This article was prepared by Moving2Canada in conjunction with Matthew Iwama, licensed immigration consultant under the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. You can reach him by filling out this form for a paid assessment.
In a surprising move, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced last week the reopening of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). There will be 25,000 places available — a five-fold increase on the previous program — across 50 occupations, with a sub-cap of 1,000 per occupation. The program opens May 1, 2014.
This news should be of major interest for people who have been waiting years to immigrate to Canada without a job offer, as well as those whose countries do not have programs such as the Working Holiday scheme (IEC visa). Successful applicants will land in Canada as permanent residents.
“This will be the last opportunity, before the arrival of the Express Entry Program in 2015, for people to immigrate to Canada without a valid job offer. Citizenship and Immigration Canada decided to reopen this program as one last ‘hurrah’ for everyone before things change significantly within the Canadian immigration landscape,” states immigration consultant, Matthew Iwama, from Vancouver Visa Services.
“I would encourage anyone interested in this program to begin their Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) immediately as well as sitting for the IELTS – GT exam. No one is exempt from the requirement for English language results, regardless of their country of origin or education. This is a golden opportunity that must be seized by all eligible. We are expecting global processing times to be less than 12 months from start to finish. 90 per cent of our clients from the May 2013 intake received their medical results before December 2013, and all but six applicants have already landed in Canada as Permanent Residents.”
All major financial occupations, engineers, doctors and nurses have been added to this year’s list of eligible occupations, as well as computer technicians, financial managers, auditors and accountants, information system analysts, database analysts, software engineers, mechanical engineering technologists and technicians, electrical engineering technologists and technicians, and university professors and lecturers. The complete list can be viewed here.
The criteria for the FSWP remains the same as under the previous scheme, which you can read about on this page. Candidates must have completed at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in an eligible occupation in the last 10 years.
Additionally, one must demonstrate a level of language proficiency in English or French. In order to demonstrate language ability, a test score must be provided with the application. These test scores must be derived from certain language testing systems, and meet the standards set by the CIC. For those already in Canada, the CELPIP – General can test for proving proficiency in English. Other candidates can register for the IELTS test.
Finally, the applicant must meet or exceed a 67-points threshold based on their education, age, language skills, work experience and adaptability. The popularity of certain occupation thresholds within the Federal Skilled Worker Program means their quota could be met in a short period of time.
In order to assess your eligibility, you should begin by completing the Come to Canada Wizard. If you receive a result suggesting that the FSWP (or any other economic program) might be open to you, it is recommended you seek the advice of an immigration professional to guide you through the process. For a free eligibility assessment, you can contact Vancouver Visa Services via this link.