In recent months, the government has announced several changes to Canadian immigration laws following its tabling of the Economic Action Plan 2012, which identified the creation of a fast and flexible economic immigration system which will meet Canada’s labour market needs as the plan’s primary goal.
In achieving this end, the government first sought to address the Federal Skilled Worker (“FSW”) program, and the backlog it is facing.
FSW applications can currently take up to 6-7 years to be processed, something that the government says flies in the face of Canada’s interest in obtaining skilled workers who meet current demands of and have the current desired skills to flourish in the Canadian economy.
On March 30, 2012, the government announced that they will be seeking to eliminate the large backlog of old (ie. Pre-February 28, 2008) FSW applications. In doing so, the government seeks to shift the processing priority toward newer federal skilled worker applicants who will be evaluated under a new points system that the government hopes will better ensure that applicants will have the current, in-demand skills that the Canadian economy requires right now.
Proposed “Pool” of Skilled Workers – the “Just in Time” approach
In referencing the immigration policies and procedures adopted by Australia and New Zealand, and in keeping with the objective of creating a fast and flexible economic immigration system, the government is also proposing the creation of a kind of “pool” of skilled workers. This initiative would allow for the active recruitment of skilled foreign nationals to come to Canada to fill specific skills shortages, by putting in place a system where prospective applicants can be selected from a pool made up of prospective immigrants with the skills, experience and education that are most needed in the country at that time.
This “just in time” system would not accumulate a backlog because there is no requirement to process each and every application, regardless of whether the applicant’s skills matched the current labour market needs. Rather, resources would be put toward actively matching the best recently qualified applicants to the current economic needs and perhaps to specific companies.
The government is now seeking to enter a dialogue with provinces, territories and employers regarding approaches to developing a pool of skilled workers who are ready to immediately begin working in Canada.
For further information with respect to US and Canadian immigration or to find out if you or a company employee is eligible for temporary or permanent relocation to Canada or the US, we invite you to contact our experienced immigration lawyers and attorneys by contacting the Bomza Law Group at:
1-800-993-9971 or by clicking here: “Contact Us”.