Immigration News

Ministerial Instructions published in the Canada Gazette on June 26th have introduced changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Immigrant Investor Program.

Federal Skilled Worker

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced significant changes to the processing of Federal Skilled Worker applications. These changes include:

Removal of Category 3

Temporary foreign worker (TFW) or international student residing in Canada for one year and still in Canada (previously known as Category 3) can no longer apply under the Federal Skilled Worker program unless these individuals have an arranged employment offer pursuant to subsection 82(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations or have at least one year of continuous full time or equivalent paid work experience in the last ten years in at least one of the occupational categories identified in the Ministerial Instructions.

Publication of 29 in demand occupation list

  • 0631: Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • 0811: Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)
  • 1122: Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
  • 1233: Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners
  • 2121: Biologists and Related Scientists
  • 2151: Architects
  • 3111: Specialist Physicians
  • 3112: General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • 3113: Dentists
  • 3131: Pharmacists
  • 3142: Physiotherapists
  • 3152: Registered Nurses
  • 3215: Medical Radiation Technologists
  • 3222: Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists
  • 3233: Licensed Practical Nurses
  • 4151: Psychologists
  • 4152: Social Workers
  • 6241: Chefs
  • 6242: Cooks
  • 7215: Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
  • 7216: Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
  • 7241: Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System)
  • 7242: Industrial Electricians
  • 7251: Plumbers
  • 7265: Welders & Related Machine Operators
  • 7312: Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • 7371: Crane Operators
  • 7372: Drillers & Blasters - Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction
  • 8222: Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

NOTE: the occupations above are all Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification list.

Cap (limit) of 20,000 applications per year

CMI Fellows SHOULD note for clients applying under one of the 29 eligible occupations, that a maximum of 20,000 Federal Skilled Worker applications will be considered for processing each year. Also, within the 20,000 cap, a maximum of 1,000 Federal Skilled Worker applications per eligible occupation will be considered for processing each year. The first year began on June 26, 2010 and will end on June 30, 2011. Subsequent years will be calculated from July 1st to June 30th.

CIC has indicated that it will stop processing additional applications once the cap is reached. In this case, CIC will advise the applicant in writing that their application will not continue and refund their processing fee.

Exemption to 20,000 limit

The cap or limit does not apply to those individuals applying under the Federal Skilled Worker program with an Arranged job offer (AEO) pursuant to subsection 82(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Mandatory language test

Mandatory language tests are required for all skilled worker applications. Previously, applicants had the option of proving their language ability via a written submission. Citizenship and Immigration Canada now only accepts designated third-party language tests as proof of language ability – no exceptions.

Canadian Experience Class

Canadian Experience Class applications received by the designated Citizenship and Immigration office on or after June 26, 2010, must be accompanied by the results of the principal applicant’s English or French language proficiency assessment.

Immigrant Investor Program

New Eligibility Criteria

The Government of Canada is proposing new eligibility criteria for the Immigrant Investor Program. These proposed regulatory changes would require new investors to have a personal net worth of $1.6 million, up from $800,000, and make an investment of $800,000, up from $400,000.

Administrative Pause

No federal Immigrant Investor application will be accepted unless it is post-marked or received by the designated CIC office before June 26, 2010. This pause will extend until the coming into force of proposed regulatory amendments to the definitions of “Investor” and “Investment” applicable to Business Immigrants in Division 2 of Part 6 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Quebec

The province of Quebec has its own Immigrant Investor Program therefore, the processing of applications for permanent residence for investors selected by the province will continue as usual. Coming into force The above changes took effect on June 26th 2010.