On August 17, 2012, the federal government announced changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. While not a surprise (as changes have been proposed earlier in various forums), their impact will be significant.(This summary originally appeared on the Maytree Blog on August 22, 2012.)
Among the changes, were adjustments to the points system
More points for language – More points will be given to federal skilled workers who are fluent in one of Canada’s official languages, up to 24 from 16.
Minimum language standards – Perhaps more significant, applicants will also have to meet minimum language standards to be eligible as a skilled worker. The current level being proposed is CLB Level 7 in all four abilities (speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing). CLB Level 7 means “adequate intermediate proficiency.”
More points for younger workers – The maximum number of points that can be achieved for age has increased to 12 from 10. The maximum points will now given to those between the ages of 18 and 35 and no points are given to those 47 and older. However, those over 47 are not excluded from applying. In the previous system, the maximum number of points were given to those between 21 and 49.
Reducing points for work experience – The maximum number of points that can be received for work experience is 15 down from 21, and to achieve full points an applicant needs six years of experience, not four as in the previous system.
Requiring an educational assessment – The federal government is proposing that applicants provide an educational assessment proving equivalency with Canadian requirements. The federal government will procure the services of a third party assessor to undertake this work on the government’s behalf, or designate a professional body in the case of regulated occupations.
While the points system mix has changed, the pass mark remains at 67.