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New immigration system will award more points for language, fewer for work abroad

posted Aug 19, 2012, 1:44 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Aug 19, 2012, 1:45 PM ]
Published on Saturday August 18, 2012 Nicholas Keung Immigration Reporter Toronto Star

Ottawa is revamping the point grid it has used for the past 10 years to judge skilled-immigrant applications. The proposed revisions, to go into effect next January, will put more emphasis on language skills and professional credentials equivalent to Canada’s — while de-emphasizing work experience abroad.

This would be the first major overhaul of the immigration point grid system since 2002, when the Liberal government of the day lowered the passing mark and jiggled minor point allocations.

Under amendments to the federal skilled-worker program published Friday, language proficiency — a strong indicator of how well new immigrants do economically — will become the most important factor in whether applicants are approved, worth a maximum of 28 points, up from 24.

The total “passing” mark will remain at 67, but the revised grid will favour younger immigrants by awarding a maximum of 12 points for applicants in the 18-35 age bracket. Applicants over 46 would get 0 points.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is also proposing to reduce the total number of points given for work experience from 21 to 15, and increase the years of experience required to achieve full points from four years to six.