On August 18, 2012 the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration revealed the proposed changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program selection grid.

As mentioned earlier, the CIC’s purpose of the proposed changes is to address current economic needs of Canada and to ensure a better integration of new immigrants in the Canadian workforce. The three-pronged approach will see amendments in:

–           the Federal Skilled Workers Class (FSWC) by placing a bigger emphasis on applicants’ language proficiency and awarding more points to younger workers,

–           the creation of a new Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), and

–          Improvements to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Under the proposed changes skilled workers wishing to immigrate to Canada could apply under one of the three categories depending on their work experience. According to Green&Spiegel, the proposed changes, once approved, would not take effect before January 2013.

Below is a more detailed summary of the proposed changes.

1. Federal Skilled Workers Class (FSWC) – Revised points system for managers/professionals/technicians.

–  A minimum level of language proficiency would be required in order to qualify for the program. The amount of points amounted for fluency in one official language would be increased from 16 to 24.

Emphasis on younger workers and awarding the maximum of 12 points to applicants aged 18-35 years. No age points would be awarded for applicants older than 46.

Work experience. Reducing to 15 points the total amount of points awarded for work experience and increasing the years of experience required to achieve full point to 6 years.

Foreign education assessment. Designated organizations in Canada would authenticate credentials obtained in foreign jurisdictions.

Streamlining the arranged employment process to reduce the amount of fraudulent job offers. The employers would need to apply for labour market opinion (LMO) to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) both for a temporary work visa and for a permanent resident application.

Adaptability factors. Maximum of 10 points would be awarded to the Primary Applicant if he/she had qualifying previous work experience in Canada. The spousal education points would be replaced by spousal basic language proficiency.

Settlement funds. Under the proposed regulation the recipients of arranged employment would no longer be exempt from proof of settlement funds.

2. New dedicated skilled trades class (FSTC).

This new class would be open to tradespersons with experience in the following NOC B occupational areas:

–          Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades;

–          Maintenance and Equipment Operation Trades;

–          Supervisors and Technical Occupations in Natural Resources,

–          Agriculture and Related Production;

–          Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and Central Control Operators;

–          Chefs and Cooks, Bakers and Butchers.

To qualify for this class the four minimum requirements should be met:

  1. A qualifying offer from up to two employers in Canada for at least one year;
  2. Language proficiency;
  3. Twenty four months of work experience in the same trade in the last 5 years;
  4. Qualifications that satisfy employment requirements as described by the NOC, except for certification and licensing requirements.

3. Modifications to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

The Canadian work experience requirement would be reduced to 12 months in the preceding 36 month.

A minimum language threshold would be required in each of four abilities (reading, writing, oral comprehension and speaking) for the applicants under the CEC. The Minister would have the authority to set the minimum threshold.

For a more detailed submission please click here.