Federal Skilled Worker Program and Immigrant Investor Program Temporarily Closed

Would-be Canadian immigrants are expected to face an even greater challenge obtaining Canadian permanent resident permits.  Canadian immigration applicants will be dismayed to learn that effective July, 1st 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada authorities will temporarily cease to process new applications under the Federal Immigrant Investor program and the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

This moratorium falls in line with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s broad reforms to the way Canada’s immigration system operates. By temporarily closing these avenues for potential immigrants who seek Canadian permanent resident visas, Kenney hopes to take time to rejuvenate the system in order for the country to have a more efficient and flexible immigration system by the end of 2012.

Kenney was also responsible for eliminating the backlog for applications submitted under the Federal Skilled Worker Program before February 27th 2008, decrying it as a “major roadblock to Canada’s ability to respond to rapidly changing labour market needs.” This move affected an estimated 280,000 immigrants and has sparked international protests.

The close on the Federal Skilled Worker Program does not affect applicants who have an arranged offer of employment nor those who qualify under the category as PhD students.

While these programs are on a temporary stand-still, CIC will continue to process applications that have already been received by Canada immigration offices. The government expects to enhance the selection criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program to better suit Canada’s economic needs, to facilitate the transition of Canada’s temporary skilled workers to permanent residents, and to smooth the economic integration of newly-arrived Canada skilled workers.

The Federal Immigrant Investor Program will undergo a process of similar reform while it remains intermittently inactive. CIC expects to consult with provinces and businesses to maximize the program’s returns to Canada. It hopes to secure more permanent investments in the Canadian economy. 

These changes have been launched according to special Ministerial Instructions which, under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, give Kenney the power to issue these as a way to optimize Canada’s pursuit towards its immigration objectives.

For the latest updates regarding Canadian immigration legislation, refer back to our news and articles section or visit our twitter page @FWCanada. 

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