December 19, 2012

On July 1, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada placed a temporary pause on accepting new Federal Skilled Worker Applications for Permanent Residence in Canada for processing. On December 19, 2012, Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, announced that the Government of Canada will start accepting Federal Skilled Worker Applications, again, on May 4, 2013.

Under the new Federal Skilled Worker Program, successful applicants will have to score sixty-seven (67) points or more based on revised eligibility criteria and, depending on which is their stronger language (English or French) they will have to meet a minimum language threshold (Medium Intermediate Proficiency or higher in each of reading/writing/speaking/listening). They will also have to have their foreign educational credentials assessed by a Canadian agency. To qualify, applicants’ foreign educational credentials must match or exceed Canadian standards. As part of our legal services, Abrams & Krochak will assist its clients to have their credentials assessed.

What is unclear, however, is whether Citizenship and Immigration Canada will publish an Occupational Demand List, whereby applicants must have a minimum of one (1) year of full-time experience in any one (1) or more of the occupations on the List in order to qualify.

If you have had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class favourably assessed by Abrams & Krochak since August 17, 2012 and wish to retain/engage our services, we strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible. In previous years, Citizenship and Immigration Canada imposed a quota on the number of Federal Skilled Worker Applications it would accept in a twelve (12) month period AND on the number of Applications it would accept for a particular occupation. It appears as though quotas will be reinstated when the Federal Skilled Worker category reopens on May 4, 2013. Therefore, if you wish to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker with our assistance, it is IMPERATIVE that you retain/engage our services AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. In this way, (i) we can have your educational credentials assessed; (ii) you can undergo formal language testing (both requirements under the Federal Skilled Worker Class); and (iii) we can have your Application package prepared and ready for filing by May 4, 2013. Otherwise, the quota(s) for your particular occupation and/or for ALL Federal Skilled Worker Applications may be reached by the time you are ready to file, thereby rendering you ineligible to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker.

Assuming you become Abrams & Krochak’s client, once Citizenship and Immigration Canada provides further details regarding the processing of new Federal Skilled Worker Applications and if it publishes an Occupational Demand List and your occupation(s) do(es) not appear on the List OR if your educational/professional credentials are not favourably assessed by the new Canadian foreign credentials assessment agency, Abrams & Krochak will work with you to explore other options to make your proposed Canadian Immigration plans a success (i.e. Arranged Employment/Provincial Nominee Programs/Temporary Visas (i.e. Work Permits/Study Permits), etc.). Nevertheless, if you ultimately decide to discontinue the process, the terms and conditions of our 100% Money-Back Guarantee (page 4, paragraph 4) will govern the amount of the refund of legal fees to which you are entitled (if any).

If you have had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class favourably assessed by Abrams & Krochak and you have any questions, regarding the new Federal Skilled Worker Program, please send an e-mail to

If you have not yet had your eligibility to immigrate to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class assessed by Abrams & Krochak, but wish to do so, please visit

Federal Skilled Trades Class Launch Date Formally Announced

December 10, 2012

On Monday, December 10, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced the January 2, 2013 launch of a new Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

In order to qualify under the FSTP, applicants will need to:

1. have an offer of employment in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a province or territory to ensure that applicants are “job ready” upon arrival;

2. meet a basic language requirement;

3. have a minimum of two years of work experience as a skilled tradesperson, to ensure that the applicant has recent and relevant practice as a qualified journeyman; and

4. have the skills and experience that match those set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC B) system, showing that they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.

In order to manage intake, avoid backlogs and ensure fast processing times, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept up to a maximum of 3,000 applications in the first year of the FSTP.

Eligible occupations will include electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics, and pipefitters, among others. CIC is currently working with the provinces, territories and federal government partners on the list of skilled trades’ occupations that are experiencing acute labour shortages and which will qualify under the program. This list will be announced prior to the program opening on January 2, 2013.

More details, regarding the FSTP, will be published on Abrams & Krochak’s website, once the information becomes available from CIC.