minimum of 67 points.
Recent Changes to Canada’s Skilled Worker Program
Canada's guidelines for the admission of Skilled Professionals for permanent residence are reviewed on an annual basis.
Federal Skilled Worker Program to re-open May 4, 2013
The new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will take effect on May 4, 2013 at which time the program will re-open for applications. These 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 changes to the FSWP points grid will place greater emphasis on the applicant’s age and language proficiency and will provide additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience. In addition we will see the introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for all credentials earned outside of Canada.
The Changes to the FSWP are as follows:
Pass Mark – The pass mark will remain at 67 points.
Minimum Language Proficiency – Points allocated for language ability (in either English or French) will be raised from 16 to 24. Points for ability in the second official language will be reduced from 8 to 4. In order to be eligible to apply, applicants must reach a Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 which is equivalent to “adequate intermediate proficiency.”
Emphasis on Younger Workers - Up to 12 points will be awarded to individuals aged 18-35. Previously, the same points were awarded for individuals between the ages of 21-49. Points will diminish until the age of 46. However, there will be no age limit for applying.
Amending Work Experience Points – The maximum number of points awarded for foreign work experience will be decreased from 21 to 15 points. In order to achieve maximum points, applicants must have 6 full years of experience, as opposed to 4.
Credential Assessment – Designated non-government organizations will be contracted by the government to authenticate educational credentials and determine their equivalency in Canada. Individuals who hold credentials that are not recognized in Canada will not be eligible to apply to the FSWP.
Arranged Employment – Canadian employers, whose workers are applying through the FSWP, will have to secure a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). FSWP applicants, whose prospective employment includes a positive or neutral LMO, will receive up to 15 points.
Changing Adaptability Requirements – A principal applicant to the FSWP who has Canadian work experience will be awarded a maximum of 10 points. 5 points will be awarded for study in Canada. Spousal adaptability will now be assessed on the basis of language skills, as opposed to education.
In order to receive points for relatives in Canada, the relative will have to meet a minimum age threshold of 18 years.
Caps and Processing Times - The new FSWP will be limited to applicants in NOCs O, A, and B, but will not be limited to particular occupations. There will be an overall cap or limit to the number of applications that will be accepted for assessment by CIC however, this number has not yet been announced. CIC has said applications under the new FSWP will be processed in a few months, rather than a few years.
These 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:
1. 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. Four organizations have been designated to conduct educational credential assessments (mandatory for applicants submitting foreign educational credentials). 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.
2. Skilled Worker Applications Submitted with Arranged Employment
Generally speaking, arranged employment means an offer of "indeterminate employment in Canada." This may apply if a foreign national is currently in Canada working with valid authorization or if they hold an Arranged Employment Opinion issued by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Arranged Employment Opinions do not authorize Foreign Nationals to work and are issued for the purpose of applying for Canadian Permanent Residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
An Arranged Employment Opinion is based on the following factors:
3. The PhD stream
The PhD stream was introduced on November 5, 2011. The PhD option is open to graduates of and international students currently enrolled in a doctoral (PhD) program delivered by a recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada.
There are two ways to be eligible:
You are an international student currently enrolled in a doctoral (PhD) program, delivered by a recognized post-secondary educational institution located in Canada, and:
You have completed a PhD program from a recognized post-secondary educational institution located in Canada no more than 12 months before your application is received by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) and: