Canada postpones announcement of new points based immigration system

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The Canadian press expected the government to unveil further details of its reforms to the Federal Skilled Worker Program at the end of October this year. It now seems that details of the changes to the points system for rating skilled immigrants who apply for a visa under the Federal Skilled Worker Class program. will not now be announced until January 2013.

Jason Kenney, Canada's immigration minister announced the suspension of the Federal Skilled Worker Class in July this year. He also said that the system would be revised and reopened, probably in January 2013.

In August 2012, Mr Kenney announced that, under the new system,
• Greater importance will be attributed to youth
• Greater importance will be attributed to aptitude in English and French, Canada's two official languages
• Greater importance will be attached to work experience in Canada and less importance to work experience elsewhere
• Points will be awarded for the language skills of the applicant's spouse
• A new system for verifying the value of foreign qualifications will be established
• A new 'skilled trades' stream will be established because of a shortage of skilled tradespeople in Canada

The details will now remain unclear until the new year.

Mr Kenney has won plaudits but also been criticised for the way in which he is attempting to reform Canada's immigration system. When Mr Kenney took over at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, (CIC), there was a huge backlog of applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Some applicants had waited for as long as ten years. In 2012, Mr Kenney took the controversial decision to return application fees to applicants who applied before 2008 and to annul their applications. Some of those affected have launched a legal challenge to the decision. The first hearing in the proposed legal case should occur before Christmas 2012. The claimants are seeking to have the decision reversed and to be put back on the waiting list for the FSWP.

Mr Kenney has gained praise for the establishment of the Canada Experience Class visa which enables foreign students and skilled workers who have worked in Canada to apply for permanent residence without leaving the country. He has also gained praise for extending the Provincial Nominee Programs which matches foreign workers with job vacancies in the Canadian provinces.

However, a collection of essays by Canadian academics entitled Legislated Inequality: Temporary Labour Migration in Canada accuses Mr Kenney of creating an underclass of temporary unskilled migrants with few rights and little stake in Canadian society. can help. is a specialist visa consultancy with over twenty years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.