On August 17, 2012, the federal government announced changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. While not a surprise (as changes have been proposed earlier in various forums), their impact will be significant.
Among the changes, were adjustments to the points system
More points for language – More points will be given to federal skilled workers who are fluent in one of Canada’s official languages, up to 24 from 16.
Minimum language standards – Perhaps more significant, applicants will also have to meet minimum language standards to be eligible as a skilled worker. The current level being proposed is CLB Level 7 in all four abilities (speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing). CLB Level 7 means “adequate intermediate proficiency.”
More points for younger workers – The maximum number of points that can be achieved for age has increased to 12 from 10. The maximum points will now given to those between the ages of 18 and 35 and no points are given to those 47 and older. However, those over 47 are not excluded from applying. In the previous system, the maximum number of points were given to those between 21 and 49.
Reducing points for work experience – The maximum number of points that can be received for work experience is 15 down from 21, and to achieve full points an applicant needs six years of experience, not four as in the previous system.
Requiring an educational assessment – The federal government is proposing that applicants provide an educational assessment proving equivalency with Canadian requirements. The federal government will procure the services of a third party assessor to undertake this work on the government’s behalf, or designate a professional body in the case of regulated occupations.
While the points system mix has changed, the pass mark remains at 67.
|Current Points System||Proposed Changes|
|Pass mark = 67 points||Pass mark = 67 points|
|First Official Language:
No official language ability
|16||First Official Language:
New Mandatory Minimum
Initially set at CLB/NCLC 7.
|Second Official Language:||8||Second Official Language:
To achieve maximum 4 points,
CLB/NCLC 5 in all abilities.
|Work Experience:||21||Work Experience:||15|
Points will be awarded based on
an assessment of educational
credentials by a designated
organization, indicating the foreign
educational credential’s equivalent
|Arranged Employment:||10||Arranged Employment:||10|
Other announced changes
New class for skilled tradespersons
Skilled tradesperson (NOC level B only) will be eligible to become permanent residents in this class if they:
- have a job offer(s) that guarantee a full year of employment or a certificate of qualification from a provincial body;
- meet minimum language requirements at CLB Level 5;
- have at least two years of work experience in their field; and
- meet other employment requirements (except for certification and licensure – in regulated trades can be registered as apprentices, in unregulated trades a job offer will suffice).
Reduce the eligibility requirements for the Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class will reduce its work experience requirement to 12 months from 24 months.
These changes are anticipated to come into affect early in the new year. The current moratorium on applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program is expected to be lifted at that time.
Interested in more details about what other changes the federal government has been making to immigration policy?
Naomi Alboim is cataloging recent developments in a report that will be released by Maytree on October 4.
In the meantime, read this recent Maytree commentary for our views on recent changes to immigration policy.
- Changes to immigration policy will affect nearly all aspects of Canadian life
- Choosing the right new Canadian
- A pause on skilled worker applications does not pause our work: Ratna Omidvar
- Consultation season is upon us
- Bottom line immigration?
- Naomi Alboim – What does the future hold? Recent changes in Canadian immigration
- News Release – Revised Federal Skilled Worker Program Unveiled
- Toronto Star - New immigration system will award more points for language, fewer for work abroad
- Globe and Mail – Canada’s new immigration rules put premium on young people
- Globe and Mail – Infographic: Canada’s new rules for measuring prospective immigrants