The Federal Skilled worker program was once the backbone of our immigration system. However, many leading professionals have been paying close attention to the actions of Canadian lawmakers and they seem to agree that the program is undergoing massive government reform that is signalling a major shift in our Immigration policy.
Over the past 4 years, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has introduced new instructions to direct Visa Officers as to which Skilled Worker applications will be eligible for processing. The program was once designed to attract individuals who possess the requisite levels of education, work experience, age and language abilities under one of Canada’s official languages. It was open to hundreds of eligible occupations and based on an objective points assessment of six selection factors which demonstrated an individual’s likelihood to become economically established in Canada. Given the massive government regulation it has undergone, it may no longer present a future viable Immigration strategy.
As it stands today, there are only 29 eligible occupations that can apply under the Federal Skilled Worker program. However, an annual cap system in place continually limits the number of applications that can be processed in any one year with respect to each occupation. Each individual occupation has a cap limit, but there is also an overall maximum of 10,000 federal skilled worker applications that will be considered for processing in the eligible 12 months. While PhD applications are subject to a separate annual cap of 1,000, cap limitations do not apply to applications with an offer of arranged employment.
The most viable way out of the restrictive new Federal Skilled Worker regime is for foreign nationals who have been offered permanent employment by a Canadian employer. Depending on your circumstances, the requirements for a valid offer of employment are different.
Under the current Federal Skilled Worker program, for your application to be eligible for processing, you must:
- have a valid offer of Arranged Employment, OR
- have one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in at least one eligible occupation, OR
- be an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet certain other criteria.
Once minimum requirements are demonstrated, successful Applicants must be awarded sufficient units of assessment (points) under the existing skilled worker point grid comprising of the six selection factors. The current pass mark is 67 points.
Your professional work experience must be:
- for at least one year, continuous, and paid (full-time or the equivalent in part-time), AND
- Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupation Classification (NOC) List.
Applicants must also demonstrate a financial ability to settle in Canada according to the minimum suitable settlement funding criteria. They must also undergo successful criminal/security background and medical examination to determine that the Applicant is not otherwise inadmissible to Canada.
The Future of the Federal Skilled Worker Program
Under the new rules the Minister of Citizenship Immigration will have greater flexibility in processing Economic Class applications by giving priority to applicants legally working or studying in Canada via the recently constituted Canadian Experience Class immigration stream. The Minister is also driving qualified Applicants to utilize Provincial nominee programs as means of achieving lawful permanent residency.
Having considered the changing legal and political environment, for those who have no alternative to the Federal Skilled Worker program, it is expected that the majority of new federal skilled worker applications will require some form of employer based sponsorship to readily qualify. By restricting the number of eligible occupations under the new Ministerial instructions to 29 and an annual cap system that grows increasingly restrictive, this signifies a new change in philosophy for Canadian migration policy.
Some observers believe this may be in response to the economic recession that hit the world this past year. However, many leading professionals such as Eddie H. Kadri believe this signifies valuable insight into Government projections as to the anticipated future economic conditions in the Canadian marketplace. Regardless, this new system clearly favors applicants with a “foot in the door” so to speak, by providing a tremendous advantage to those who secure Arranged Employment in Canada in advance of applying.
Eddie H. Kadri is among Canada’s leading Immigration law professionals. From the world’s largest companies, to small business owners, to immigrants around the world, Eddie H. Kadri has the expertise and practice skills critical to your success. Mr. Kadri devises strategies unique to each client, while optimizing success by his deep understanding of the legal and procedural nuances associated with the practice of immigration law.
Eddie H. Kadri has strategically located his practice in close proximity to North America’s preeminent international crossing, the Windsor-Detroit corridor connecting Canada and the US. Widely regarded as the gateway to North America, we’re situated in the heart of the world’s largest international trade route, just minutes from primary Canadian Immigration processing centers.
Eddie H. Kadri has a diverse range of professional interests and private sector partnerships that has uniquely positioned him as a leading full service provider. In an increasingly competitive and mobile market place, Mr. Kadri is well positioned to help clients adapt and respond to Canada’s shifting Immigration Policy. His belief that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, in an effort to greatly restrict the use of the Federal Skilled Worker program, has signalling a major shift in the country’s immigration policy is supported by other top professionals.
The reality is many once-qualified professionals must now consider alternative Immigration strategies if they seek lawful Canadian Permanent Residence. In order to ensure you receive the best possible legal representation to understand your most viable Immigration strategies, you should contact Eddie H. Kadri for a comprehensive evaluation and assessment.