Today the Minister of Immigration announced major changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Class of immigrants to take effect in January 1, 2013. These changes will significantly change the program as it will be focussed more on workers who do NOT have experience in trades or construction. These would typically be technicians, professionals and managers.

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The new Federal Skilled Trades Class will favour trades or construction workers who have job offers. There are also changes to the Canada Experience Class.

Please note that most of the 13 provinces and territories have their own skilled worker classes called “Provincial Nominee Programs” and that often they are a better choice than any federal class because they may be easier to qualify under (many have easier point systems or they may only require that you have a job in their province) or they may offer faster processing times. Provincial programs may also may not require language or educational assessments so that would allow you to apply much earlier.

Also remember that anyone with an approved job offer can still apply under the current rules before the new rules take effect January 1, 2013.

Here are the highlights of the changes in the Federal Skilled Worker Class

  • The Passmark will remain at 67 points.
  • Language points will be increased from 16 to 24 for the first official language and will be reduced from 8 to 4 for the second official language. Also, there will be new minimum language requirements. Previously, there were no minimum language requirements. Now you would be required to have intermediate level skills or higher in all of the language skills: listening, writing, speaking and reading.
  • Age points will be increased from a maximum of 10 to 12 for those who are up to 35 years of age and will reduce 1 point per year. So people 47 or over will receive no points for age but may still qualify if they get enough points from other factors.
  • Work Experience. Points are reduced from a maximum of 21 to 15 and are more difficult to get as follows: 6+ years 15 points, 4-5 years 13 points, 2-3 years 11 points, 1 year 9 points
  • Education – the maximum points remains at 25 but they will be awarded slightly differently depending on the amount of total years of education and the level of education reached. The big change here is that Applicants will be required to have their education and training certificates assessed before they apply by an agency who will determine what the equivalent Canadian level of education is. This will add time and cost to the process before you apply.
  • Spouse – The education of the Applicant’s spouse will no longer get the Applicant any points. However the language of the Applicant’s spouse may get the Applicant 5 points.

Please contact my law firm if you would like further information. We normally start by assessing your situation to determine which option would fit you the best.

I am a Canadian immigration lawyer with 27 experience, we give honest and solid legal advice about the best way for you to come to Canada and we prepare all applications needed to get you into Canada smoothly.

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