Mar 31 2012

Government of Canada transforms economic immigration program!

Ottawa, March 30, 2012 — To create a fast and flexible immigration system that creates jobs and promotes Canada’s long term prosperity, the Government of Canada will eliminate the backlog in the main federal economic immigration program.

“The Federal Skilled Worker Program backlog is a major roadblock to Canada’s ability to respond to rapidly changing labour market needs,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “Having to process applications that are as many as eight years out of date reduces our ability to focus on new applicants with skills and talents that our economy needs today.”

As announced in Economic Action Plan 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is planning to refund fees and return stale applications from nearly all those applicants who applied under the dated criteria in existence before February 27, 2008.

CIC is transforming its suite of economic immigration programs to create a just-in-time system that recruits people with the right skills to meet Canada’s labour market needs, fast tracks their immigration, and gets them working in a period of months, not years. Eliminating the longstanding backlog of FSW applications will allow the Department to focus resources on facilitating the arrival of skilled immigrants who apply under the current eligibility criteria.

Under proposed legislation, CIC will close the files of FSW applicants who applied before February 27, 2008, and for whom an immigration officer has not made a decision based on selection criteria by March 29, 2012. This is expected to affect around 280,000 applicants, including their dependants. CIC will begin the process of returning the full amount of fees paid to the Department by these affected FSW applicants. For those who have passed the selection criteria stage – approximately 20,000 people – CIC will continue processing their applications until they are approved for entry into Canada or not.

Over the last decade, the number of FSW applications received has greatly exceeded the space available within the Immigration Levels Plan each year, resulting in long processing times and an increasing inventory. Under the 2008 Action Plan for Faster Immigration, CIC began to limit intake to priority occupations. The Department added caps to the number of new applications in 2010. As a result of these efforts, CIC has reduced the pre-2008 backlog by more than 50 percent, and the overall FSW inventory by over 25 percent. However, without further action, some FSW applicants might have to wait until 2017 for a decision.

“It’s unreasonable to keep applicants waiting for another five years,” said Minister Kenney. “It’s also a far cry from the nimble and responsive immigration system Canada needs to remain a destination of choice.”

This is quite depressing for those friends who have been waiting patiently for years and years with hope :(. They are moving in the right direction to reduce the backlogs, but at the cost of so many ‘would-have been Canadians’. I hope most of those unfortunate friends, who are still interested in immigrating, are eligible to reapply under current and future streams.

Indira Prabhakaran.

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    • Ani on April 1, 2012 at 10:28 am
    • Reply

    Hi Indira,
    Hope you hv a gr8 time !!
    I hv updated my docs in Feb 09.Would I be debarred from the cancellation of backlogged files?
    What is the best way to get CAIPS Notes?
    Can you get me the CAIPS Notes?


    • jojsij on April 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Madam

    I heard that VO will process only the 2008-2010 applications now. Applicants after 2010 have to wait more. Is that true? We have already submitted PP and Medicals on Feb 28th to New Delhi VO. Any news from the NDVO.



    1. Nope, remaining applications would be procedded concurrently. Please wait.

      Indira Prabhakaran.

    • Inpreet Kaur on April 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Indira,
    Just joined in your blog with a broken heart. I had applied for FSW1 visa in 2007. Later I had reapplied again in fast track system in Feb 2010 because I was eligible as Computer Instructor. My documents and visa fees got submitted on 29 May 2010. Just a month later the occupation category changed on 26 June 2010. I didn’t get any information regarding my visa processing until 30 Jan 2012. Then on 2 Feb I received a written letter from the CHC that my visa has been rejected and my fees will be refunded in 8 to 12 weeks. I didn’t bother much because my 2007 case was still in process in CHC and all my expectations lied on this case. The news of backlogging FSW visa has disappointed me.

    1. Oops 🙁 I wish you are still eligible to reapply. Good Luck.

      Indira Prabhakaran.

    • Nagendra on April 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Indira,

    Hope you are doing great. I and my wife will be sending our application under FSW this July as we await for the cap to be re-opened & keeping our fingers crossed that everything would go on smoothly. Just wondering if you could provide your expert advise on a couple of queries:

    1. I am eligible to apply under NOC 1122. In the SCHEDULE 3 Economic Classes – FSW form, we need to mention the occupation (question 11) against the NOC code. It is specified as “list only occupations that fall in Skill Type 0 or Skill Levels A or B of the NOC”. Do I need to mention my job titles or do I mention the Occupation as “Pro Occupations to Business Services” which is for 1122.

    2. Due to my previous employer’s management policy, I am unable to provide a reference on a company letter head. However, my previous managers have no issues in providing me their reference on a normal paper with signatures. Will this suffice the requirement if I can send a written request for consideration along with the ref letter.

    Would be grateful if you provide your valuable inputs please.


    1. You have to mention the correct NOC code and your job title.

      Yes, plain papers are fine, but they need to have the right info. Also attach the business cards of the people signing and yourself.

      Indira Prabhakaran.

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