Recent changes to Canadian economic immigration programs will help reduce backlogs

June, 2011

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently announced major changes in three Canadian immigration programs which will come into effect from 1st July 2011.

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According to CIC, the intake of applications for selected immigration categories will be adjusted in order to cut back the backlogs of economic immigration applications and improve wait times. These changes will affect new applicants to three Canadian immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Immigrant Investor and Federal Immigrant Entrepreneur. However, they will not affect the number of permanent resident admissions in 2011 in these three categories.

Under new Federal Skilled Worker program, the only change will be with regard to the number of immigration applications to be accepted for processing. Canadian immigration department will accept a maximum of 10,000 new Skilled Worker Visa applications, without an offer of arranged employment in Canada, for processing each year. Within the 10,000 limit, a maximum of 500 new applications in each of the current 29 priority occupations will be considered. Meanwhile, those having a valid offer of job from any Canadian employer will not be affected by such limits.

In addition, the Minister Jason Kenney has introduced an upper limit of 700 on new Canadian investor visa applications for the coming one year. All applicants will have to submit processing fees, a copy of their passport, and duly filled forms to the Centralized Intake Office, Sydney, Nova Scotia on or after July 1, 2011. All other supporting documents will be required at a later stage of the processing.

A temporary moratorium on Federal Immigrant Entrepreneur program has been announced. As of July 1, 2011, no new Entrepreneur visa applications will be accepted by CIC. It has not stated when the program will start again. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application to the Quebec Entrepreneur Program or to one of the various business immigration programs offered by the provinces. Wait times for this program currently stretch to eight years in some visa offices. So, the Government have to stop and put it under a review in the coming months to ensure that Canada is better able to attract innovative entrepreneurs to come to Canada.

If you are interested in Immigration to Canada, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our Visa Assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Canada.