Changes to Canadian Foreign Skilled Workers Program Take Effect May 4th, 2013

May 3, 2013:

In April, the Canadian Federal Government announced changes to the Foreign Skilled Workers Program (FSW) which take effect May 4th, 2013. Among these changes include an updated eligibility list, new minimum language proficiency requirements, and a list of organizations designated to perform assessments of educational credentials.

The three streams for applicants that qualify under the FSW are:

  • Possessing qualifying work experience in an occupation on the eligible occupation list;
  • Possessing a qualifying offer of arranged employment; or
  • Credentials for eligibility under the PhD stream.

Eligible Occupations

The Canadian eligible occupation list has been updated to include 24 occupations which include engineering and medical professions. When submitting an application through the eligible occupations stream, note that there is an overall maximum cap of 5,000 applicants, and a maximum of 300 applicants per occupation.

Minimum Language Threshold

All FSW applicants are required to submit English or French language test results which qualify as a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 in all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).

Arranged Employment

Eligibility under the Arranged Employment stream is subject to the following changes:

  • Arranged Employment Opinions (AEOs) have been eliminated – employers will only be required to submit a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) in most cases;
  • Applicants already working in Canada under a federal-provincial or international agreement will only require a valid work permit and a permanent job offer (LMO is no longer necessary); and
  • Applicants already working in Canada but not under one of the previously mentioned agreements will still require a LMO.

Assessment of Educational Credentials

All applicants with educational credentials obtained outside of Canada are now required to submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) along with their applications. The four organizations designated to provide ECAs are:

  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
  • World Education Services; and
  • Medical Council of Canada.

For a full overview of changes to the FSW, please visit CIC’s backgrounder of the new FSW.

This Relo-lert is intended for informational use only. If you have any questions regarding the impact of this information on your organization, please contact All Points Relocation at [email protected].

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