Canadian Immigration to increase Federal Skilled Worker Program quota

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The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) have announced they plan to accept even more immigrants under the Federal Skilled Worker program in 2012.

In its report to the Parliament of Canada, CIC has indicated that in 2010 they admitted over 280,000 immigrants, an increase of over 11.3 percent over the previous year, and the highest number of immigrants in the last 50 years. Around 67 percent of those admitted were economic immigrants with 40 percent of these being Federal Skilled workers.

In 2012, Canadian immigration plans to accept 55,000–57,000 Federal Skilled Workers, which is up from 47,000–47,400 in 2011. The Canadian government stressed that these additional numbers will help meet market demand, as well as reduce the backlog of applicants for the skilled worker immigration program from previous years.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada's most popular immigration route for immigrants to obtain permanent residency. Under this program, potential candidates are awarded points for their ability to adapt and contribute to Canada's economic development. In order to be eligible you must either:
  • have a job offer with an eligible employer;
  • have been legally residing in Canada for at least one year as a temporary foreign worker or an international student; or

In a recent speech, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney expressed his optimism about the program and about Canadian immigration, "The government's number one priority remains the economy. We recognize the importance of immigration to our labour market and we value the contributions of skilled immigrants who add to our international competitiveness."

Canadian immigration completed an extensive review of the Federal Skilled Worker Program in 2010, which seemed to suggest that the program was working well and was leading to the selection of immigrants who perform well economically. The report also found that 89 percent of Federal Skilled Workers were employed or self-employed three years after landing in Canada. This would appear to suggest a strong continuing need for skilled immigrants in Canada.

"CIC will continue to ramp up efforts to modernize our immigration system to make it more nimble and responsive to labour market needs," said Kenney.

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