Canada’s skilled worker program for permanent residence was re-opened on May 4, 2013 after several months of being suspended.
The skilled worker category has been the cornerstone of Canada’s economic immigration program for decades but in recent years had built up a backlog of nearly one million applications that were often taking in excess of five years to process.
The newly re-introduced skilled worker program is designed to shift emphasis from education and foreign work experience to language proficiency and Canadian work experience with the goal of enhancing an immigrant’s ability to integrate into the Canadian workplace more quickly.
The skilled worker category has always been based on a point score for various selection criteria with applicants needing to score a minimum of 67 points out of 100. While the selection criteria remain the same, the points allocated for each criteria have changed.
Language is now the single most important factor under the skilled worker criteria with the maximum available points increasing from 24 points to 28 points for demonstrating proficiency in one or both of Canada’s two official languages – English and French.
Canada Immigration is seeking younger skilled workers. The age range shifts downwards to 18 – 36 from a previous range of 21-49. The point allocation also increases from 10 points for age to a total of 12.
The maximum points remain the same for the education criteria, however, the allocation of points for various education levels changes. Fifteen points are awarded for a one year post secondary credential, 19 points are awarded for a 2 year post secondary credential, 21 points are awarded for a post secondary program of 3 years or more, and 22 points are awarded for 2 or more post secondary credentials with at least one of them being 3 years or more.
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