New Changes to the Skilled Worker Category: 20,000 cap and New Occupation List

Skilled Worker Application Occupation List

On Saturday, June 26th, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced in a news conference that the number of jobs considered for fast-tracking for skilled worker applications would be narrowed down to a list of 29 occupations and that a cap would be placed on the number of applications processed. The number of applications processed per year as of June 26th, 2010 is 20,000.

This means that after June 26th, only 20,000 applications will be considered for processing within the next 12 months and 1,000 of those applications under the 20,000 cap are designated for Federal Skilled Worker applications.

The jobs that made the list place a greater emphasis on economic recovery and include restaurant and food service managers, architects, biologists, pharmacists, dentists, chefs, cooks, specialist physicians and plumbers.

In order for an application to be considered for processing, the results of an official language proficiency test must be included as well as a valid offer of employment or one full year full-time or equivalent part-time paid and continuous work experience in one of the 29 professions within the past 10 years.

It’s safe to say everyone will be scrambling to get these applications underway and sent off as soon as possible in order to qualify to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker. This also makes it especially important to have an immigration lawyer help you ensure that your paperwork is filled out properly and that no omissions or errors are made because it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity because of a simple paperwork error or omitted requirement.

I frankly am surprised that these changes were made given our aging demographics, increased global competition and recent economic recession. Canada more than ever needs more and more skilled workers to meet its labor needs. Imposing an annual cap services would serve the opposite effect, limiting potential immigrant candidates for needed jobs.

We will have to see how this all plays out but it seems that the Conservative government likes to use “blunt instruments” when it comes to immigration policies to solve systemic problems. My prediction is that more damage than good will come out of these changes but only time will tell.

Have a question about the Skilled Worker Category? Feel free to contact Niren and Associates immigration law firm.


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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