Beginning April 10, 2010 the Government of Canada will implement changes to the assessment of language skills to the Federal Skilled Worker and Canadian Experience classes.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, “the language requirements themselves have not changed”, however, potential newcomers will be required to provide proof of their English and French language abilities when they apply. “This requirements supports our commitment to a fast, fair and efficient application processing,” added Minister Kenney.In the past, applicants needed to provide proof of their French or English language ability by submitting an independent, third-party test or a written submission to a visa officer. Even though the written submission was intended for visa applicants whose first language is either French or English, this option was being taken advantage of by people whose first language was not English or French. As a result these applicants needed further language proof because their written submissions could not provide sufficient evidence, delaying the processing time by months.
Minster Kenney stated that applicants can still put forward a written submission for their visa, but have “only once” to do so. He further went on to say that he expects the applicants will have the language skills they claim on their application.
As a result, applicants in these categories will now have only one opportunity to prove their language ability. To ensure faster and fairer processing, “we strongly encourage applicants whose first language isn’t English or French to take a language test,” said Minister Kenney. “We don’t want immigrants to be surprised if their written submission doesn’t match their reported ability, and they don’t get the desired assessment.”
By submitting an independent, third-party language test, applicants are given a clear indication of their ability prior to lodging their applications whereas, with a written test, applicants are unaware of their results until they have paid for, submitted and had their application reviewed by a visa officer at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Emphasis is placed on the applicant’s language ability because it seen as one of the strongest predictor’s of their success in the employment field. Currently people applying for the Canadian Experience Class Work Visa must meet the minimum language requirements based on their current occupation. Likewise, Skilled Workers can be awarded up to 24 points for their official language ability.

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