November 1, 2012:
Earlier in September, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada had proposed legislative regulations that will allow
- Easier access to the Canada Experience Class (CEC);
- Changes to selection criteria for the Foreign Skilled Worker (FSW) Class;
- The creation of the new visa category for Foreign Skilled Trades Class (FSTC); and
- The creation of a new startup entrepreneur visa program.
Canada Experience Class (CEC)
The most beneficial change for employers relates to the changes to the CEC category, which grants applicants a visa based on prior experience and exposure to work in Canada (or combined work and study).
The required amount of experience has been reduced from two years of skilled employment in Canada to one year, easing the transition from temporary foreign worker to permanent resident. Applicants must still pass an English or French proficiency test and satisfy an officer of having been employed in Canada in a skilled occupation.
Foreign Skilled Worker (FSW) Class
The new regulations will increase points for language ability in French or English (24 points total as opposed to the current 16) and being younger (12 points as opposed to 10 for being 18-35). The passing mark remains at 67 points out of the 100 available.
Other changes to the FSW class include the elimination for the Arranged Employment Opinion, to be replaced by a Labour Market Opinion, a new requirement to have foreign education and credentials to be equalized to Canadian standards and a new mandatory minimum standard for French or English ability.
Foreign Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)
The CIC have created this new visa category in an effort to combat the ongoing shortage of skilled workers (e.g. those working in industrial, electrical, construction trades, among others). In order to qualify, applicants must satisfy four minimum requirements:
- Have a qualifying job offer from up to two employers totaling at least one year or a Certificate of Qualification from a provincial apprenticeship authority;
- Meet a minimum threshold in French or English;
- 24 months of experience within the past five years in the relevant skilled trade occupation; and
- Qualifications that meet the occupational requirements outlined in the government’s National Occupation Classification system
These changes are scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2013. For more information regarding these changes and how they will affect your firm, please contact us at [email protected]