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Canada’s revamped federal skilled worker visa programme open for applications

Canada’s new and improved Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FDWP) is now open for applications after a revamp which has updated the visa selection criteria. The FDWP has been updated to improve economic outcomes by selecting immigrants who will be able to integrate more rapidly and successfully into a new life in Canada, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

‘The government’s number one priority remains jobs, economic growth and long term prosperity. The changes ensure not only that Canada can select the immigrants most needed by our economy, but that they are best positioned for success,’ said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Improvements to the FSWP points grid are based on a large body of research, which has consistently shown that language proficiency and youth are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants. CIC said that the FSWP has been modernised as a result of thorough research, an extensive program evaluation, stakeholder and public consultations, and a study of best practices in other countries.The changes will also support Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013 by building a fast and flexible immigration system whose primary focus is meeting Canada’s economic and labour market needs.  Among these changes is the introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment, so that foreign credentials are evaluated based on their true value in Canada, thereby ensuring that newcomers can make an informed decision before immigrating.

In order to prevent ballooning backlogs and lengthy wait times, there is a list of occupations with a set number of applications that will be accepted this year. Previously, the application backlog for the FSWP was on track for an unacceptable 15 year wait time by 2015 with over 1.5 million applicants in the backlog. As a result of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration and Economic Action Plan 2012, the backlog for the FSWP has been nearly eliminated, and new applications are being processed in approximately one year, said CIC.Meanwhile, newcomers who participate in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Programme will benefit from $2.6 million in new funding over the next three years. ‘Through programs like HIPPY, our government is giving newcomers the best chance possible to integrate into Canada and contribute to a prosperous society,’ said Kenney. ‘The government has had a strong affiliation with the HIPPY Programme for many years and is proud to help immigrant parents in their vital role as their child’s first and most important teacher,’ he added.

The HIPPY Program has a strong track record of assisting with settlement and integration of newcomers. It helps parents to be a child’s first educator by improving their own literacy skills and fostering active participation of new Canadian families in Canadian society. The HIPPY Program was developed in Israel in 1969 as an evidence based, community driven programme. Since it was set up in Canada in 1999, HIPPY has expanded its operations and now does work in 15 communities across the country. Over the past 13 years, HIPPY Canada has reached out to more than 6,000 newcomers as well as Aboriginal and other Canadian families.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s settlement allocations for provinces and territories outside of Quebec have almost tripled from less than $200 million in 2005/2006 to about $600 million for the current fiscal year.

RAY CLANCY

MAY 6, 2013

http://www.expatforum.com/canada/canadas-revamped-federal-skilled-worker-visa-programme-open-for-applications.html

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