New Rules for Economic Class Applications

Canada's immigration system is transforming rapidly, and this spring, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced new quotas for the number of new permanent residence applications processed under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades (FST) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) categories. These will be the last batch of applications under current rules, as CIC is looking to change them with a brand new "Express Entry" system next year.

The new rules came into effect on May 1, 2014. Here are some of the major changes: 

Category                        Overall quota                        Sub-quotas

FSW                                25,000                                   500 for PhD stream

     1,000 each for the 50 eligible occupations


FST                                 5,000                                      100 each for the 90 eligible occupations


CEC                                8,000                                      200 for any NOC B occupation*


* Except for six defined ineligible occupations.


So how does one deal with these quotas?

  1. Have a plan. It is important to identify beforehand which categories you qualify for.
  2. Understand which documents to collect and do so as soon as possible.
  3. Make sure your application is complete and accurate. If not, it may be returned and you will lose your place in line.
  4. Have an expert help you before and after the application is submitted to make sure it is processed properly.