Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced the new selection system for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) that will take effect from May 4, 2013.
The FSWP selects immigrants based on their ability to succeed economically in Canada. It measures applicants using a selection grid in which each applicant is awarded points for language proficiency, age, education, work experience, pre-arranged employment in Canada and adaptability.
These changes are part of the CIC's mission to transform Canada's immigration system to one that is faster and more flexible. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has stated that "the government's number one priority remains jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity. The new Federal Skilled Worker Program criteria will ensure Canada is selecting the skilled immigrants our economy needs, who are the most likely to succeed in Canada."
However, the new immigration rules will make a huge impact on the countries such as Philippines, India, China, France and Iran, which send highest number of immigrants to Canada.
On his recent visit to India, Kenney said, "We don't want skilled people from India getting to Canada and then finding themselves unemployed or underemployed. The changes to FSWP, which are in line with similar programmes in Australia and New Zealand, will ensure that we can select immigrants based on labor shortages that the Canadian economy is facing."
He believes that, the new system will empower employers in Canada as well as applicants for Permanent Residence (PR). The skilled immigrants will be connected to a job portal under an 'expression of interest' format, which will provider pre-arranged job since they would reach Canada.
Meanwhile, it is yet to be established whether the new system will affect the number of immigrants to Canada. As Kenney said, "Since we have not set any quotas for the number of permanent residents that we admit each year, skilled migrants will still have an edge. Last year, there were about 30,000 Indians who were granted permanent residence in Canada, a figure which is among the highest globally."
Indian Applicants In A Quandry
Meanwhile, there is a big worry for Indians who had already applied for PR in Canada as well as potential skilled immigrant program.
Thousands of applicants from India had applied under the FSWP before February 2008, now applicants find themselves worried because the old waiting list has been eliminated and the government of Canada has geared with the new immigration system, Rakesh Garg, who applied along with his family in February 2005 rued.
Garg paid over 2 lakh rupees as application and processing fees and was sure of being granted PR in Canada. On the other hand, many applicants who applied for immigration like Garg, find their applications cancelled besides they are unable to view the application status online.
Garg along with others who faced similar issues has formed an organization called 'Blackloggers Pre-2008 Association.' At present, Backloggers has around 1,500 members in India and about 65,000 pending applicants under the skilled immigrant category are from Punjab.
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