Changes to the Skilled Worker Occupation List: Canada announces "Action Plan for Faster Immigration"

Changes to the Skilled Worker Priority List may be coming….Again

Those who are eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Skilled Worker Program could be risking their eligibility if they wait too long, because the Action Plan for Faster Immigration that was announced on March 16th by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney means the Government of Canada is hiring consultants to determine what professions would best benefit from being added to or removed from the Priority Occupation List.

The Government of Canada announced the Priority Occupation List in 2008 in order to fast-track the skilled worker applications so that those who worked in high-demand occupations would be able to come to Canada and begin working faster.

The Skilled Worker Program allows those with an occupation listed on the Priority Occupation List to come to Canada without a preexisting job offer from a Canadian employer in their field. However, in some cases obtaining “Arranged Employment” in advance in Canada  would be necessary to qualify.

Kenney mentioned in his announcement that the Priority Occupation List has been extremely successful, but as Canada’s economic situation changes and so must the skills that are considered in demand.

“The Action Plan for Faster Immigration is designed to make immigration more responsive to Canada’s economic conditions,” said Kenney, “when these conditions change, the instructions are meant to change too. The first set of instructions has had a significant impact, but our research shows it is time to revise them to make sure they continue to meet their goals.”

Remember, the program is meant to benefit Canada’s economy as much as the immigrants themselves. While it provides ample opportunity for skilled workers to come to Canada, the program will be ever changing to best suit the needs of the economy.

Apply Now if you Qualify for the Skilled Worker Program

What this all means for prospective Skilled Worker Applicants is that if you are considering applying for permanent residence through the Skilled Worker Program, it is imperative that you consider doing so sooner rather than later, as you occupation could be removed and replaced on the prioirty list. If this happens you may no longer qualify for immigration to Canada under this category.

Last November we reported changes to the Skilled Worker Program here. And once again, the winds of change are blowing again.

As I have said many times. Immigration Law is constantly changing; it is a moving target. And to score a “bulls eye”  you need to know what is happening behind the scene before it happens.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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