Canada's new and improved Federal Skilled Worker Program opening to applicants

Ottawa, May 3, 2013 — Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will be accepting applications to the new and improved Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) as of May 4, 2013.

“The government’s number one priority remains jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “Our changes ensure not only that Canada can select the immigrants most needed by our economy, but that they are best positioned for success.”

Improvements to the FSWP points grid are based on a large body of research, which has consistently shown that language proficiency and youth are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants. The FSWP has been modernized as a result of thorough research, an extensive program evaluation, stakeholder and public consultations, and a study of best practices in other countries.  

The goal of the updated selection criteria is to improve economic outcomes by selecting immigrants who will be able to integrate more rapidly and successfully into Canada’s economy.

The changes will also support Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013 by building a fast and flexible immigration system whose primary focus is meeting Canada’s economic and labour market needs. Among these changes is the introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment, so that foreign credentials are evaluated based on their true value in Canada, thereby ensuring that newcomers can make an informed decision before immigrating.

In order to prevent ballooning backlogs and lengthy wait times, there is a list of occupations with a set number of applications that will be accepted this year.

Previously, the application backlog for the FSWP was on track for an unacceptable 15-year wait time by 2015 with over 1.5 million applicants in the backlog.

As a result of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration and Economic Action Plan 2012, the backlog for the FSWP has been nearly eliminated, and new applications are being processed in approximately one year.

Full details and new FSWP application kits will be available on CIC’s website later today in time for the May 4 launch of the Program.

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Photos of Minister Kenney are available.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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