New Federal Skilled Worker Program


On November 2nd, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny announced that throughout the year 2013, the Canadian immigration system will go from being ridden with back-logs to being fast, efficient and reflective of the labour market’s needs.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) plan of action is to admit 55, 300 individuals under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program over the year 2013, so that by the end of the year, they will be in a position to process new applications as they come in. Their goal is to be able to process all applications in less than a year, as opposed to taking up to 8 years under the previous system. Furthermore, CIC plans on finalizing all FSW applications that have been received to date by the end of 2014, three years ahead of time.

The new Canadian immigration programs are placing an emphasis on recruiting individuals with the right skills to meet the demand in the Canadian labour market. They will also be aiming to fast track certain applications.  The goal is to have newly landed Canadian immigrants working within months as opposed to years.

Canadian immigration minister Kenney emphasized that “immigration backlogs are detrimental to our ability to attract the world’s talent,” and that “the government’s number one priority remains the economy and job growth”.

The main issue with the Federal Skilled Worker program over the past years has always been related to volume. The Canadian immigration offices would receive significantly more applications than they were able to process in a timely manner. As a result, a backlog of applications was created and the processing times managed to approach 8 years. Over the past 4 years, CIC has put in place regulations in order to control the volume of applications they receive. In 2008, CIC imposed a limit on FSW application to only priority occupations. In 2010, they added caps to the number of applications they would accept. In 2012, they returned any applications that were submitted before February 27th, 2008 in an attempt to rid themselves of their significant backlog. A moratorium was then put on the Federal Skilled Worker program so that Canadian immigration officials could truly clear out their system and prepare themselves for the new and improved system.

The year 2013 will certainly see the Federal Skilled Worker program transform into an efficient and practical Canadian immigration category. The first step will be to ensure that applications are only being accepted from individuals with qualifications that will lend themselves well to the Canadian labour market. The second step will be to make sure that these individual’s applications are processed within 12 months. The final step will be to make sure that they are able to integrate into the Canadian labour market with ease.

Find out if you qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program, by taking our online assessment form at

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