Minister Jason Kenney has announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will place a “temporary pause” on new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP). Both categories were set to reopen to new applicants on July 1, 2012.
According to Minister Kenney’s announcement, the freeze on new applications, effective July 1, 2012, will allow CIC to make important regulatory changes to its economic immigration programs before accepting more applications, including the introduction of revised selection criteria for the FSWP.
The Government has indicated that it will publish the regulatory changes in the coming months in the Canada Gazette and that it expects the intake of FSWP applications to resume in January 2013.
With respect to the IIP, CIC plans to consult with the provinces, territories and stakeholders on ways to reform the program in order “to maximize the economic benefit to Canada.” The Department is also consulting on whether to create a new investor program on a short-term basis, to promote growth in the Canadian economy.
According to CIC’s announcement, the temporary freeze on FSWP applications does not apply to candidates with offers of arranged employment or those applying under the PhD eligibility stream.
For further information on the government’s announcement, or with respect to the FSWP and IIP generally, please contact the immigration law specialists at Green and Spiegel LLP.