Changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program


Citizenship and Immigration Canada recently conducted consultations regarding the selection system for Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program, in an effort to maximize efficiency for Canadian immigration applicants.

The program uses a point based selection system that has remained relatively unchanged since its inception in 2002. The system examines the worker’s capacity to adapt to life and work in Canada. The Federal Skilled Worker program is weighted out of 100 points and considers factors such as education, work experience, knowledge of Canada’s official languages, as well as other factors that may help the applicant become economically stable.

Canadian immigration authorities concluded, that changes should be made to help Canada select immigrants that will contribute to Canadian society in a more significant capacity. Meetings were conducted through roundtable discussions, as well as online. According to Canadian Immigration, the views of the various stakeholders were consistent, for the most part, although some distinct viewpoints highlighted issues in key areas. The most notable areas were; Language, Age, Education, Work Experience and Arranged Employment.

Based on the feedback from the consultations, key changes under current consideration include:

• introducing minimum official language thresholds and increasing points for language;

• making changes to the assessment of education points to reflect a foreign educational credential’s value in Canada;

• redistributing points for age to benefit younger immigrants who will be active members of the workforce for a longer timeframe;

• reducing points for foreign work experience and increasing points for Canadian work experience;

• increasing the integrity of and simplifying the process for the Arranged Employment factor; and

• facilitating the immigration of skilled tradespersons through criteria that are more specific to those in the skilled trades.

It is not yet certain when these changes will be implemented to the current Federal Skilled Worker program, but it will most likely take place within the next year. Any potential applicants for Canadian Immigration should determine whether they qualify under the current program. If so, it would be beneficial for these individuals to apply under the current system as they may no longer qualify after changes come into effect.

For more information, contact FWCanada – Canadian immigration law firm

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