July 1, 2012

July 2012 Visa Bulletin - Pause, Prepare and Plan

The temporary pause on acceptance of new Federal Skilled Workers program is understandably a huge disappointment for those who prepared in advance for July 1, 2012 opening.  On the other hand, this development is a relief for those who are not yet ready.  They were practically given 6 more months to prepare.

New applications under the Federal Skilled Workers program (without Arranged Employment) will be accepted starting January 2013.  If you are still interested to live and work in Canada, what you will do for the next six months to prepare yourself is crucial.

New Points System for Federal Skilled Workers program
The proposed changes to FSW points system, which will be implemented starting January 2013, will be placing more emphasis on younger workers and will give more weight on the Language Proficiency.  It will also make the program more accessible to skilled tradespeople.

The ideal age would be between 21-35 years old.  Applicants within the age bracket between 36-49 years will no longer be awarded the maximum points for the Age factor.  The maximum points to be gained from IELTS Examination results would be increased from 16 points to 20 points.  The maximum points for Work Experience factor will be reduced from 21 points to 15 points.

Here's what you may do to increase your chances.

Get a better IELTS Scores. You will be in a better position if you do not have score lower than 6.5 in any of the 4 areas. Skilled Tradespeople may afford to get lower IELTS Scores.

Take French Language Evaluation Test.  This will give you additional points which will help you meet the passmark, especially if you belong to the age bracket of 36-49 years old.  For information on how to take the French Language Evaluation Test, please check: TEF: Test d’évaluation de français | TEF in the Philippines. This was what Ms. Romina Santos did to meet the 67 points pass mark.  Read about her story here: French language evaluation test did the trick!

Credentials Assessment

In one of the speeches of the Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, emphasis was given to the need for Credentials Assessment result as part of the requirements for those who occupations are regulated in Canada.  It may or may not be required when the program opens this coming January 2013, but if you are planning to live and work in Canada, you will need this process in order to practice your profession once you landed in Canada.

Language test preparation and credentials assessment would mean additional cost to you.  These are optional but highly suggested.  You can have this accomplished within the next six months.  The choice is yours.

For those who are interested to get their credentials assessed, check out Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) for more information.  For Registered Nurses, here's a Guide for Filipino Nurses.

Other Immigration Programs
Canada is still open for immigrant.  There is a temporary pause in accepting new FSW applications but there are other programs available depending on your circumstances.

Arranged Employment
The Federal Skilled Workers program is still open for those with Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO).  Canadian Immigration Consultancy is not a recruitment agency and does not have placement services.  However, if you found an employer who is willing to hire you, we can help in the application for Arranged Employment Opinion.  Start sending your resume to Canadian employers now and you may stumble an employer who is willing to hire you. This could be of help: How to find jobs in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program
Most provinces in Canada have an agreement with the Government of Canada that allows them to nominate immigrants who wish to settle in that province. The common equirement is you must have a job offer but there are provinces wherein a relative may serve as 'sponsor'.  If you have friends or distant relatives in Manitoba, they can also help you immigrate to Canada. More information here: Provincial Nominee Program.

Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program
You do not need a job offer to be eligible under Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program. But since Quebec is predominantly French speaking Canadian Province, you will have to learn French language to successfully settle there.  You may send your resume for aapuntar@go2canada.com for assessment.  Your education/experience must be included in Quebec Skilled Worker Program's Priority List.

Pre-February 27, 2008 FSW Applicants
The proposed legislation aiming to close the files of FSW applicants who applied before February 27, 2008, and for whom an immigration officer has not made a decision based on selection criteria by March 29, 2012 is not yet approved.

The temporary pause on new FSW applications does not necessarily mean that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will start to process Pre-February 27, 2008 FSW Applicants again.  It will be great if they would. Unfortunately, we will just have to wait for now. Please read: Options for Pre-February 27, 2008 FSW Applicants.

UPDATE July 10, 2012:
Operational Bulletin 442 - June 29, 2012 (Cessation of Processing and Return of Fees for Certain Federal Skilled Worker Applications)

Processing of certain applications made under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program prior to February 27, 2008, is to cease effective June 29, 2012, and fees paid to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in respect of the affected applications are to be returned to the person who paid them as required by law.