Canada Immigration Proposes Education Pre-Screening

March 28, 2012 – Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applicants may soon have their educational credentials scrutinized much closer than before, according a proposal announced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Those who submit skilled worker applications in a regulated profession would be required to have an appropriate regulatory body assess their credentials and gauge their likelihood of being licensed in their chosen field and province of work. The screening would take place before the applicant arrives in Canada.

The “2011 Government of Canada Progress Report on Foreign Credential Recognition, Strengthening Canada’s Economy” notes that bodies such as the Medical Council of Canada and the Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre are two examples of institutions that have developed programs to assess international education and training.

In its announcement, CIC cited economic growth and the desire to work in one’s own field upon arrival.

Those seeking permanent residence status currently have the option of applying as an FSW with one year of experience in one of 29 listed occupations in the National Occupation Classification. However, there is a cap of 10,000 applicants in this category and 500 for each occupation in the twelve months beginning July 1, 2011.

An immigration officer then weighs an FSW application on a point system: 67 out of 100 is a passing grade. To gain permanent residence in the FSW category, an applicant must demonstrate their education, English or French proficiency, work experience, age, arranged employment (if applicable) and adaptability (including factors such as spouse’s education, previous work or study in Canada or relatives in Canada).

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