Skilled workers will be better able to hit the ground running after proposed regulatory changes are made to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), according to the federal government.
Following a program evaluation, stakeholder and public consultations, and other research, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is proposing the following changes to the FSWP:
•Making language the most important selection factor by establishing new minimum official language thresholds and increasing points for language.
•Increasing the emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire Canadian experience and remain in the workforce longer.
•Increasing points for Canadian work experience and reducing points for foreign work experience.
•Simplifying the arranged employment process to prevent fraud and abuse yet enable employers to staff positions quickly.
•Awarding points for spousal language ability and Canadian experience.
“The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada’s largest economic immigration program,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “The changes we are making to update the selection criteria are based on a large body of data and evidence we've accumulated over the years showing what skills and qualifications are most likely to lead to success for skilled immigrants.”
Another proposed change is the introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment — a mandatory requirement that FSWP applicants have their education abroad assessed against Canadian education standards by designated organizations. CIC will then award points according to how an applicant’s foreign educational credential compares to a completed educational credential in Canada. It does not guarantee that they would become licensed to practice in a regulated occupation.
“This is an important step we are taking to address the problem of immigrants arriving and not being able to work in their field,” stated Kenney. “This new requirement will help potential newcomers make informed choices about immigration and Canadian career paths.”
The new FSWP points grid will likely take effect in January 2013. While there is currently a pause on new applications (except for FSWP candidates with a qualifying offer of arranged employment or those applying under the PhD stream), CIC expects to begin accepting applications again early next year.
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