Canada’s revamped points system favours younger newcomers
During a recent visit to India, Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, highlighted the growing educational ties between the two countries.
The new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will take effect on May 4, 2013.
The program will then reopen for applications, announced Canada’s Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
“The new program criteria will ensure Canada is selecting the skilled immigrants our economy needs, who are the most likely to succeed and fully realize their potential in Canada,” he said.
The improvements to the FSWP points grid are based on a large body of research which has consistently shown that language proficiency and youth are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants.
The final changes to the FSWP selection criteria include:
Minimum official language thresholds and increased points for official language proficiency make knowledge of English and/or French the most important factor in the selection process.
Younger the better!
There will be increased emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience, are better positioned to adapt to changing labour market conditions, and who will spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada’s economy.
Educational credentials to be assessed prior to landing
Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is part of the new regime, so that education points awarded reflect the foreign credential’s true value in Canada.
Changes are also being made to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labour market.
Additional points for spousal language ability
Additional adaptability points will be awarded for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.
“For too long, too many immigrants to Canada have experienced underemployement and unemployment, and this has been detrimental to these newcomers and to the Canadian economy,” said Kenney. “Our transformational changes to the FSWP will help ensure that skilled newcomers are able to contribute their skills fully to the economy as soon as possible. This is good for newcomers, good for the economy, and good for all Canadians.”
There are two new steps to the new selection system.
First, applicants will have to demonstrate that they meet the minimum language threshold, which is level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmark assessment system.
Applicants will be able to get a language assessment from existing agencies designated by CIC and listed on their website.
Second, applicants will have their education credentials assessed prior to arriving in Canada.
A list of assessment organizations designated by the Minister will be made available early in the New Year.
The assessment of foreign educational credentials will provide prospective newcomers with a more realistic understanding of how their credentials compare to education standards in Canada.
It will also give them the opportunity to upgrade their education prior to coming to Canada if they choose.
It is important to note that these changes will not apply to people who have applied to the FSWP prior to May 4, 2013, with a qualifying arranged-job offer or under the Ph.D. stream.
As recently announced, due to the actions taken over the past months, new applications under the FSWP will be processed in a few months, rather than a few years.
In order to ensure fast processing times and to avoid backlogs, the new FSWP will accept a fixed number of applications each year.
In the medium term, Canada is also moving forward to develop and implement an Expression of Interest (EOI) model, which will provide employers with access to a pool of skilled workers.
Posted: Dec 31, 2012