What the Economic Action Plan 2014 means for skilled job seekers

By on August 16, 2014
Canada Economic Action Plan

The Government is transforming the immigration system into one that is fast, flexible and focused on meeting Canada’s economic and labour market needs. To that end, Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to provide $14.0 million over two years and $4.7 million per year ongoing to launch a new recruitment model—the Expression of Interest system—in January 2015.

With several economic immigration programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class, the Expression of Interest empowers the Government of Canada, provinces and territories and even employers to pick and select highly skilled immigrants. Candidates interested in immigrating to Canada would need to make an online submission under the Expression of Interest system detailing their skills and experience. The information thus provided will be categorised, sorted and ranked and matched with other similar applicants. Based on this categorisation the government will invite the most highly qualified or ranked candidates for permanent residence. Likewise considering labour market needs provinces territories and employers will be able to pick the most appropriate candidates.

With the Jobs Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act which was introduced in parliament under Bill C-38, and has now become a law, the Economic Action Plan 2012 has offered to cancel applications and return fees paid by Federal Skilled Worker program (FSWP) applicants who applied for immigration prior to February 27, 2008. Based on FSWP selection criteria if an applicant applied before February 27, 2008 and the immigration officer hadn’t made a decision by March 29, 2012 then the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) would terminate the applicant’s Federal Skilled Worker files.

The fees paid to the CIC will be returned without interest to the candidates who are eliminated under the Bill C-38. Estimated figures say that about 280,000 people including dependents would be affected.

About the Initiative

The government of Canada plans on exploring various schemes to create a pool of skilled workers along with Provinces, territories and employers. On June 29, 2012 the Jobs, Growth and Long –term Prosperity Act was passed tabling legislative alterations. With the termination of backlogged FSWP applications the Government will be able to create a quick and easy economic immigration system. Thus applicants who had applied before February 27, 2008 and were still pending a decision based on FSWP selection criteria before March 29, 2012 were eliminated this was brought about by the additional amendments done to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

To assist applicants who have been affected the CIC has listed additional information on their website. Furthermore a central task force has been set up in Ottawa to help with entire procedure of returning the fees to all the affected applicants.

Who Will Benefit

This will create a quick and effective immigration system that will be able to process applications deftly and counter the ever changing requirements of the labour market. Thus the entire procedure of immigration that once took years will be cut down to a matter of months benefiting both employers and provinces. This improvement in efficiency will also have a major impact on future immigration applicants.

With the FSWP application backlog eliminated CIC will be able to concentrate on streamlining the arrival of skilled immigrants who apply under the current eligibility criteria to meet the shortage of the Canadian labour market. The estimated number of applicants affected in the elimination of this backlog amounts to 280,000 people, including their dependents.

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