Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney proposed the following changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP”) today:
- Making language the most important selection factor by establishing new minimum official language thresholds and increasing points for language;
- Increasing the emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience and remain in the workforce longer;
- Increasing points for Canadian work experience and reducing points for foreign work experience;
- Simplifying the arranged employment process to prevent fraud and abuse yet enable employers to staff positions quickly;
- Awarding points for spousal language ability and Canadian experience; and
- The introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment – a mandatory requirement that FSWP applicants have their education abroad assessed against Canadian education standards by designated organizations. CIC will then award points according to how an applicant’s foreign educational credential compares to a completed educational credential in Canada. It does not necessarily guarantee that they would become licensed to practice in a regulated occupation.
We expect that these revisions, if implemented, will not be implemented before January of 2013. The revisions are only proposed and we will have to wait and see if they are actually passed by Parliament in the New Year. The Federal Skilled Worker Program could potentially look significantly different than it does today; Green and Spiegel will keep you informed of any changes as they occur.