Changes to 3 permanent residence programs for skilled/trade workers

25 Apr 14

CANADA

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Canada will reopen its Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program with a new cap of 25,000 applications and more than double the eligible occupations. The caps on the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) will also be reset.

What does the change mean? Starting May 1, 2014, applicants may apply under the FSW program and the eligible occupations will be increased from 24 to 50. The cap for the FST program will be increased to 5,000 applications and all 90 skilled trades will be eligible for consideration. The cap on CEC applications will be reset at 8,000.

  • Implementation timeframe: May 1, 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: FSW program, FST program and CEC program.<
  • Who is affected: Applicants eligible under the three affected programs.
  • Impact on processing times:
  • Business impact: The new changes will benefit employers hiring foreign skilled/trade workers in Canada.
  • Next steps: Eligible applicants should begin preparing applications as soon as possible for the May 1 filing date.

Background: On April 23, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Minister Chris Alexander announced the re-opening of the Federal Skilled Worker Program in light of the expected elimination of the backlog. CIC will accept 25,000 new applications beginning May 1 in an expanded number of occupations. The 50 eligible occupations are listed here. CIC also announced it will accept 5,000 applications under the Federal Skilled Trades program for 90 eligible occupations. These will be the last applications accepted until the launch of Canada’s Express Entry system in January of next year.

The Canadian Experience Class caps will be reset to accept 8,000 new applications beginning May 1. Applications under that program recently exceeded 6,000 out of an initial cap of 12,000. The adjusted quota will cover the transition period leading up to Express Entry.

BAL Analysis: Companies will welcome the availability of more permanent residency granted to skilled workers in a greater number of job categories.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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