It’s been a “hot” couple of months in the Canadian Immigration arena. There have been governmental press releases informing the public of the new steps the government is taking with regards to the family immigration, new initiatives with regards to visa processes for the entrepreneurs wishing to come to Canada, as well as numerous initiatives and regulations aimed at improving the immigration process of skilled workers.

The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is one of the biggest immigration programs in Canada. On March 2, 2012 when speaking in front of the Canadian Club of Toronto Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney emphasized the importance of targeting “young and language-proficient” candidates for the Skilled Worker program.  The crux of the problem, according to the Minister, in the current program is that Canada is inviting highly educated people that are not likely to succeed in our labour market (National Post, March 19,2012). Among the proposed program changes are adjusting the points system for Federal Skilled Workers and requiring the new applicants to undergo pre-assessment of their credentials to ensure they are a good fit for the Canadian market, thus ensuring that they are be able to establish themselves in Canada and contribute to the Canadian economy.

There is currently a backlog of 300,000 applicants under the FSWP waiting for their applications to be reviewed. In 2008 the government already took initiatives to reduce the backlog of the applications by restricting the types of applications allowed for file at the time. This year the government suggests returning these 300,000 applications to the applicants and refunding their applications fees in hopes of eliminating the backlog. Important to note that here we are talking about the applicants that applied under the old criteria of the FSWP.

Evelyn Ackah and Nicki Guichon of Ackah Business Immigration Law share their opinion on the proposed initiative here.

(to find more about the Federal Skilled Worker Program click here)