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Citizenship and Immigration Canada Proposes Changes to Federal Skilled Worker Program!

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Canada`s Federal Skilled Worker Program has always been a popular route for overseas skilled people to obtain permanent residence in the North American country. This popular program follows an interesting and crucial selection system that basically evaluates an applicant`s capacity to adapt to the Canadian labor market. Under the selection system, an assessment of the applicants is carried out. Applicants are assessed under six main factors to provide maximum 100 points. Some sub factors are also taken into consideration.

In the months to come, significant changes are proposed to the Federal Skilled Worker Selection System in Canada. While the changes are not likely to affect the existing selection factors, there can be a revisit into the whole assessment pattern or the pattern followed to assign certain points under some of the selection factors, as proposed by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Let us have a look at the CIC-proposed changes to the system:

  • Establishing minimum language requirements

Language proficiency - in either English or French - is an important selection factor under Canada skilled factor program. As per the current selection system, a skilled applicant is awarded a maximum 16 points against his adeptness in any of the languages (which he considers his first official language). In near future, CIC proposes to increase the maximum awardable points from 16 to 20. The current criterion lets an applicant get a minimum pass mark of 67 points without minimum required points under the language proficiency factor. One can score low English IELTS score, resulting low point score under the language factor, but still meet the 67 points criteria! That could be possible because of adaptability factors, such as blood relations in Canada, arranged employment opinion, master`s degree, Canadian education and experience and spousal qualifications. This may change in the proposed scheme of things! The principal applicants may be expected to have minimum English language score in IELTS to be eligible to make an application.

  • Increased points for younger workers

Changes have been proposed in the `Age` criterion as well. Keeping in mind the very fact that younger immigrants are the more successful- in terms of getting employment and earnings- group than the older one, CIC has put forward its recommendation. The current selection system awards a maximum of 10 points to skilled worker applicants up to age 49. But, as per the proposed change, we may see applicants being awarded up to a maximum 12 points, to those aged 25-34. Naturally, lesser points will be given to applicants in 40`s. In addition, as contrary to the existing points system, no points will likely be awarded to 50-plus.

  • Emphasis on skilled tradespersons

Changes have been proposed to this segment considering Canada`s current labor market requirements. While the country is having worker shortages in various skilled trades, the Federal Skilled Worker Program`s selection system has not been able to cater to Canada`s dire needs in this area. The existing selection system offers points to foreign skilled tradespersons against their credentials, along with the number of associated years of education. The pitfall of this points assigning system is that skilled tradespersons with minimum associated years of education do not get expected points, despite having credentials in their respective trades. The training and educational system for tradesperson is different in different countries, which is why many eligible tradespersons disqualify for the program. The proposed changes may address this limitation. The CIC-proposed change appeals to diminish the requirement of the associated years of education in order to score points for a trade under the Federal Skilled worker Program. Even English language proficiency norms for tradespersons may be more flexible than other skilled professionals. With the change taking its effect, we can expect more tradespersons and other technicians qualifying for the Canadian permanent residency.

  • Lesser points for work experience

The proposed changes in selection criteria for federal skilled workers may see CIC giving lesser points against applicants` work experience in the near future. The proposal reduces the currently awarded maximum points - under the experience selection factor- from 21 to 15 points. In addition, applicants might also be required to have more than just 4 years work experience in order to score full points (15 points) under the proposed changes.

  • Curbing loophole for employment offers

An arranged Canadian job offer is a benefit for applicants intending to immigrate under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. With such an offer, applicants are awarded considerable amount of points under the `Arranged Employment in Canada` factor of the selection system. However, over the years, it has been found that the system is not free from abuse- since people try to immigrate to the country with counterfeit job offers. While the Federal Skilled Worker Program has been launched to cater to genuine skilled workers from across the world, it should not be meant for unscrupulous immigrants. Thus, CIC has proposed a more rigorous assessment of the employment offers offered to prospective immigrants, which may include the employer`s declaration of their intention to hire foreign skilled workers.

The above changes put forward by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada clearly say that the selection system for skilled applicants to immigrate under the Federal Skilled Worker Program is going to be more precise and accessible to those who really deserve to be in the country. In addition, it surely will serve Canada`s skilled shortages.

To know how the proposed changes may impact your application for Canada federal skilled worker program in future, please mail your resume to and get an immediate Free-of-Charge Assessment and advice.

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