Canada’s Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has announced that, effective July 1, 2011, Canada will significantly decrease its intake of applications under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Immigrant Investor (IIP) and Entrepreneur economic class immigration programs.
Pursuant to updated Ministerial Instructions which come into force on July 1, 2011 (identified as “MI-3”), the following changes to economic class immigration programs will come into effect.
- FSW applications received by the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia (CIO) on or after July 1 without an Arranged Employment Offer (AEO) will be capped at 10,000 per year rather than the previous cap of 20,000. Within the 10,000 cap, a maximum of 500 new FSW applications per National Occupation Classification (NOC) will be considered for processing each year. In calculating the caps, applications will be considered in order of the date they are received.
- IIP applications will be capped at 700 per year. As in the case of FSW applications, in calculating the cap, new IIP applications will be considered in order of the date they are received. Beginning July 1, but not before then, all IIP applicants must submit their applications to the CIO regardless of the applicant’s place of residence.. Any IIP applications received by the CIO prior to July 1, 2011 will be returned to the applicant with a letter stating that the CIO will only accept IIP applications on or after July 1, 2011.
- On July 1, 2011, a moratorium will go into effect until further notice for all new Entrepreneur class applications. Entrepreneur applications received by visa offices prior to July 1, 2011 will continue to be accepted for processing.
FSW applications with an AEO submitted to the CIO on or after July 1 will be placed into processing under MI-3 and are not subject to the new caps.
All FSW applications received by the CIO prior to July 1, 2011, shall continue to be considered for processing under the Ministerial Instructions in effect until then (MI-2).
All IIP applications received by visa offices prior to July 1, 2011, will continue to processed according to existing priorities.
According to Minister Kenney, the changes are required to reduce the backlog in each of these programs, to improve wait times and to align the number of applications with the country’s labour market needs. For further information on Canada’s economic immigration programs, including the FSW, IIP and Entrepreneur class programs, please contact us.