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2013 brings many changes to Canada’s immigration programs

The five most significant changes are as follows:
  1. Changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program - to encourage younger applicants with strong language skills. An educational qualification assessment will also be required. Applications will be accepted from May 4th 2013 onwards.
  2. Introduction of the Federal Skilled Trades Class - to encourage foreign skilled tradespeople who have either a job offer or a Canadian certificate of qualification. Applications have been accepted since January 2nd 2013.
  3. Change to the Canadian Experience Class (Foreign Worker Stream) - the 24 month requirement of skilled work in Canada has been reduced to 12 months. This is a great incentive for those in Canada on working holiday visas. Applications have been accepted since January 2nd 2013.
  4. Introduction of bridging visas – to help those in Canada on a work permit stay in Canada and continue working while their permanent residency application is in process
  5. Introduction of two year conditional permanent residence for certain sponsored spouses. This came into effect in October 2012.

There are no announcements made yet with regards to the following categories:
  1. Investor applications – the federal program remains closed until further notice. The Quebec investor program is expected to re-open on March 31st 2013 however.
  2. Entrepreneur applications – the federal program remains closed until further notice.
  3. Parent and grandparent sponsorship – the federal program remains closed until further notice. The 24 month pause that was brought in (November 2011) remains in effect. Supervisas are offered for those parents and grandparents wishing to come and visit.

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