Changes announced to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades Program
Changes Announced: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades Program
On April 23, 2014 Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that Ministerial Instructions will be announced on April 26th regarding the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
The FSW program will re-open, and continue to be an attractive immigration option to many skilled workers without a Canadian job offer. As of May 1st, 2014The Eligible Occupation Stream will introduce the following improvements:
-New Eligible Occupation List with 50 Eligible Occupations
-Higher overall maximum – 25000 is the new maximum
-Higher occupation sub-caps – A maximum of 1000 applications can be accepted from each eligible occupation
No Changes Announced to Points-System
No announcement was made about the points-system undergoing changing. The current (2013) FSW eligibility system requires:
1- At least 1 year of full-time, skilled work experience
2- Language test results demonstrating at least an intermediate language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark 7) in English or French
3- An Educational Credential Assessment by a designated organization
4- Work experience in an eligible occupation
New Occupation List – 50 Eligible Occupations
The New Occupation list introduces many occupations that did not appear on last year’s list (nurses, senior managers, financial managers, software engineers, information system consultants) and re-introduces many popular occupations that did appear last year (civil engineers, computer programmers etc.). The complete new Eligible Occupation Stream list is available at:
This announcement is amazing news for eligible applicants around the world. Not only did the FSW program open, it expanded. This is the first year since caps were introduced in 2010 that the FSW program has increased its caps or number of eligible occupation.
Changes Also Announced For Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) will now have an overall cap of 8000 applications and have sub –caps of 200 for each occupation classified as NOC B (Occupations with the second digit of 2 or 3 occupations usually require college education or apprenticeship training). There will also be 6 occupations that are considered ineligible:
NOC 1221 – Administrative officers
NOC 1241- Administrative assistants
NOC 1311- Accounting technicians/bookkeepers
NOC 6233 – Cooks
NOC 6311 – Food Service Supervisors
NOC 6211 – Retain Sales Supervisors
Federal Skilled Trades Program Changes
The Federal Skilled Trades program will have an overall cap of 5000 and 90 trades from NOC B occupations will be eligible with sub-caps of 100.
With the current Federal Skilled Worker program scheduled to expire on April 30th, 2014, applicants are anxiously awaiting the announcement of a new program.
In recent years, the significant application processing wait times for Canadian immigration programs have put prospective Canadians at a disadvantage and created uncertainty for future immigrants.This issue was clearly recognized by the Canadian Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, who has voiced his commitment to reducing wait times on a number of occasions, noting that his main goal for the portfolio in 2014 was “delivering better, faster service to immigrants and visitors to Canada.” The Minister expressed a clear understanding of the necessity to expedite the application process, stating that “we [the Canadian Government] have to move at the speed of business in our immigration system.”
The Nova Scotia Nominee Program has received a large number of applications for the Regional Labour Market Demand Stream; however, they will only be accepting 150 applications in total this year.
Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced yesterday that the Canadian government will introduce a new immigration model in 2015. The new model will be called “Express Entry” and should make Canada’s immigration system faster, more flexible, and more competitive compared to other countries. The main goal of the model is to improve how immigration meets the economic and labour needs of different regions across Canada.
As of April 1, 2014, the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program has been extended for another year. The main difference this time is that there will be only 6,500 applications accepted for review. This is a drastic reduction from the previous year, when there was a cap/maximum of 20,000. It is important to note that the nature of this program is first-come first-served; therefore it may reach its cap before the year is up.
Recently, the immigration department of the government of Nova Scotia announced on its website that they have received a very high volume of applications for this stream and that the pre-screening for determining which of the 150 applications they will accept for processing is a lengthy process. The Nova Scotia immigration department is asking that individuals not contact them about the processing of their files because they are busy evaluating the applications they have received.
By 2020, British Columbia estimates to have 1 million job openings, most of which will be available within the next three years. According to Dave Byng, B.C.’s Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, it will be necessary for the province to look overseas to fill these positions.
As Canada's population ages, the economy grows in emerging sectors, and birth rates remain low, there is going to be a continuing increase in the shortage of skilled workers in the province of British Columbia.
Effective as of April 1st, 2014, a new number of maximum applications will be received by the Ministère de l'immigration du Quebec, and will be in effect until March 25th, 2015. The new quota put in place by Immigration Quebec in no way effects Canadian Immigration programs currently in effect. The Ministère, limiting the amount of applications it will process will allow them to attend to a greater number of pending applications, and will therefore reduce the processing time of all applications in the queue.
Canadian Bar Association
Québec Bar Association
Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association