Canadian Immigration proposes changes for assessing skilled worker credentials

Wed, 2012-04-04 03:10 PM
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced a new proposal that would change how foreign skilled workers' education credentials are assessed. The proposed new requirement would require applicants wishing to immigrate under the Federal Skilled Worker program to have their foreign education credentials assessed and verified before they arrive in Canada.

"Our Government is building an immigration system that is focused on economic growth and ensuring that all Canadians, including immigrants, are able to contribute to their maximum capacity," said Kenney. "By having their foreign education credentials assessed before their arrival to Canada, foreign skilled workers will have a better sense of how their credentials fit into the Canadian labour market and will be able to contribute their full skill set to the economy more quickly."

The new process would let visa applicants know how their education credentials compared to Canadian credentials and it will give immigrants a sense of how Canadian employers are likely to value their education before they arrive in Canada. It is hoped that this new process will help eliminate applicants who do not meet the education requirements. The government also believes that this is an important step in helping to address the problem of immigrants arriving and not being able to work in their field.

Although, it is important to note that this credential assessment would not mean that Federal Skilled Workers would automatically find employment in Canada or within their desired occupation. It also won't guarantee that immigrants will automatically be licensed to practice in a regulated occupation.

"Internationally trained workers make an important contribution to Canada's job market and the economy," said Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "That's why our Government is working in partnership to improve foreign credential recognition so that skilled newcomers can put their knowledge and skills to work sooner."

Those interested in immigrating to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker program must meet the following requirements:
  • You must have a valid offer of arranged employment, OR
  • You must have one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in at least one of the occupations listed on the Shortage Occupation List, OR
  • You must be an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or have graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet certain criteria.
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