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On June 24, 2011, the Government of Canada introduced substantivefederal skilled worker changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Class. The new rules will affect all new applications effectively immediately. Under existing policy, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, provides assurances that new federal skilled worker applications, should receive an approval within 6 to 12 months.

Federal Skilled Workers are persons with suitable education, work experience, age and language abilities under one of Canada’s official languages and who are selected as permanent residents under six selection factors which demonstrate their likelihood to become economically settled in Canada.

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To qualify for admission to Canada as a federal skilled worker, applicants must meet the following conditions:

  1. Eliminatory conditions:
    • Possess at least one year of applicable experience in one of 29 major high demand occupations listed here; OR
    • Possess an approved offer of employment “Arranged Employment”.
* On demand Occupation for skilled worker :
  • Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)
  • Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
  • Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners
  • Biologists and Related Scientists
  • Architects
  • Specialist Physicians
  • General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Registered Nurses
  • Medical Radiation Technologists
  • Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
  • Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System)
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Welders & Related Machine Operators
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • Crane Operators
  • Drillers & Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction
  • Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

Applicants who meet one of the above eliminatory conditions will be eligible for continued processing as a federal skilled worker and must also meet each of the following essential selection conditions:

  1. Essential selection conditions:
    • Possess one-year, within the previous 10 years, of suitable continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment; AND
    • The work experience must be classified within Skill Type 0 (Managerial Occupations), Skill Level A (Professional Occupations), or Skill Level B (Technical Occupations and Skilled Trades) within the meaning of the National Occupational Classification system; AND
    • Score sufficient points under the skilled worker point grid comprising of six selection factors. The current pass mark is 67 points; AND
    • Undergo language testing from a recognized third party;
    • Possess suitable settlement funding; AND
    • Undergo a successful security background and medical examination.

The new rules implement an annual overall limit of 10,000 new applications to be processed in the current year July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. This represents a 50% reduction from the previous year. The annual quota will be allocated under each of 29 eligible occupations. Additionally, within the 10,000 quota, a maximum of only 500 Federal Skilled Worker applications per eligible occupation will be considered for processing in the upcoming year. This also represents a 50% reduction from the previous year.

Once the cap is reached, the government will stop processing additional applications and return the processing fee.

There are exceptions to the 10,000 annual cap. The annual cap does not apply to applicants applying under the Federal Program with an Arranged Offer of Employment (AEO). It does not apply to applications approved under Quebec or Provincial Nominee Programs.

Under the new rules the Minister of Citizenship Immigration and Multiculturalism will maintain continued flexibility in processing Economic Class applications in a timely manner. Applicants approved under Quebec or Provincial nominee programs as well as applications submitted with an offer of arranged employment under the Federal Skilled worker program will also benefit.

For applicants seeking admission to Canada without a sponsoring employer and who do not qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker program, the Quebec skilled worker program remains the only viable alternative.

It is expected that the majority of new federal skilled worker applications will require employer sponsorship to qualify for admission to Canada.

Interested readers with questions are invited to complete the following assessment questionnaire for an evaluation of their options.

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