The race is on. The Canadian government has reopened its immigration program for professionals and began taking receipt of Federal Skilled Worker applications on May 4.
This is the program under which most immigrants have arrived in Canada in recent years, and so is a vital part of Canada’s immigration strategy.
However, there are four very important factors hopeful candidates should be aware of:
First, Canada will only process the first 300 applications it receives in each job category. There is also an overall cap of 5,000 applications.
Second, the government will be unforgiving with respect to technical and program requirements. Clerical errors, let alone more substantial errors, will lead to otherwise good applications being rejected.
Third, the government has changed the way that points will be calculated. You should not assume that you will qualify under the new process just because your previous calculations said you would qualify under the old process.
Fourth, the list of qualifying work experience has changed. To qualify, candidates must show they have at least one year of work experience in one of 24 occupations.
These factors should encourage hopeful applicants to move quickly but with great care to have their applications properly prepared and filed. It is very possible that where applications are returned because of clerical or other mistakes it may be too late to be filed again.
The applicants must meet minimum requirements with respect to factors that include English and/or French language skills, education, relevant work experience, age, and adaptability.
Where a candidate has a job offer from a Canadian employer, that candidate may be exempted from some of the criteria that apply to other candidates. Most importantly, that candidate can apply even if his/her job is not on the list of 24.
Those who can apply under this category also include PhD graduates from provincially or territorially recognized private or public post-secondary educational institutions in Canada. A maximum of 1,000 applications will be processed under this stream.
– Gregory James
• Gregory James is an immigration lawyer with over 25 years of experience. He can be reached at 416-538-1301 or at gjames@GregoryJamesLaw.com.Posted: Jun 5, 2013