One has to wonder why the Canadian government hates skilled workers so much. Last year, new ministerial instructions made it possible for only 20,000 to apply as Foreign Skilled Workers (FSWs) in one of 29 occupation categories. Each of the 29 categories was capped at 1,000 applications – not 1,000 visas issues or 1,000 FSWs accepted – pass or fail, 1,000 applications. It is clearly no longer a question of setting conditions to screen in those with the best chance of succeeding economically in Canada. The game now is to kill the category and to divert those applicants into other channels. More on that later.
So, despite the fact that many of the categories failed to reach anywhere near 1,000 application, this year’s total was reduced to 10,000 with each category – and the categories that attracted almost no applicants remain on the list – capped at 500 applications.
The only exceptions for FSWs are for the ones who have an Arranged Employment Offer (AEO). Of course, the AEO has come under increasing scrutiny by CIC due to the alleged fraud perpetrated on the system by the current Chair of CSIC. As a result, the forms to apply for an AEO and the reporting requirements for prospective employers have both ballooned to insupportable proportions.
So what’s a skilled worker to do?
It is clear that CIC is employing two strategies. One is to channel would-be independent immigrants (as we used to call them) into employer-driven Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The other is to encourage applications for permanent residence from a pool of people who have experience and success living in Canada, such as temporary foreign skilled workers and international students. Scaffolding has been created for international students, for example, where study leads to work experience, which in turn leads to permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). CEC allows both skilled workers who have accumulated enough work experience in Canada and international students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution to apply for permanent residence. International students are eligible for Post-graduate Work Permits (PGWPs) that allow them to gain the requisite work experience in qualify for CEC. Both PNP and CEC make it critical for international students and temporary skilled workers alike (assuming their goal is to eventually settle in Canada) to develop a strategy immediately upon arrival in order to maximise their chances of qualifying either under a PNP or under CEC.
The easiest way to stay ahead of the curve is to let Premier Canadian Immigration Co-op’s consultants custom-design a strategy for you.
The whole PCIC team is looking forward to making a difference in your life and we hope you will put your faith in us and give us that opportunity.
PCIC – We Know What You Need.