Sun | Feb 14, 2016

Is Canada now accepting applications under the skilled-workers' programme?

Published:Tuesday | January 15, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Ms Powell,

I am a professional in Jamaica and I am desirous of moving to Canada. Some time ago, you mentioned that the Federal Skill Program was "frozen" and that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is no longer accepting applications. Do you know when this will reopen? How do I know if I qualify to immigrate as a professional?


Dear B.A.

CIC announced recently that it will start accepting applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) in May 2012, and qualified persons will be able to submit their applications for consideration. It is expected that the new system will result in a reduction of the time that it takes to process applications.

You should note that there will be a limit to the number of applications that will be accepted, and so applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis. This means that individuals who are thinking of applying should ensure that they have their paperwork ready in advance, so that their applications can be submitted before the quota is filled. In fact, there are several persons who have already contacted us to assess their eligibility, and we are now merely awaiting the date to submit their applications. This is proactive thinking.

An evaluation will be done to see if an individual accumulates a minimum of 67 of the 100 points needed to qualify under the FSWP. Points may be accumulated as follows:

Criteria Maximum pts
Language 28
Age 12
Education 25
Work Experience 15
Arranged Employment 10
Adaptability 10

Some persons may not qualify under this FSWP category based on the point system; however, an assessment of your details by an immigration lawyer could reveal that you qualify under one of the other categories. You should also note that there are more than 60 different categories that provide an opportunity to immigrate to Canada and it's best to contact an immigration lawyer to do an evaluation on your behalf, to see which category is best for you.

I must also remind you that immigration rules change often, so if you are advised by a lawyer that you qualify under a particular category, you should not hesitate, but act immediately.

"Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in." Andrew Jackson

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada, bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family, commercial and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to email: Subject line: Immigration Tel: 613.695.8777.