The strong voice of a great community
November, 2012

Back to Index


Changes to Canada's Skilled Worker Program



Canada's Minister of Immigration has released his draft amendments to Canada's Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program (the "points system").




He says that in the past there has been a mismatch between what kinds of immigrants Canada receives and what kinds of immigrants Canada needs, which is evident in the fact that too many new immigrants do not find work that matches their experience and too many employers cannot find appropriate workers.




He hopes that, in particular, these new rules will do a better job of identifying immigrants who can settle successfully in Canada.




The new regulations will change the way the points are distributed between different skills and experiences. Language skills (English or French) were previously worth up to 16 points out of 100. Under the proposed system language skills will be worth up to 24 points out of 100. This reflects the government's belief that better language skills are essential to successful establishment in Canada.




The government also believes that age upon arrival is a significant settlement factor and so has increased the maximum points for age from 10 to 12, but will only award full points to applicants 35 years old and younger (down from 50 years old).




The maximum points awarded for work experience will fall from 21 points to 15 points.




The maximum points awarded for education will remain the same: 25 points. However, there will be a new agency that will assess the value of the foreign education against Canadian standards.




Having a Canadian government approved job offer ("arranged employment") will continue to earn a candidate up to 10 points.




Candidates will get up to 10 points for "adaptability" depending upon the quality of the spouse's English or French language skills, the level of the spouse's education, whether or not the candidate has a Canadian government approved job offer; and whether or not the candidate or spouse has Canadian education, Canadian work experience, or family in Canada.




The pass mark continues to be 67 points.




There will be a limit on how many skilled workers will be accepted each year, meaning that every year there will be a race among hopeful applicants to see who can get their applications filed before the category is closed.




There will also be supports in place to make it easier for Canadian employers to understand the credentials individual immigrants bring with them to Canada, which in turn should make it easier for new immigrants to find employment.


In coming newsletters I will introduce you to the new Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) and the changes to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).




Gregory James is an immigration lawyer with over 24 years of experience / 416.538.1301