The new Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP”) will begin accepting applications as of May 4, 2013. A “temporary pause” on the acceptance of new FSWP applications (subject only to limited exceptions) has been in place since July 1, 2012.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has recently reminded applicants who may be preparing to submit applications that it still expects to announce three important elements of the FSWP in April 2013, which will have a significant impact on who can apply under the program. These elements include:
- The cap on the number of applications that will be accepted in the first year;
- The new list of priority occupations; and
- The organizations that will be designated to conduct educational assessments.
Each of these elements is briefly described below.
Cap on the Number of Applications
Prior to July 1, 2012, FSWP applicants who did not have an offer of employment in Canada were limited to a total overall cap of 10,000 a year and a sub-cap of 500 per year applicable to each of the twenty-nine eligible priority occupations. CIC is expected to announce the total cap that will be imposed on such applications during the first year of the new FSWP, as well as the sub-cap applicable to each eligible occupation.
New List of Priority Occupations
CIC is expected to announce a new list of priority occupations that will apply under the new FSWP. FSWP applicants who fall under one of these priority applications will be permitted to apply without a job offer.
Designated Educational Assessment Organizations
The new FSWP requires the designation of organizations and professional bodies that will act as credential evaluators. These designated evaluators will authenticate individual foreign credentials and determine their equivalent in Canada for the purposes of the FSWP:
- Applicants in regulated occupations will be required to submit the relevant designated professional body’s foreign credential evaluation establishing that the foreign credential is equivalent to the Canadian educational credential required to practice in that occupation.
- Applicants in non-regulated occupations will be required to submit a foreign educational assessment provided by a designed organization to demonstrate that their educational credential is equivalent to a Canadian educational credential.
Applicants whose credentials do not exist in Canada or do not have a credential equivalent to the completed Canadian version in Canada will not be eligible under the FSWP.
CIC cautions future applicants that anyone preparing their application before this information is announced will do so at their own risk. Applications that do not meet the requirements that will be announced in April 2013 will not be processed.