Proposed New Program for Skilled Trade Workers

April 10, 2012 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced plans for a new immigration stream for skilled trades people seeking permanent resident status in Canada, the Skilled Trades Program. Citing a labour shortage in the construction, transportation, manufacturing and service industries, CIC is responding by creating this additional stream of skilled worker applications. It will be launched sometime later this year.

One option for a trades person wishing to immigrate to Canada is to apply as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW). The program’s existing selection criteria (which applies to applications made on or after July 1st, 2011) includes the need to show either an offer of employment (for a ‘skilled’ worker), at least two years of a PhD program completed, a PhD completed no more than 12 months before the application is submitted or a year of experience in one of 29 listed occupations in the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

Ultimately, a FSW application is measured 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 and/or French proficiency, work experience, age, arranged employment (if applicable) and adaptability (including factors such as spouse’s education, previous employment or study in Canada, or relatives who live in Canada).

For applicants applying in one of the 29 listed occupations, there is currently a cap of 10,000 applications per year starting July 1st, 2011, which has now been reached.

However, the new system would relax these requirements by giving less weight to factors such as formal education and a greater focus on practical training and work experience in certain trades. Minimum language requirements would remain.

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