Winnipeg, Canada | Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Friday, 03 September 2010 06:32

Recent Changes to the Canadian Federal Skilled Workers Program

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Effective June 26, 2010 significant changes were introduced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) program to reflect the changing requirements of the Canadian economy, reduce the remaining backlog of outstanding FSW applications and streamline the application process.

The following changes were made:

1. The number of FSW eligible categories was reduced from three to two.
2. The number of “in-demand “occupations was reduced from 38 to 29.
3. The proof of language proficiency (eg. IELTS test scores) is required at the time of application submission.
4. A maximum cap of 1,000 applications per eligible NOC (ie. in-demand occupation), per year. The limit does not apply to applicants with HRSDC approved Arranged Employment Offer (AEO).

Remaining Eligible Categories:

The two (2) remaining FSW eligible categories that will be considered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada are:

a. Category 1 - The applicant has at least one (1) year continuous, full time or equivalent part-time, paid work experience in at least one of the 29 in-demand occupations WITHIN the last ten (10) years OR

b. Category 2 - The applicant has an Arranged Employment Offer (AEO) consistent with the requirements of IRPR subsection 82 (2)

Revised list of In-Demand Occupations:

The previous list of 38 “in-demand” FSW eligible occupations has been updated and reduced to 29 occupations. Effective June 26, 2010, twenty (20) of the previous 38 “in-demand” occupations were removed and 11 new occupations were added.

Listed below are the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes and job titles of the 20 occupations that used to be “in-demand” that were removed:

1. NOC 0111 - Financial Managers
2. NOC 0213 - Computer and Information Systems Managers
3. NOC 0311 - Managers in Health Care
4. NOC 0632-  Accommodation Service Managers
5. NOC 0711 – Construction Managers
6. NOC 1111 – Financial Auditors and Accountants
7. NOC 2113 – Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists
8. NOC 2143 - Mining Engineers
9. NOC 2144 – Geological Engineers
10. NOC 2145 – Petroleum Engineers
11. NOC 3141 – Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists
12. NOC 3143 – Occupational Therapists
13. NOC 3151 – Head Nurses and Supervisors
14. NOC 4121 – University Professors
15. NOC 4131 – College and Other Vocational Instructors
16. NOC 7213 – Contractors and Supervisors, Pipefitting Trades
17. NOC 7217 – Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Construction Equipment Crews
18. NOC 7252 – Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers
19. NOC 8221 – Supervisors, Mining and Quarrying
20. NOC 9212 – Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities

Listed below are the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes and job titles of the 11 new “in-demand” occupations that were added:
1. NOC 0811 – Primary Production managers (except Agriculture)
2. NOC 1122 – Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
3. NOC 1233 – Insurance Adjusters and Claims examiners
4. NOC 2121 – Biologists and Related Scientists
5. NOC 2151-  Architects
6. NOC 3113 – Dentists
7. NOC 3131 – Pharmacists
8. NOC 3222 – Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists
9. NOC 4151 - Psychologists
10. NOC 4152 – Social Workers
11. NOC 7216 – Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades

The new list of 29 “in-demand” FSW occupations and their respective NOCs:
NOC 0631 - Restaurant and Food Service Managers
NOC 0811 - Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)
NOC 1122 - Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
NOC 1233 - Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners
NOC 2121 - Biologists and Related Scientists
NOC 2151 - Architects
NOC 3111 - Specialist Physicians
NOC 3112 - General Practitioners and Family Physicians
NOC 3113 - Dentists
NOC 3131 - Pharmacists
NOC 3142 - Physiotherapists
NOC 3152 - Registered Nurses
NOC 3215 - Medical Radiation Technologists
NOC 3222 - Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists
NOC 3233 - Licensed Practical Nurses
NOC 4151 - Psychologists
NOC 4152 - Social Workers
NOC 6241 - Chefs
NOC 6242 - Cooks
NOC 7215 - Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
NOC 7216 - Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
NOC 7241 - Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System)
NOC 7242 - Industrial Electricians
NOC 7251 - Plumbers
NOC 7265 - Welders & Related Machine Operators
NOC 7312 - Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
NOC 7371 - Crane Operators
NOC 7372 - Drillers & Blasters - Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction
NOC 8222 - Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

NOTE: The occupations listed above are all Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) list.

Proof of Language Proficiency:
The proof of language proficiency  (eg. IELTS test scores) is now required upon submission of the FSW application. There are no exceptions to this requirement, including applicants from English speaking countries like the U.S., U.K, Australia, etc. To obtain maximum points in the IELTS exams, the applicant needs to score at least 6.5 out of 9 in the Reading, Speaking, Writing tests and at least 7.5 out of 9 in the Listening test.

Limit on applicants per NOC, per year:
Effective June 26, 2010 FSW applicants applying under Category 1 will be limited to 1,000 approved applicants per in-demand NOC, per year. The first year will begin on June 26, 2010 and end on June 30, 2011. Subsequent years will be calculated from July 1st to June 30th. It is therefore important to have the applications submitted as soon as possible. All FSW Category 1 -applications received after the 1,000th approved applicant, per in-demand NOC, per year will be returned and will have to be re-submitted the following year.

There are no limits in FSW – Category 2, applicants with Arranged Employment Offer (AEO).

The policy change was implemented because Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) was receiving a huge number of federal skilled worker applications than it can effectively process and complete each year. They have more than enough FSW applications on hand to fill Canada’s labour needs. The cap (ie. limit) was introduced to better manage the number of FSW applications CIC receives and balance the applications received to meet the changing labour market requirements. Without the limit on applications, the FSW processing times will get longer and the target FSW processing time of between 6 to 12 months will be difficult to maintain.

Legal Disclaimer:
This article is designed for general information only. The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a consultant/client relationship. Each individual situation is different and people should seek proper advice on their specific cases with a licensed immigration consultant.