Just in time for Canada Day, Citizenship and Immigration Canada unveiled changes to Canadian immigration policies as part of the Conservative government and Minister Jason Kenney’s overhaul of the Canadian immigration system.
Several ‘temporary pauses’ to streams of the popular Economic Class, drew concern from many within the Canadian immigration community and was especially disappointing to hopeful Canadian immigration applicants. It was announced that no new applications for the Federal Skilled Worker program would be accepted on or after July 1st, 2012, except for those applying through the PhD eligibility stream (until the annual cap of 1000 is reached) or those with a qualifying offer of arranged employment. The annual cap for the PhD stream is set to end on October 31st, 2012 and reset on November 1st, 2012 unless otherwise specified in future Ministerial instructions. CIC maintains that the pause in one of Canada’s most popular immigration programs was put in place to better manage current applications and help ensure that the future intake of applications is consistent with upcoming changes in the regulation of the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Application intake is reported to resume in January 2013, when the awaited changes to the Federal Skilled Worker class are expected to take effect.
A pause was similarly put into effect for the Federal Immigrant Investor Class, as CIC indicated the need for more time to process current applications. No time frame was offered as to when applicants should expect the program to re-open. Applicants of the Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Immigrant Investor Classes whose applications are received on or after July 1, 2012, and who do not fall under the two categories of applicants exempt from the pause in application intake, will not have their applications processed and will have their processing fees refunded.
The operational bulletin released by CIC indicated that application intake through the Federal Entrepreneur Class will also be put on hold indefinitely. Likewise, the pause put in place on November 5, 2011 for new sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents through the Family Class will also remain in effect indefinitely.
Temporary Resident applications however, will continue to be processed upon receipt of complete applications, thereby insuring eligible Temporary Foreign Workers, Foreign Students and Visitors entry into Canada. The Study Permit application process should be facilitated by a reform in immigration policy allowing foreign nationals seeking admission to an authorized school to apply for a Study Permit within Canada, after entering the country as visitors.
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