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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Miscalculation! CIC opens up double the categories for Federal Skilled Worker program

Some bean counter must have got his estimations wrong. After years of clamping progressively downward on the Federal Skilled Worker program, CIC announced Wednesday that it is opening the program up to 50 NOC categories (up from 29 in the last iteration of the program) and 25,000 applications.

Here are some details from the CIC:

On April 26, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will issue a new set of Ministerial Instructions to immigration officers regarding the processing of applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Effective May 1, 2014, the following measures will be in place:

Federal Skilled Worker Program:
Federal Skilled Workers are chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to prosper in Canada. They are assessed according to a selection grid made up of six factors, including language, education, work experience, etc.

Overall cap of 25,000 applications in eligible occupations stream.

  • Cap of 500 applications for PhD eligibility stream
  • No limit on applicants who have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer
  • Sub-caps of 1,000 applications for each of the 50 eligible occupations below (their 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) code is included in brackets):
  • Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services (0013)
  • Senior managers - trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c. (0015)
  • Financial managers (0111)
  • Human resources managers (0112)
  • Purchasing managers (0113)
  • Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers (0121)
  • Managers in health care (0311)
  • Construction managers (0711)
  • Home building and renovation managers (0712)
  • Managers in natural resources production and fishing (0811)
  • Manufacturing managers (0911)
  • Financial auditors and accountants (1111)
  • Financial and investment analysts (1112)
  • Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers (1113)
  • Other financial officers (1114)
  • Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations (1123)
  • Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers (1212)
  • Property administrators (1224)
  • Geoscientists and oceanographers (2113)
  • Civil engineers (2131)
  • Mechanical engineers (2132)
  • Electrical and electronics engineers (2133)
  • Petroleum engineers (2145)
  • Information systems analysts and consultants (2171)
  • Database analysts and data administrators (2172)
  • Software engineers and designers (2173)
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers (2174)
  • Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians (2232)
  • Construction estimators (2234)
  • Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians (2241)
  • Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (2243)
  • Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263)
  • Computer network technicians (2281)
  • Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors (3011)
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012)
  • Specialist physicians (3111)
  • General practitioners and family physicians (3112)
  • Dietitians and nutritionists (3132)
  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists (3141)
  • Physiotherapists (3142)
  • Occupational therapists (3143)
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (3214)
  • Medical radiation technologists (3215)
  • Medical sonographers (3216)
  • Licensed practical nurses (3233)
  • Paramedical occupations (3234)
  • University professors and lecturers (4011)
  • Psychologists (4151)
  • Early childhood educators and assistants (4214)
  • Translators, terminologists and interpreters (5125)


Federal Skilled Trades Program:
This program is for people who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.

Overall cap of 5,000 applications.

  • All 90 skilled trades from the following NOC Skill Level B groups are eligible (with sub-caps of 100 applications each): 
  • Major Group 72: Industrial, electrical and construction trades;
  • Major Group 73: Maintenance and equipment operation trades;
  • Major Group 82: Supervisors and technical occupations in national resources, agriculture and related production;
  • Major Group 92: Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators;
  • Minor Group 632: chefs and cooks;
  • Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.

Canadian Experience Class:
This program is for people who already have skilled work experience in Canada and want to immigrate permanently.

Overall cap of 8,000 applications.

  • Sub-caps of 200 applications each for any NOC B occupation
  • Six ineligible occupations: administrative officers (NOC code 1221), administrative assistants (1241), accounting technicians/bookkeepers (1311), cooks (6322), food service supervisors (6311), and retail sales supervisors (6211).

The new Ministerial Instructions will also re-confirm the existing pause of applications to the federal Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Programs.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Globe and Mail - After 40 years, Immigrant Settlement Program needs an overhaul

Robert Vineberg is a Senior Fellow at the Canada West Foundation. He was formerly Director General of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Prairies and Northern Territories Region. He is also the author of the book "Responding to Immigrants’ Settlement Needs: The Canadian Response".

Would-be immigrants to Canada continue to face a series of bureaucratic impediments that either delay their status or reduce the effectiveness of integration once they arrive here. Fixing these problems is long overdue.

Read more

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CIC - Offering "Express Entry" to Qualified Economic Immigrants

April 8, 2014 — Ottawa — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced that Canada’s active recruitment model for economic immigration will officially be called “Express Entry.” Set to launch in January 2015, “Express Entry” is a major step forward in the transformation of Canada’s immigration system into one that is fast, flexible and focused on meeting Canada’s economic and labour needs.

“Express Entry” will allow for greater flexibility and better responsiveness to deal with regional labour shortages, and help fill open jobs for which there are no available Canadian workers. “Express Entry” candidates who receive a valid job offer or nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be quickly invited to apply for permanent residency – a key distinction between “Express Entry” and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which is only used to fill temporary labour and skill shortages.

Formerly referred to as “Expression of Interest”, “Express Entry” will be open to skilled immigrants and allow the government to select the best candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada, rather than those who happen to be first in line. It will also prevent backlogs and allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to better coordinate application volume with the annual immigration levels plan.

Learn more

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hire a new immigrant - stop discrimination now

Hey Canada, this one's for you:

I would like all employers out there to consider dropping the phrase "Canadian experience" from their vocabularies. This subtle form of discrimination is keeping thousands of immigrants from getting work that they are fully qualified to perform.

By using this phrase, whether in an interview, or in an internal screening process, you are effectively practicing a form of discrimination through exclusion and also a very negative form of nationalism.

Think about this: Canada has one of the highest percentages of permanent residents that become citizens in the world - over 80% at last count. When you exclude a fully qualified immigrant from contributing to your company solely because they haven't worked for a Canadian employers for X-years, you are actually doing a great harm in the long term to your own country.

I've been asked the "Canadian experience" question on a number of interviews, and as soon as it's asked, I know the job isn't mine. I know that the person asking has a built-in bias that somehow all the years of experience I bring to the table mean nothing unless that experience is in Canada.

Think about how crazy that is. Let's say your hiring a Toyota mechanic. You have a choice between someone who has 10-years of experience in Japan, or someone who has two years of Canadian experience. No question of who should get the job, eh? But in Canada, subtle things come into play. Without Canadian experience, will the employee be able to "fit in to the culture"? Do they have the "soft skills" that Canadians possess?

I'm asking all employers out there to expunge the phrase "Canadian experience" from your vocabulary. Think about the long term. Heck - think about the short term too! Simply hire the best person for the job, no matter what.

It's not much to ask. 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

CIC - New Canadian citizens in March 2014 almost double compared to one year ago

Here's the latest from the CIC, and the really good news is that this is not an April Fools joke!

April 1, 2014 — Ottawa — Approximately 33,700 people from 199 countries became Canadian citizens at citizenship ceremonies held across Canada in March 2014. This is almost twice as many compared to March 2013 when 17,089 people were granted citizenship across Canada.

Canada’s new citizens were welcomed at 312 citizenship ceremonies held across the country, from college campuses to Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices, to special ceremonies at railway stations and designated heritage sites.

These high numbers demonstrate that changes and improvements in effect over the past year have already made the system more efficient and resulted in a decreased backlog, helping more people realize their dream of becoming Canadian sooner. The government’s proposed changes in Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, will further reduce wait times by streamlining the decision-making process for citizenship. It is expected that these changes will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year and that the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent by 2015-2016.

Quick facts

  • So far in 2014, Canada has welcomed more than 75,900 new citizens at 759 ceremonies across Canada. Comparatively, in the first three months of 2013, Canada welcomed 35,320 new Canadians.
  • In 2013, 128,936 people were granted Canadian citizenship—an average of 10,745 each month.
  • Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history—an average of 257,000 newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent.
  • Canada has the highest rate of naturalization in the world—85 per cent of eligible permanent residents become citizens. Citizenship and Immigration Canada received 333,860 citizenship applications in 2013, the highest volume ever.