NEWS RELEASE: Ottawa, December 21, 2012 — The Come to Canada Wizard, which helps people determine if they are eligible to live, work or study in Canada, has now been visited by well over 2 million users since its launch in August 2011. “We want the world’s best and brightest to come to Canada and to help grow our economy,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “The award-winning Wizard is one way that we are creating a more responsive, user-friendly and efficient immigration process that benefits applicants, immigrants and Canadians alike. The Wizard saves prospective immigrants to Canada time and money by helping them determine if they are able to immigrate to Canada, and the most appropriate immigration program for them.”
The Come to Canada Wizard is interactive. It presents users with a series of questions to determine which federal immigration option best suits their specific circumstances. It then leads users through the application steps and provides instructions and forms.
There are now more than 5,000 visits to the Come to Canada Wizard every day. Close to 93 percent of users who have offered feedback say that the Wizard is easy to use and close to 90 percent say they would recommend it to someone they know.
The Wizard received a prominent technology award in November 2012 for Excellence in Public Service Delivery.
Recent improvements to the Citizenship and Immigration website include an interactive tool for newcomers to find services to help them adjust to life in Canada, an interactive map that allows users to find organizations in their area, and improvements to search capabilities that make it easier to find information on the website.
For more information, visit the Come to Canada Wizard.
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An Immigration System that Works for Canada! New Federal Skilled Worker Program to accept applications beginning May 4, 2013!
Ottawa, December 19, 2012 –The new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will take effect on May 4, 2013 at which time the program will re-open for applications, Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. “The government’s number one priority remains jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Kenney. “The new Federal Skilled Worker Program criteria will ensure Canada is selecting the skilled immigrants our economy needs, who are the most likely to succeed and fully realize their potential in Canada.” The improvements to the FSWP points grid are based on a large body of research which has consistently shown that language proficiency and youth are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants. Ottawa, December 19, 2012 –The new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will take effect on May 4, 2013 at which time the program will re-open for applications, Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. “The government’s number one priority remains jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Kenney. “The new Federal Skilled Worker Program criteria will ensure Canada is selecting the skilled immigrants our economy needs, who are the most likely to succeed and fully realize their potential in Canada.”The final changes to the FSWP selection criteria include:
Minimum official language thresholds and increased points for official language proficiency, making language the most important factor in the selection process; Increased emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience, are better positioned to adapt to changing labour market conditions, and who will spend a greater number of years contributing to Canada’s economy; Introduction of the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), so that education points awarded reflect the foreign credential’s true value in Canada; Changes to the arranged employment process, allowing employers to hire applicants quickly, if there is a demonstrated need in the Canadian labour market; and Additional adaptability points for spousal language ability and Canadian work experience.
“For too long, too many immigrants to Canada have experienced underemployement and unemployment, and this has been detrimental to these newcomers and to the Canadian economy,” said Minister Kenney. “Our transformational changes to the FSWP will help ensure that skilled newcomers are able to contribute their skills fully to the economy as soon as possible. This is good for newcomers, good for the economy, and good for all Canadians.”
There are two new steps to the new selection system. First, applicants will have to demonstrate that they meet the minimum language threshold, which is level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmark assessment system. Applicants will be able to get a language assessment from existing agencies designated by the Minister and listed on the CIC website.
Second, applicants will have their education credentials assessed prior to arriving in Canada. A list of assessment organizations designated by the Minister will be made available early in the New Year. The assessment of foreign educational credentials will provide prospective newcomers with a more realistic understanding of how their credentials compare to education standards in Canada. It will also give them the opportunity to upgrade their education prior to coming to Canada if they choose.
It is important to note that these changes will not apply to people who have applied to the FSWP prior to May 4, 2013 with a qualifying arranged job offer or under the Ph.D. stream.
As recently announced, due to the actions taken over the past months, new applications under the FSWP will be processed in a few months, rather than a few years. In order to ensure fast processing times and to avoid backlogs, the new FSWP will accept a fixed number of applications each year.
In the medium term, the Government is also moving forward to develop and implement an Expression of Interest (EOI) model, which will provide employers with access to a pool of skilled workers.
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.