Contrary to earlier reports that Canada intends to reduce the number of visa allocation to reduce the waiting times for backlogged permanent resident applications under the Federal Skilled Worker program, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced on 3 November 2011 that the government plans to increase the visa allocation for FSW class from 47,000 to 57,000.
The increase in visa numbers will be included in a summary report that is being finalized after government consultation with stakeholders in the provinces. The decision was announced after "an important milestone was reached this year when the FSW application backlog…was reduced by more than 50 percent, two years ahead of schedule.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that “skilled immigrants add to Canada’s international competitiveness” and therefore, the government is “committed to facilitating the arrival of the best and the brightest to” Canada.
What buoyed the Immigration Minister’s optimism is the fact that the FSW program is “working well” and that “89 percent of FSWs were employed or self-employed in three years after landing. Moreover, 95 percent of the employers surveyed indicated that FSWs were meeting or exceeding their expectations."
To keep Canada competitive, “more nimble and responsive to labour needs” the Canadian government will “continue to ramp…efforts to modernize” the immigration system.
It is very likely then that the current 10,000 annual cap to FSW applicants would be restored to the original number of 20,000 and the limit per occupation returned to 1,000 instead of the current 500. It is not farfetched to expect the number of priority occupations would be increased from the current list of 29.
For more information on FSW processing and updates, please call the Immigrant Visa Center at (02) 634-8717.