5 Steps You Should Take Now to Prepare for the Re-Opening of the Skilled Worker Program


The Federal Skilled Worker Program was suspended in July of 2012.  It will re-open on May 4 of this year, with new rules, new occupations and new quotas as compared to the old program.

If you are a skilled worker with a mix of higher education, a trade, and work experience, then this program will likely offer you an opportunity to immigrate to Canada.

However, you shouldn’t wait to prepare to apply until the program re-opens.  There are steps you can take right now to improve your chances when you apply in May.  I’ve listed the top five below steps you should take, below.

1) Applicant Language Training

The federal government has indicated that proficiency in English or French (Canada’s official languages) will be one of the most important factors in assessing applications.  A level 7 score on the Canadian Language Benchmark assessment will be required in order to apply. {link]?

If English (or French) is not your first language, then you should brush- up on your skills now to ensure you get the highest points possible on a language exam.  This will no doubt improve your chances of a successful application in future.

2) Spouse’s Language Training

We know that a spouse’s language ability will be a selection factor under the new program.  So if your spouse is weak in English or French, he or she should improve his or her language skills now to ensure a high language test score later.  If you do any language training, be sure it will help you on the IELTS exam, which is the most common exam accepted by CIC.

3) Evaluate Your Credentials

Education or professional credentials will be closely scrutinized and evaluated for their “true value” in Canada.  Although we don’t know what this process will be at this time, you should start collecting the paperwork on your credentials now and comparing them to Canadian credentials.  Contact professional or trade associations in Canada to see if you can get an indication on how your credentials will be viewed in Canada, and if you can take any additional training or courses now so your credentials will be fully recognized in Canada.

4) Contact Employers    

There will be a fast-track for employers to hire foreign applicants quickly.  Finding employers open to hiring foreigners can be a time-consuming process, so make enquiries now and maybe you can secure a job offer just as the new program re-opens.

5) Gather Your Documents

All immigration applications require copies of basic documents such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, custody arrangements, employment letters and contracts, and so forth.

Begin gathering those documents now, as we don’t know the quotas for the new skilled worker program.  You’ll want to apply as soon as possible before the quotas are filled, and gathering these sorts of documents can be time-consuming, especially if you have to order new copies from government agencies or educational institutions.

I hope you find these tips useful, and if you do, I ask that you please share this post with your social community or others who may benefit.  Thanks for reading!

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile