The Federal Skilled Worker Program (the “FSWP”) is the largest program for economic migration to Canada. The program has however often been criticized as leaving new permanent residents unprepared to succeed in Canada.  The federal government has accordingly been working to reform the program in order to ensure success for those who arrive under this category.  To this end, the federal government has just released the following proposed changes to the FSWP, including the following:

  • Making language the most important selection factor through establishing new minimum official language thresholds and increasing the points allocated to language skills
  • Priority to younger immigrants through a reduction in points for older applicants
  • Increasing points provided for Canadian experience while reducing points allocated for foreign experience
  • Streamlining of arranged employment programs to facilitate staffing of positions
  • Provision of points for spousal language ability and Canadian experience
  • Mandatory review of educational qualifications gained abroad as against Canadian educational standards and an accompanying award of points for compatibility with Canadian standards

The new changes are likely to take effect in January 2013, the same time that the FSWP is scheduled to reopen for new applications.