Press Room

New Federal Skilled Worker Program beginning May 4, 2013

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism announced today that a new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will take effect on May 4, 2013.

Language proficiency and youth will be the two most important factors in the changes to the new Federal Skilled Worker Program. Included in the final changes to the program’s selection criteria are:

  • Minimum official language thresholds and increased points for official language proficiency, making language the most important factor in the selection process;
  • Increased emphasis on younger immigrants;
  • Introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), so that education points are awarded to reflect the foreign credential’s true value in Canada;
  • Changes to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labour market; and
  • Additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.

Two new steps have also been introduced to the selection system. First, applicants must meet the minimum language threshold, which is level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmark assessment system. Second, applicants must also have their education credentials assessed before arriving in Canada. A list of designated assessment organizations will be announced by the Minister in early 2013.

These changes will not apply to applicants who applied to the Federal Skilled Worker Program prior to May 4, 2013 with a qualifying arranged job offer or under the Ph.D. stream.

For additional information, please contact Green and Spiegel.