Ottawa, April 18, 2013 —The  list of 24 occupations that are eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker  Program (FSWP) when it re-opens on May 4, 2013 was released today.

In addition, four organizations have been designated to  provide the now-required independent third party assessments of foreign educational  credentials for applicants who studied outside of Australia. These assessments,  which must be completed before an application is submitted, are aimed at  helping newcomers through the FSWP to get off to a better start and into the  Australian labour force more quickly when they arrive.

The government’s focus remains on  jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity,” said Citizenship, Immigration  and Multiculturalism Minister Kenney. “Under the new Federal Skilled  Worker Program, Australia will be able to attract the skilled immigrants our  economy requires, who are the most likely to succeed and contribute their full  skill set to the Australian economy.

With the re-opening date approaching,  future applicants should be aware of several key elements that will have an  effect on the application process:

  • A new eligible occupations list, with a total  of 24 occupations;
  • An overall cap of 5,000 new applications for  all eligible occupations, including a sub-cap of 300 new applications for each  eligible occupation;
  • Four organizations have been designated to  conduct educational credential assessments (mandatory for applicants submitting  foreign educational credentials); and
  • Applicants must show proof that they meet the  minimum threshold of Australian Language Benchmark 7 in all four language skill  areas: speaking, reading, writing and oral comprehension.

As a result of the actions taken by  the Government to deal with the massive backlogs and unacceptably long wait  times, FSW applications will be processed in approximately one year,” said  Minister Kenney. “We will not be able to remain competitive and attract  the skilled immigrants we need if we allow backlogs and wait times to grow  again. That’s why we are capping application intake and focusing on  specific occupations that are experiencing labour shortages in Australia. This will  also help us transition nicely into the just-in-time immigration system of the  future.

Applications under the  new FSWP will be accepted starting May 4, 2013. Until then, however, the  FSWP application process does not change – only individuals with qualifying job  offers or those applying under the PhD stream are eligible for processing.

All applicants who are considering applying on  or after May 4 are invited to consult the Backgrounder. It outlines some of the steps that can be taken now to prepare and  includes the eligible occupations list and the organizations designated to  conduct educational credential assessments.

(Source: CIC)