• Federal Skilled Worker Program To Reopen
  • December 19, 2012 | Author: Carmen Hamilton
  • Law Firm: Singleton Urquhart LLP - Vancouver Office
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada recently announced that the moratorium on the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will be lifted in 2013. The federal government wants to adopt a “just-in-time” system that will recruit foreign nationals with the necessary qualifications to fill Canada’s labour market needs. Up to 55,300 individuals, including their spouses and dependants, will be admitted under the revised FSWP next year.

    While applications made under the old FSWP are taking up to eight years to process, Citizenship and Immigration Canada aims to process new applications in less than one year. The government has also committed to eliminating the backlog of approximately 100,000 pending applications by the end of 2014.

    Details of the changes have not yet been made public but a Canada Gazette notice states that the proposed regulatory changes will include a “rebalance” of the points-based selection criteria to put more emphasis on language abilities, Canadian work experience, and age. Additionally, foreign education credentials will have to be assessed against Canadian equivalent educational credentials and most arranged employment offers will be subject to a labour market assessment.

    The government also intends to unveil a new Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) category for skilled tradespersons. Applicants under the FSTC must have, among other criteria, a certificate of qualification from a provincial authority in a skilled trade, work experience, and requisite language skills.

    The proposed changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program will be announced in the coming weeks. Interested employers should stay tuned!