Changes to Federal Skilled Worker Program by Canada’s Immigration Department

By Author: Admin | June 26, 2011

Changes to Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Canadian Immigration Department’s changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program (as well as changes to the Entrepreneur and Investor category) are summarized below.

There is a moratorium on the Entrepreneur category.  This is likely an admission that the entrepreneur category was never popular owing to the onerous conditions imposed on such candidates once the visa was issued, and the emergence of more popular options for businesspersons under the various Provincial Nominee Programs across Canada.

The immigration department shall restrict the intake of Investor applications for 2012 to  700 applications.  (which may encourage some high-wealth individuals to seek other options for immigrating to Canada.

For the year starting July 1 2011, 500 applications will be accepted for processing in each of the following 29 occupations:

0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers

0811 Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)

1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management

1233 Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners

2121 Biologists and Related Scientists

2151 Architects

3111 Specialist Physicians

3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians

3113 Dentists

3131 Pharmacists

3142 Physiotherapists

3152 Registered Nurses

3215 Medical Radiation Technologists

3222 Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists

3233 Licensed Practical Nurses

4151 Psychologists

4152 Social Workers

6241 Chefs

6242 Cooks

7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades

7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades

7241 Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System)

7242 Industrial Electricians

7251 Plumbers

7265 Welders & Related Machine Operators

7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics

7371 Crane Operators

7372 Drillers & Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction

8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

Keen observers of the above list will observe that it is the same list as was announced on June 26 2010.  This is good news for applicants, who recently filed a case asserting experience in one of the occupations above, but whose cases were rejected on a technicality; such applicants have an opportunity to reapply with a fresh application that addresses any shortcoming identified by the Centralized Immigration Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

In total, there shall be a limit of 10,000 new skilled worker applications in the coming year as at July 1 2011.  This reflects the declining importance of the Federal Skilled Worker program which is being supplanted by Provincial Nominee Programs, and those other skilled worker applicants who possess arranged employment (and hence do not need to have work experience in the 29 occupations above). Given the fact that some of the occupations will not approach the cap of 500 (such as crane operator which had a total of 12 applicants during the previous year), it can be said that the Federal Skilled Worker Program exists primarily for those applicants who have secured arranged employment in Canada.

The changes  announced in the Canada Gazette disingenuously assert,

“The Instructions are consistent with IRPA objectives as laid out in section 3, specifically to support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy; to see that families are reunited in Canada; to fulfill Canada’s international legal obligations with respect to refugees and provide assistance to those in need of resettlement; and to respect the federal, bilingual and multicultural character of Canada, including to support and assist the development of minority official languages communities.”

In fact, the above changes announced on June 24 2011 do not directly address any of the above objectives in Canada’s Immigration laws except one: to support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy.

The new Ministerial instructions can be seen HERE.

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