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Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced its new FSWP which they propose to implement in January 2013 and begin to accept applications for shortly thereafter.

Some of the most noteworthy changes include:

1.Language skills will be the single most important selection factor in the Program. They will introduce a new minimum official language benchmark and assign higher point values for language in the total assessment grid.

2.Younger immigrants will be favoured as the point values for older workers will be reduced.

3.Canadian work experience will be given greatly preferential treatment when compared to work experience obtained in source countries.

4.Improvements to transparency and credibility should simplify the processing of the “Arranged Employment” criteria, a problematic factor to prove in the past.

5.In addition, the new FSW program will allocate points for spousal language ability and any Canadian experience, especially work experience.

Furthermore, CIC is introducing the Educational Credential Assessment for all FSWP candidates. This mandatory requirement means that applicants must have their education obtained abroad assessed against Canadian education standards by designated organizations. CIC will then award points, based on that assessment, rating their foreign educational credentials against having completed them in Canada. However, it must be noted that such an assessment by CIC does not necessarily guarantee that they would become licensed to practice in a regulated occupation.