Canada announces new caps on skilled visa programs

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced that there will be new caps imposed for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Programme (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The caps will be as follows for FSWP – 25 000, for FSTP – 5000 and for CEC – 8000.

The new rules will last from 1st May 2014 to the introduction of the Express Entry Skilled Immigration System in the middle of 2015. Moreover, there will be new of occupations that will be added to the FWSP list. This means that the number of occupations will increase from 24 to 50. The FSWP, the FSTP and CEC are currently the main skilled immigration programs of Canada. The CIC will introduce in 2015 the new Express Entry System.

It will be analogous to the Australian Express of Interest system and will handle all applications that come from these three programs. Initially, the applicants will submit an Expression of Interest to CIC. There they will describe their professional experience, skills, age, desired position and other relevant personal and professional details.

After that, all these details will be added to a database. Canadian employers will be able to search the CIC database and to select candidates that they find suitable. After that those candidates will be invited for an interview. If successful they will be granted permanent residence for Canada. In addition to that, they need to be in good health, to not have any criminal record and to be able to support themselves financially after their arrival in Canada.

The Express Entry system was originally proposed by the former immigration minister Jason Kenney, who is now Canada’s employment minister. In 2012, there was a backlog of approximately 600,000 applications waiting for resolution.

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