May 4 2013 Relaunch of the Federal Skilled Worker Program – Tighter and Longer for Applicants, and Easier for the Immigration Department

By Author: Admin | April 30, 2013

[Note to Reader – the following blog post does not reflect changes in the law that are associated with the 2015 Express Entry system for immigration, and as such is not a reflection of the current immigration criteria]

The new program is tighter in that the required language level is high for most immigration applicants – An FSWP applicant must score at least 6.0 on the IELTS General Training test in each of the four skills, something the average Canadian, steeped in the 140 character universe would have difficulty in achieving. The test result must be less than two years old on the date on which their application is made.

There are 5,000 spots open in a very restricted list of occupations with 300 in each occupation. Surprisingly, doctors and nurses are not on the list, perhaps due to the obstinacy of the Canadian Medical Establishment in relation to assessing foreign medical credentials.

Speaking of the occupation list, it is predominantly in engineering of all sorts. All the engineers (except computer) will have be assessed by the appropriate Canadian licensing body in order to get a provisional license to practice or letter of consent. As a matter of course the agencies that assess credentials typically required original documents, and levy a further fee for the assessment. This means that it is practically impossible to lodge an application on May 4 2013 given the requirement to await the third party credential assessment (whose results are supposed to be issued after April 17, 2013 in order to be considered).

Similarly, occupations relating to Medical technicians, i.e. sonographers, radiation technologists, physiotherapists are also required to be certified. It is Interesting that no occupation directly related to construction is on the list, perhaps due to the existence of the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

The factor of age is to be skewed in favour of those under the age of 36; 12 points for a skilled worker 18 years of age or older but less than 36 years of age with a loss of points for each year over the age of 36.

The slippery occupation (or from a bureaucratic point of view, the more scrutinized occupation) on the May 4 2013 list is that of NOC 1112 Financial and investment analysts (a previous iteration of the occupation list had the slippery occupation of 1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management – slippery in the sense that anyone in a vaguely white collar environment tried to shoe-horn their experience into one of these occupations. This shall be mitigated for the NOC 1112 by the foreign credential assessment.

How long will occupations filed under the May 4 2013 system take to process? Previously filed cases (known in bureaucratic parlance as MI-1, MI-2 and MI-3) will be processed first. Thus two year processing times will likely be the minimum, not including the time to obtain the third party language and education assessments.

The factor of arranged employment via HRSDC approval will disappear but an indeterminate job offer shall remain which may still yield 10 points.

In the New system grid under Adaptability factor (maximum10 points), the education level of the dependent spouse has been eliminated, therefore, education of spouse does not yield any points. Instead, language test result of the dependent spouse may accumulate some points (the old definition of adaptability only recognizing a dependent spouse’s work or education level).

As per the current CIC website, To the extent that more of the criteria are delegated to third parties which impose their own bureaucratic systems of evaluation, cases shall take longer to assess. The fact that education must be equivalent to Canadian standards means that the system is inherently tighter. However, these farming out of key elements of the assessment shall make the job of assessing would-be immigrants easier under the May 4 2013 system. “The current pass mark is 67.”

To learn more about this matter, contact your Toronto Immigration Lawyer today.
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