By Atty. Henry Moyal
As mentioned in previous articles of Immigration Newsweek, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program to take effect on May 4th, 2013. While the official launch of the program and its laws are not yet official, there are key elements that have been proposed. In order to qualify for a Canada Immigrant Visa, professional applicants must:
* Have at least one year of continuous full-time work experience in the past 10 years
* Pass a minimum threshold of language ability in English or French
* Attain at least 67 points based on Canada`s immigration selection factors. To accumulate the required 67 points the following summarizes the selection factors:
- Education: Secondary and post secondary completion is an important part of demonstrating one can be economically established in Canada. As such, up to 25 points are awarded for education.
- Language Skills: Applicants who have been educated in the English language and who have a strong command of English will advantage as the points for English have been increased. Now a maximum of 24 points are allotted for English (in the past max was only 16). Therefore, nationals of the Philippines (who in general have high proficiency in English) will be able to score a large amount of points under this factor.
- Work Experience: Applicants who have a long history of working will be able to obtain more points for work experience. In the past, any work after four years was superfluous. Now, applicants with six years of more of work experience will be awarded 15 points. It should be noted that an applicant must have at least one year of one experience to apply ( 9 points ).
- Age: It is no secret that Canada is aiming to attract the young. As such, applicants who are between 18 – 35 will obtain the maximum points of 12. Applicants 47 or older will not obtain age points but can still qualify under accumulation of other criteria.
- Adaptability: Bonus points will be given to applicants on factors that are expected to improve an applicant`s ability to become economically established. For example, having a relative will award an applicant 5 points and having a spouse with English proficiency will gain an applicant 5 points.
It should be noted that the above category has been designated for skilled workers (for example: nurses, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, licensed practical nurses, social workers). Applicants in trade occupations ( electricians, welders, plumbers) have their own category called the Federal Skilled Trades Program which does not require any education, does not have an age limit and does not have a 67 point score. It is a pass or fail program and is currently open. As well, other programs that have now opened focus on job offers and provincial nomination.
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.