On May 4th, 2013 the Federal Skilled Worker Program will be re-opened for applications. This programme has been closed for application for a year, and some occupation caps are known to be filled within days, due to the popularity of the programme.
In April, important announcements are expected to be made. These announcements include the cap on the number of applications to be accepted this year, a list of priority occupations, and information on designated educational assessment organisations, revealed the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
The priority occupations list determines whether there is demand for a profession in Canada. The FSWP only accepts applications for the professions on the occupation list. The cap on each occupation indicates how many applications will be accepted.
On the CIC website, some clues are given as to which professions might be on the occupation list in 2013. “No details on how the list will compare to previous years have yet to be released. However, an analysis of Canada’s labour market can provide some clues as to the workers the country needs most. At present, skilled labour shortages are particularly steep in the fields of healthcare and natural resources management,” it says.
In the article ‘Where the jobs are’ in Canada the CIC refers to a report recently published by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). This report points out 25 professions that are most in need of qualified employees. According to the CIC these professions can be summarised as falling “in the fields of healthcare, mining, and manufacturing or business services.”
“The new occupation list is the most critical aspect of every application case,” says Jalil Parker, Manager of Vision Consultancy Services, an immigration consultancy office in Dubai. “If your profession is not on the list, you will not be able to apply.”
The requirements to be eligible for the programme have been adjusted over the past year, and are currently known to be the following:
- Have at least 1 year of full-time paid work experience in the last 10 years;
- Demonstrate at least adequate-intermediate language proficiency in English or French;
- Obtain at least 67 points on the reworked point grid, which is based on factors such as language proficiency, age, work experience, education, adaptability; and
- Have foreign credentials assessed, authenticated, and given an equivalent value in Canada.
In order to safe time once application for the programme is re-opened, applicants are recommended to prepare their documentation well in advance. "People who want to apply through this program should be preparing their applications now, because certain documentation can take much time," advised Jalil in an earlier article, published on this website in January .
On the CIC website, Attorney David Cohen is quoted as saying: “Applicants are now in a position where they must balance the risk of preparing an application for naught with the reward of submitting before caps close.
“Caps are likely to be tight, and excitement for the program has been building over the last year, so interest is high. Individuals who feel they have skills that are valued in Canada may wish to get a head start on their applications today.”
Although most documentation can be prepared in anticipation of your profession being on the list, the assessment of foreign credentials requires another list: that of the designated educational assessment organisations.
As part of recent changes to the FSWP, the Canadian government has made it mandatory applicants have their education abroad assessed against Canadian education standards by designated organisations.
The list of accredited organisations is one of the announcements expected to be made in April, and should therefore not be missed. Most universities are expected to be on the designated educational assessment organisations list.