CANADA’S Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander on Thursday announced new measures in key economic immigration programs to prepare for next year’s launch of Express Entry, Canada’s new active recruitment model. Express Entry will lead to a faster and more flexible economic immigration system that will address Canada’s economic and labour market needs.
To prepare for the launch of Express Entry in 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will begin accepting applications under new caps for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), starting May 1. These measures will ensure a steady supply of skilled workers who are settling in Canada permanently and helping to supplement the Canadian workforce in areas where there are skills shortages.
With the FSWP backlog on track for elimination this year, a new cap of 25,000 applications will provide the appropriate number of applications to support expected admissions in 2015. The list of eligible occupations – reflecting the latest labour market needs – will be more than doubled, from 24 to 50 occupations.
To support Canada’s need for skilled trades people, the FSTP cap will be increased to 5,000 applications. All 90 skilled trades designated under the program regulations will now be eligible for consideration, although sub-caps remain in order to ensure appropriate representation of occupations.
The CEC cap will be re-set at 8,000 applications, as of May 1, to cover the transition period leading up to Express Entry.
The full set of ministerial instructions will be available in the Canada Gazette on April 26.
* These are the last FSWP, FSTP and CEC applications that will be accepted under the current system before Express Entry launches in January 2015.
* Application caps ensure that the immigration programs continue to address labour market needs and that backlogs are not created.
* The latest FSWP occupation list was developed based on recent labour market data from Employment and Social Development Canada and input from the provinces and territories on regional labour market needs.
* Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 will invest $14 million over two years and $4.7 million per year ongoing to ensure the successful implementation of Express Entry.
“With these measures in place for our key economic programs, our government is ensuring our immigration system is addressing Canada’s economic and labour market needs while reducing backlogs and improving processing times. We look forward to the launch of Express Entry next January, which will be a major step forward in attracting