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Canada: New FSW Eligibility Criteria

The government has already unveiled many changes to the FSWC that are expected to come into force on January 1st, 2013. The new points system for the FSWC was announced in the Canada Gazette in August 2012. As of now, the following components will be required in an FSWC application:

  • Applicants will need to obtain 67 points on a new, updated point grid
  • Applicants will need to have at least 1 year of full-time work experience in the last 10 years
  • Applicants will be required to demonstrate at least Adequate-Intermediate language proficiency in English or French (Canadian Language Benchmark: 7)
  • Applicants must have their foreign educational credentials authenticated and assessed for their Canadian equivalency

Some aspects of the FSWC program have yet to be announced. These include the following:

  • While the new selection criteria is expected to take effect in January, it has not yet been announced when exactly the government will begin accepting applications for review.
  • No organization has yet been designated by CIC to conduct foreign education credential evaluations for the purposes of Canadian immigration
  • In recent years caps or limits have been placed on the number of applications accepted for review. While no cap has been announced yet, it is very possible that such a measure will be implemented. Some proactive individuals are already preparing their applications so as to submit well before a potential quota is filled.

While not a complete picture, the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration nevertheless sets a tone for immigration in both 2013 and the years to follow. Moving forward, CIC has taken care to make sure this tone is clear: immigrants are, as always, welcome in Canada.

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