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Immigration Newsweek

By Atty. Henry Moyal


Of the approximately 200,000 immigrant visas issued per year, 40% of them are issued to economic immigrants and their dependants. The Government of Canada in its 2012 Economic Action Plan Budget announced that it wants to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system with a primary focus on meeting Canada’s labour market needs. In particular, the plan is to implement a system that will ensure immigrants are ready to work and that a person’s credentials are assessed properly by Canadian standards so that immigrants can enter the work force faster and be readily available to employers in the labour market.

In response to the above agenda, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has now proposed a triple-plan approach to improve economic immigration outcomes. They are:

#1: Update the FSWC (Federal Skilled Worker Class) by rebalancing the points among existing criteria, introducing mandatory language thresholds, requiring an educational credential assessment at the time of application if the educational credential submitted is from a foreign jurisdiction, streamlining the arranged employment process, and reducing the potential for fraudulent job offers under the Arranged Employment factor;

In particular, Canada Immigration is proposing to require a minimum level of English proficiency to qualify and to significantly increase the maximum number of points awarded to those who are fluent in English. This is excellent news for nationals of the Philippines whose main language of instruction in school is English. Currently, the maximum score for English is 16, under the proposal the maximum will be 24.

As well, more points will be given to applicants who are younger. Applicants between 18 -35 would be awarded 12 points (currently maximum score is 10).

Less points for work experience will be awarded. Currently the maximum points for work is 21 and under the new system will be 15.

Relative points will likely remain the same but under a new twist, Canada immigration wants to set a minimum age criteria for the assisted relative to increase the likelihood that the relative will be able to play a role in facilitating the applicant’s integration into Canada. In theory it makes sense – an applicant who has a 75 year old grandparent will likely not receive much assistance integrating as opposed to a sibling in his twenties.

#2 :Introduce a new Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) to facilitate the immigration of certain skilled tradespersons in Canada, in response to labor market needs.

The new FSTC would be open to skilled tradespersons with experience in the following occupational areas: Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades; Maintenance and Equipment Operation Trades; Supervisors and TechnicalOccupations in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production; Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and Central Control Operators; as well as Chefs and Cooks, and Bakers and Butchers. Applicants to the proposed program would be required to meet requirements with respect to language ability, provincial qualifications and have at least two years of work experience.

#3: Reduce the CEC work experience requirement to one year of work. In particular, applicants who can demonstrate 12 months of work experience (within the last 36 months) in Canada in a skilled position would qualify. Currently, workers must accumulate 24 months of work experience within the last 36 months.

The above are preliminary proposals and final amendments to be announced in future.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario.The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document.Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email or call 416 733 3193