Press Room

Government to Legislate Away Foreign Skilled Worker Backlog

As part of its recently released 2012 Budget, the Government of Canada has indicated that it will introduce legislation which will effectively eliminate the longstanding backlog of applications in the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program.

Under the proposed legislation, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will close the files and return the applications, along with the fees originally submitted, of all FSW applicants who applied before February 27, 2008 (when new eligibility and priority occupation criteria went into effect) and for whom – as of March 29, 2012 – an immigration officer had not made a selection decision.

The proposed legislation is expected to affect about 280,000 FSW applicants, including their dependents, and cost up to $130 million in refunded application fees.

Until the FSW proposal is enacted and comes into force, local managers are to continue with the processing of FSW applications, including FSW applications made prior to February 27, 2008, whether a selection decision has been rendered or not prior to March 29, 2012. This means that processing of all cohorts of FSW cases should continue. Established priorities for MI cases remain in effect.

For further information on Government’s proposed legislation to eliminate the FSW backlog or with respect the FSW program generally, please contact the immigration law specialists at Green and Spiegel LLP.