2013 Jan to April – Immigration News & Updates

April 30, 2013

Countries and Territories Whose Citizens Will Soon Need to Provide Biometric Information to Enter Canada as Visitors

The Government of Canada has proposed to introduce biometric identity screening for nationals of 29 countries and 1 territory when they apply for a temporary resident visa, study permit or work permit. Once final, this change would take effect in 2013.

If you are a national of a country or territory listed below, you will need to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken when you apply for a:

  • temporary resident visa,
  • study permit, or
  • work permit.

CIC will start to collect this information from people on a mandatory basis in September 2013. By December 2013, biometric screening will be mandatory for all temporary resident applicants who are a national of a country or territory listed below. The following are the proposed dates when mandatory collection of biometric information will begin:

September 2, 2013:

  • ColombiaGreat Canadian Gateway biometric Canada immigration
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica

October 15, 2013:

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Libya
  • Nigeria
  • Saudi AraGreat Canadian Gateway Finger biometric Canada Immigrationbia
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tunisia

December 7, 2013:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cambodia
  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Palestinian Authority

These dates are subject to change. Visit this website in spring 2013 to confirm when this will take effect for you.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to introduce the following changes in 2013:

  • If you are a national of a country or territory from which Canada will need biometric information, you will need to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph taken when you apply for a temporary resident visa, study permit or work permit starting September 2013.
  • Most people will have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (VAC). CIC is adding new VACs around the world to give better access to people who need to apply for visas and give biometric information.
  • VACs are managed by private companies or international organizations. These organizations are contracted by CIC to give certain services to visa applicants.
  • Client service agents at the VACs can explain, in local languages, how to fill out forms and make sure that applications are complete. This will help you avoid having your application delayed or refused due to an incomplete application.
  • The Government of Canada has proposed a biometrics fee of $85 CAD per person, $170 CAD for a family, and $255 CAD for performing artists and their staff applying together for a work permit. This would be in addition to the normal temporary resident visa, work permit and study permit application processing fees. This proposed fee is similar to what other countries charge for biometrics, such as the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Children, the elderly, and government officials and their family members travelling to Canada on official business may be exempt from having to give their biometric information.
  • Over the next year, CIC will be setting up VACs with biometric collection services. If you are an affected national, you will be able to have your fingerprints and photograph taken on a voluntary basis as soon as there is one established in your area. This service will be free of charge before the biometric requirement becomes mandatory. Check this website starting in May 2013 to find out where the VACs with biometric collection services are located.
  • Taking biometric information would not increase the time it takes for CIC to process your application. But, if you need to travel to get to a VAC in order to give your fingerprints and photograph in person, this could add to the time it takes to prepare and submit your application. You should plan ahead for this. 

April 22, 2013

American Homeland Security Wants Canadians to Pay to Cross at Land Borders 

A proposal to chargGreat Canadian Gateway Canada US Border Canada Immigratione travellers a new fee when entering the U.S. at land border crossings has drawn condemnation in both countries.

The call to study a new levy – contained in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed budget for 2014 – is needed to defray increased security costs, proponents say.

In its proposal, the Department of Homeland Security urges a study of setting up and collecting a crossing fee for both pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the Canadian and Mexican borders.

Ottawa “will vigorously lobby against” the proposal to charge every vehicle and pedestrian at any land border crossing, says a spokeswoman for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade thinks a fee to simply enter the U.S. would be bad for business between the two countries.

April 22, 2013

Graduates of the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program

This year, close to 70 graduates of the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program can look forward to a better shot at success in the Canadian job market, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced at a graduation ceremony in Ottawa today.

“The Government of Canada is committed to helping newcomers successfully integrate into the Canadian economy as quickly as possible,” said Minister Kenney. “Obtaining Canadian work experience is a key part of success in Canada’s labour market and the FIN offers newcomers that valuable experience.”

Since the FIN Program was first launched in 2010, almost 200 newcomers in several cities across Canada have taken part and benefited.

The Program has a high success rate. Preliminary results indicate that over 70 percent of those who have participated in the Program were then able to enter the work force in their chosen profession.

The FIN Program provides permanent residents and new citizens temporary placements to gain the Canadian work experience they need to enter the Canadian work force. Newcomers who participate complete internships in fields such as policy, administration, finance, computer science, project management and science.

Employers who are interested in participating in the Program should contact FINPInbox@cic.gc.ca.

 April 18, 2013

2013 Federal Skilled Worker – Eligible Occupations, Minimum Language Threshold, & Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

The news that everyone have been waiting for has arrived. The 2013 Federal Skilled Worker Program will start the intake of applications on May 4, 2013

List of eligible occupations for 2013:

  1. Engineering Managers
  2. Financial & Investment Analysts
  3. Geoscientists & Oceanographers
  4. Civil Engineers
  5. Mechanical Engineers
  6. Chemical Engineers
  7. Mining Engineers
  8. Geological Engineers
  9. Petroleum Engineers
  10. Aerospace Engineers
  11. Computer Engineers (except software engineers/designers)
  12. Land Surveyors
  13. Computer Programmers & Interactive Media Developers
  14. Industrial Instrument Technicians & Mechanics
  15. Inspectors in Public & Environmental Health & Occupational Healthy & Safety
  16. Audiologists & Speech-language Pathologists
  17. Physiotherapists
  18. Occupational Therapists
  19. Medical Laboratory Technologists
  20. Medical Laboratory Technicians & Pathologists’ Assistants
  21. Respiratory Therapists, Clinical Perfusionists, & Cardiopulmonary Technologists
  22. Medical Radiation Technologists
  23. Medical Sonographers
  24. Cardiology Technicians & Electrophysiological Diagnostic Technologists

For the more information , please visit our Federal Skilled Worker page.

April 17, 2013

Update on Situation in Syria

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) wants to remind Syrians in Canada of the steps they need to take to maintain their temporary status in this country.

Syrian nationals whose status in Canada iGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigration Syrian Refugeess due to expire and who are unable to leave Canada because of the current situation in Syria must apply to extend their status. Applications to extend status should be submitted at least 30 days in advance of expiration and may be submitted online or in paper format to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta. The in-Canada application forms allow applicants to:

  • extend their status as a visitor, student or worker;
  • change the type of permit held (for example, from a student to a work permit); or
  • change a condition of a permit (for example, to change employers or jobs).

If your visitor visa expires after you have submitted your application for an extension of your authorization to remain in Canada, you will be considered in status as a temporary resident (visitor) until a decision is made on the application. This is known as implied status. Please note that normal eligibility requirements and fees continue to apply.

CIC continues to work in close partnership with other federal departments on the Government of Canada’s (GoC) response to the developing situation in Syria. Since March 15, 2012, the Canada Border Services Agency has had in place an administrative deferral of removals for Syrian nationals in Canada due to the civil unrest in Syria. This deferral excludes those who are inadmissible and subject to removal on grounds of criminality, international or human rights violations, organized crime or security.

Despite the closure of CIC office in Damascus, it continues to process applications for Syrians as quickly as possible, while ensuring that the necessary security and admissibility checks are performed. Between December 2011 and December 2012, 616 temporary residents entered Canada from Syria. Between December 2011 and January 2013, 1,105 permanent residents were admitted to Canada from Syria. The processing time as of March 23, 2013, for visitor visa applications at the visa office in Lebanon (Beirut) was 17 days and 29 days at the visa office in Jordan (Amman). This means that 80% of applications are processed within these time frames. More complex files or those missing information may be delayed.

Background

On December 15, 2011, the GoC initiated a 30-day voluntary evacuation for Canadians in Syria. During that period, Canada urged Canadian citizens, their spouses and their dependent children to apply for travel documents and to leave Syria immediately. CIC expedited visitor visas for spouses and dependants of Canadian citizens during that period and fast-tracked family class cases that were nearing completion.

While the Embassy of Canada in Damascus, Syria, was closed on January 31, 2012, CIC continues to provide visa services to Syrians in the region. Those Syrians seeking temporary resident visas to visit, work or study in Canada can apply to our offices in Lebanon (Beirut) or Jordan (Amman). Syrian nationals outside of Syria can submit their application to any other Canadian visa office. Normal eligibility requirements and fees continue to apply. Syrian family class cases are now processed in Jordan (Amman). Applicants should regularly monitor the CIC and visa office websites for information and updates. For questions related to applications processed in Lebanon (Beirut) or Jordan (Amman), applicants may contact the relevant visa office.

The closure of the visa office followed an announcement made by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on the GoC’s reduced diplomatic staff in Syria.

April 15, 2013

New Chip-embedded 10-year Passports

Canada Immigration Great Canadian Gateway New Passport

Passport Canada is projecting it’ll cut one quarter of its workforce as it rolls out new chip-embedded 10-year travel documents.

Passport Canada says it expects fewer people to apply for the new, more secure travel documents by then.

The agency is dealing with a $70-million shortfall this year, and plans to balance its books within the next three years, despite projections of lower revenues.

April 09, 2013

Citizenship Certificates

On February 1, 2012, Citizenship and IGreat Canadian Gateway Citizenship Certificate Canada Immigrationmmigration Canada stopped producing the plastic wallet sized citizenship certificate and commemorative document. These documents were replaced with a letter sized citizenship certificate. On April 15, 2013, a new version of the current citizenship certificate was introduced. The paper has been changed and is now less translucent than the previous version. In addition, the fleur-de-lis design has been enlarged. No other changes were made to the back of the document.

The pre-March 31st version of the citizenship certificate will continue to be distributed to new Canadian citizens and individuals applying for a proof of citizenship until the stock is depleted. In addition, previous versions of the citizenship certificate will remain valid.

April 04, 2013

Canada Cracks Down on International Tax Evaders

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue made the following statement regarding the recent media coverage regarding a list of Canadians with offshore assets.

“Anyone wGreat Canadian Gateway Canada Immigration Tax Evasionith information on tax cheats has an obligation to bring it forward. The release of this information is good news for the hardworking Canadians who pay their fair share.  This is bad news for the tax evaders in this country.”

“Our Government has long recognized that international tax evasion is a serious problem.  For this reason, CRA officials will review any information they receive and aggressively pursue all suspected cases of tax evasion.”

“Since 2006, our Government has introduced several measures to help address this problem and ensure tax fairness for all Canadians.”

“Our Government is committed to cracking down on individuals who avoid paying their fair share of taxes.  Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to combat International Tax Evasion and closing tax loopholes to ensure tax fairness for all Canadians.  These new measures include:

  • Requiring certain financial intermediaries, including banks, to report to the CRA international electronic funds transfers of $10,000 or more.
  • Announcing that the CRA will introduce a new Stop International Tax Evasion Program through which it will make payments to individuals with knowledge of major international tax non-compliance that lead to collection of additional taxes. The payment will be a percentage of tax collected as a result of information provided.
  • Extending the normal reassessment period by three years for taxpayers who have failed to report income from a specified foreign property on their annual income tax return and failed to properly file the Foreign Income Verification Statement (Form T1135).
  • Revising the Foreign Income Verification Statement to require reporting of more detailed information.
  • Streamlining the process for the CRA to obtain information concerning unnamed persons from third parties such as banks.

“Over the last six years, the CRA has conducted approximately 8,000 compliance actions and reassessed in excess of $4.5 billion in federal taxes as the result of its efforts.”

“We call on The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to hand over this list to allow our Government to crack down on tax evaders.”

March 27, 2013

Faster processing times for workers and families

The backlog of permanent resident applications has been reduced by about forty percent, paving the way for a faster and more effective immigration system in 2013 and beyond, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

“Backlogs and delays prevent Canada from attracting the best and brightest from around the world and ensuring that our immigration system is contributing to economic growth and long-term prosperity,” saiCanada Immigration News and Updates Backlog Canada Immigration Great Canadian Gatewayd Minister Kenney. “For too long, we accepted far more applications than we could process each year. That led to backlogs increasing every year and processing times of eight to ten years in some cases, which discouraged talented, dynamic people from coming to Canada.”

This has been accomplished, in part, by continuing to process a high number of applications from parents and grandparents in the Family Class while a temporary pause on new applications remains in effect until the end of the year. In addition, a pause was put in place on new Immigrant Investor applications and the oldest Federal Skilled Worker applications were eliminated while we continued to process record high levels of existing applications.

A just-in-time system that recruits people with the right skills to meet Canada’s labour market needs, fast tracks their applications and gets them working in Canada in a period of months, instead of years is what Canada’s goal is. It also means that families will no longer have to wait close to a decade to be reunited with their loved ones.

March 26, 2013

Federal Budget Tightens Rules for Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Great Canadian Gateway Temporary Foreign Workers News and Updates Citizenship and Immigration CanadaThe federal government plans to make it tougher for employers to use the controversial – though popular with many companies — Temporary Foreign Worker program. The program has been heavily criticized after a consortium of Chinese companies announced plans last autumn to use only Chinese nationals for proposed underground coal mines in B.C.

Employers will have to make a greater effort to hire Canadians before they can apply for TFW permits, “including increasing the length and reach of advertising,” according to Thursday’s federal budget. Employers using foreign workers will also be given help to “ensure that they have a plan to transition to a Canadian workforce over time.” And the government will amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to ensure companies can’t require job applicants to speak a language other than French or English.
There have been several media reports indicating that the Chinese coal companies sought in their job ads workers who spoke Mandarin.

“The Government will also propose to introduce user fees for employers applying for temporary foreign workers through the labour market opinion process so that these costs are no longer absorbed by taxpayers,” the budget stated.

March 23, 2013

CaAustralia Canada News Update Great Canadian Gateway Immigration Canadanada and Australia Sign Two Mutual Recognition Agreement — Engineers and Accountants

A Mutual Recognition Agreement is a cross-border and cross-sectoral agreement between regulators to mutually recognize each others’ qualifications.  They can be reached between professional regulatory bodies, nations and regional groupings in which the parties agree to recognize some or all of the conditions required for licensure, such as academic credentials, professional qualifications, or both.

In order to create jobs and opportunity in every region of Canada, our government is committed to creating the conditions that facilitate the movement of goods, services and people to priority markets around the world,” said Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Ed Fast. “Doing so helps Canadian businesses expand and succeed abroad which creates prosperity here at home. The agreements signed today make good business sense and represent a win-win for both Canada and Australia.

The agreements identify areas for joint collaboration and give each organization’s members enhanced international labour mobility, smoothing the way for quicker labour market integration for newcomers in these professions.

The second Canada-Australia Roundtable on Foreign Qualification Recognition (FQR) was held in Vancouver March 20-22, 2013. The Roundtable brought together approximately 70 Canadians and Australians representing government, professional regulatory authorities, employers, academia and immigrant serving organizations, to discuss current issues in FQR, share best practices, strengthen professional linkages, and work towards enhanced labour mobility.

March 20, 2013

March – Fraud Prevention Month

Marriage Fraud Great Canadian Gateway Immigration News and Updates Canada

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is advising Canadians and newcomers to inform themselves to avoid becoming victims of immigration fraud during Fraud Prevention Month.

The focus of this year’s Fraud Prevention Month for CIC is combating marriage fraud. The government has also launched an ad campaign warning permanent residents and Canadian citizens to protect themselves against marriage fraud.

The focus last year was about unauthorized immigration consultants who guarantee visas or high-paying jobs for a fee, taking large sums of money with no tangible results for the prospective immigrant. Learn more about Authorized Canadian Immigration Representatives.

The Government continues to improve the integrity of Canada’s immigration system,” said Minister Kenney. “Through ongoing attempts to prevent fraud, we are sending a clear message.  Canada’s doors are open to the vast majority of newcomers who are hard-working and follow the rules, but Canadians have no tolerance for anyone who tries to jump the immigration line to gain entry to Canada or acquire permanent residency or citizenship through fraudulent means.

To report immigration fraud, please call the Border Watch Tip Line at 1-888-502-9060.

March 15, 2013

Mali – Exemption to the Bar on Applying for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment

Canadian Immigration News and Updates, Mali, Great Canadian Gateway, Canada Immigration

As a result of worsening conditions in Mali, failed refugee claimants from that country may be eligible for a new assessment of the risk they would face if deported.

With the passage of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, individuals who received a final decision on their refugee claim from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) or a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) within the last 12 months are not eligible for a PRRA unless they are eligible for an exemption. A final decision on a refugee claim or PRRA assessment includes rejected, abandoned and withdrawn applications.

But the law allows the Minister to make exceptions in the event country conditions change after the final decision.

Effective today, individuals from Mali may be eligible for a PRRA if they received a final decision from the IRB or a final PRRA decision on or between February 21, 2012, and February 20, 2013.

Mali is exempted from the bar on accessing a PRRA as country conditions have worsened. As a result, individuals could face a situation of risk that may warrant an additional assessment, which is why they are exempt from the bar on a PRRA. Citizenship and Immigration Canada continues to monitor country conditions around the world and assess new and ongoing situations of risk.

It is important to note that the ability to apply for PRRA does not guarantee the outcome of the risk assessment. Officers at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will continue to decide cases individually, based on the information provided.

Please note that individuals are responsible for keeping their PRRA application up-to-date. It is the applicant’s responsibility to inform CIC of any changes to their application. This is required, so that decision makers have all the information an individual wants considered for their application.

Malian nationals who receive a final IRB or PRRA decision after February 21, 2013, are not entitled to a PRRA for 12 months. Any recent changes in country conditions will have been considered when the refugee claim was decided or during the PRRA process.

The majority of people who seek a PRRA are failed refugee claimants. These individuals will have had their asylum claim heard before the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) at the independent IRB.

Under the new asylum system, most claimants have the opportunity to appeal a negative RPD decision to the new Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) at the IRB.

All claimants can ask the Federal Court to review a negative decision.

In considering what countries to exempt, CIC considers any event that has recently arisen in a country that could place all or some of its nationals in a situation of risk similar to those defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (sections 96—definition of a Convention Refugee and 97—definition of a person in need of protection). For example, these changes could include a change in government, laws or policies that indicate government sanction of persecution against certain groups.

March 6, 2013

Super Visa  – Over 15,000 Parent and Grandparent Super Visas Issued

More than 15,000 Parent and Grandparent Super Visas have been issued since the program’s launch in December 2011.

“The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa provides families with flexibility, and it is clearly growing in popularity,” said Minister Kenney. “Our government is committed to family reunification. I am pleased to see that more and more parents and grandparents are getting the opportunity to spend longer periods of time with their loved ones in Canada.”

With over 1,000 Super Visas issued monthly, approval rates remain high at 86 percent.

The Super Visa—a multiple entry visa valid for up to 10 years—allows parents and grandparents to visit Canada for up to two years at a time. This Super Visa gives visiting parents and grandparents the freedom to travel back and forth between Canada and their home country without long waits.

March 1, 2013

Changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program

With new criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) set to take effect in May, many prospective immigrants may already be preparing to apply.

However, future FSWP applicants should be aware that CIC expects to announce three important elements of the FSWP in April that will have an impact on the application process, including:

  • a cap on the number of applications that will be accepted in the first year;
  • a new list of priority occupations; and
  • the organizations that will be designated to conduct educational assessments.

Applicants who prepare their application before this information is announced do so at their own risk. Applications that do not meet the criteria that will be announced in April will not be processed.

On December 19, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced significant changes to the FSWP. In addition, the Minister announced that the new FSWP would be opened up for applications on May 4, 2013. A pause on applications, except for those from certain PhD students and those supported by a qualifying job offer, has been in place since July 1, 2012.

February 27, 2013

Canada Continued to Welcome Highest Sustained Level of Immigration in Canadian History in 2012

For the seventh consecutive year, Canada continued the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history, according to preliminary 2012 data released today by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.Canada welcomed 257,515 permanent residents in 2012, well within the Government’s planning range of 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents for the year. Each year since 2006, Canada has admitted an average of about a quarter of a million immigrants.

Canada has been welcoming not only the highest sustained level of immigrants in Canadian history, we also have, on a per-capita basis, among the highest immigration rates in the world,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “Immigration is a key part of the government’s plan to grow our economy, spur job creation, and ensure long-term prosperity for all Canadians.

Over the seven years from 2006 to 2012, Canada averaged approximately 30,250 more admissions per year than in the decade previous, from 1996 to 2005.

The government is continuing to move toward a modern and effective immigration system that attract the skilled immigrants that Canada’s economy requires,” said Minister Kenney. “This new fast and flexible system will respond more effectively to Canada’s labour market needs, support family reunification, and provide protection to genuine refugees.

February 26, 2013

Canada Welcomes 100,000 International Students — Record Number

Canada welcomed a record number of international students in 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. Last year was the first time in Canadian history that Canada has welcomed over 100,000 international students, an increase of 60% from 2004.

Attracting and retaining the best and brightest immigrants from around the world is part of the government’s commitment to grow Canada’s economy and ensure long-term prosperity,” said Minister Kenney. “The steady growth in numbers confirms that Canada remains a destination of choice for international students because of the remarkable educational opportunities that exist in our world class institutions.

According to a 2011 report by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) entitled International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity, international students contribute more than $8 billion every year to the Canadian economy. In addition to significant economic benefits, international students also enrich Canadian society with their ideas and different perspectives.

Canada’s universities are pleased to see increasing numbers of international students attracted by our reputation for excellence in education,” said Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “In addition to making a significant contribution to our economy, international students bring new perspectives and cultures to our campuses, enriching the learning experience of all students.

International students are also a future source of skilled labour, as they may be eligible upon graduation for permanent residency through immigration programs, such as the Canadian Experience Class which the Government introduced in 2008. International students are well-prepared to immigrate to Canada as they have obtained Canadian credentials, are proficient in at least one of our official languages and often have relevant Canadian work experience.

Canadian colleges and institutes, with a focus on applied higher education and unparalleled placement rates, are magnets for international students,” said Association of Canadian Community Colleges President and CEO, James Knight. “Canadian college credentials are a passport to employment success not only in the students’ country of origin, but also in Canada where their skills are in high demand.

Recently proposed changes to the International Student Program would streamline work permit access to international students attending designated institutions, and provide certain study permit holders with the authority to work part-time off-campus.

The proposed changes would also better protect international students as provinces and territories designate the institutions qualified to receive them and Citizenship and Immigration Canada eliminates abuse of the program by ensuring program participants are genuine students. These changes would safeguard the world-class reputation of Canada’s post-secondary education system, as it strives to become ever more competitive in the global search for talent.

Canada competes globally for the best and brightest minds, so we are continually working to make studying in Canada an attractive choice,” added Minister Kenney. “Through our proposed improvements to the International Student Program, we will further improve Canada’s already strong reputation.

January 2, 2013

New Federal Skilled Trades Program Accepts Applications Starting Today

The brand-new Federal Skilled Trades Program begins accepting applications today, announced Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

“The new Skilled Trades Program will address serious labour shortages that some regions of the country are facing, and will help grow Canada’s economy,” said Minister Kenney. “These long-overdue changes are part of the government’s plan to build a fast and flexible immigration system that is responsive to the needs of Canada’s economy. Canadian employers have long been asking for ways to get the skilled tradespeople they need to meet demands in many industries across the country. We’ve listened to their concerns and created this program in response.”

In the program’s first year, CIC will accept applications from up to 3,000 people in specific trades. The occupation list was designed to reflect current labour market needs and ensure the program delivers a diverse range of skilled tradespeople to fuel Canada’s economy. Within the 3,000, there will be no limit on 26 in-demand occupations, while 17 occupations will be subject to sub-limits of 100 applications each. In total, there are 43 occupations eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Applications are expected to be processed within 12 months.

“The Federal Skilled Trades Program is yet another tool in the Canadian employer’s toolkit to find the workers they need to build Canada’s future economy,” said Minister Kenney. “This new program, along with all other changes we are introducing, will help us move towards an immigration system that better supports Canada’s economic growth and long-term prosperity.”