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Immigration 45

If you haven’t already submitted your application you will need to read this.

Federal Skilled Worker

At the end of June, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced big changes to the Federal Skilled Worker category of immigration. Effective immediately upon announcement anyone looking to apply via this route must either have a job offer, or they must have experience in one of 29 in- demand occupations (listed later). In addition to these changes the government is limiting the number of applications considered for processing to 20,000 per year. Only 1,000 applications per occupation will be considered. If someone applies within an occupation that has

reached its 1,000 limit the application will be returned to them and any fees refunded. These limits do not apply to anyone with a job offer. The reason behind these limits it to slow down the number of applications received in order that CIC can reduce the backlog within the system. Once CIC begin to catch up on the backlog it is thought that the cap will be removed or reconsidered. Because the applicants already in the backlog will continue to be processed, it is not thought that the overall number of skilled workers admitted into Canada will drop, indeed it could actually increase as the backlog is cleared. The first year cap will run from June 26th 2010 to June 30th 2011. Subsequent years will be calculated from July!1st to June!30th. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said, “Canada will continue to welcome historically high numbers of immigrants, but we need to manage the number of new applications or risk creating new backlogs and longer processing times. We have more than enough applications on hand now to fill many of our needs, and we want to be fair to those people who have been waiting the longest.”

The authority for the changes, known as ministerial instructions, comes from amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act approved by Parliament in 2008 as part of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration. The instructions are meant as a flexible tool to allow the government to keep the intake of applications for economic immigration in line with the number and types of jobs available in Canada, as well as reduce application backlogs and processing times. In November 2008 the number of applications in the backlog was 640,000 with many people waiting up to six years for a decision.

Today the backlog is reported to be 380,000 with the majority of decisions made on new applications within 12 months. However, CIC saw a significant rise in new applications during the first quarter of 2010 which has prompted them to announce these measures. “These changes bring Canada in line with the practices of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, our main competitors for skilled immigrants,” said Minister Kenney. “They help match the supply of applicants to our processing capacity and today’s post-recession job market needs. This is the only responsible way to manage our immigration system.”

Changes to occupations in demand

Previously CIC listed 38 occupations that were considered in demand. The new list now contains 29 occupations as follows:

0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers 0811 Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture) 1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management

1233 Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners 2121 Biologists and Related Scientists 2151 Architects

3111 Specialist Physicians

3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians 3113 Dentists 3131 Pharmacists 3142 Physiotherapists 3152 Registered Nurses 3215 Medical Radiation Technologists 3222 Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists 3233 Licensed Practical Nurses 4151 Psychologists 4152 Social Workers 6241 Chefs 6242 Cooks

7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades 7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades 7241 Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System) 7242 Industrial Electricians 7251 Plumbers 7265 Welders & Related Machine Operators 7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics 7371 Crane Operators

7372 Drillers & Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction

8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

The number preceding the occupation title refers to the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code. You can visit the NOC website and enter the code to find out more specific details of the occupation.

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