MORATORIUM ON FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER APPLICATIONS
Effective July 1st, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will place a temporary pause on new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP).
According to the official announcement, “the pause will allow CIC to make important changes to its economic immigration programs before accepting more applications. This is an important step in moving towards a faster, more flexible immigration system, while immigration levels are at a historic high.”
As a result of the latest moves, no application in the FSWP will be accepted even for the filing until January 1st 2012. Thousands of potential candidates who were anxiously expecting to see the new list of occupations in order to file their “ready to go” applications have had a big disappointment learning the news, which was heralded on 28 June 2012 by Mr. Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. The latest restrictions (that do not affect those who have managed to obtain “arranged employment”) will further narrow the circle of people who can still dream of immigrating to Canada without having someone over there who can secure for them a job offer approved by different levels of the Government. Let us recall that for the last two years CIC has capped the number of annual applications to be filed by those who don’t have arranged employment, first to 20000 (in 2010), then to 10000 (in 2011) and only for people who can demonstrate experience in 28 occupations. Many applicants have then found an alternative in heading for Quebec, only to hit another snug: the Quebec’s decision, in March 2012, to introduce three groups of candidates based on their field of education, with Group 3, the largest, prohibited from applying until April 2013, and Group 2 limited to only 14300 files within the following 12 months.
CIC indicated that once the moratorium has been exhausted, o totally different selection system will be in place for skilled workers. It is expected that the new rules will make it easier for tradespeople and the youth to succeed, provided that they master English or French at a level that allows them to function in their respective occupations. Until then, CIC has enough files in its inventory to process so that the final annual targets are reached. In addition, and along with people who have secured arranged employment, many skilled workers can still immigrate using the different “provincial nominee” programs. The general picture indicates though that immigrating to Canada becomes more and more an achievement that calls for responsible and competent professional assistance.
As regards the Investor Program, it has been suspended indefinitely and it is everybody’s guess to figure out how it will look when it’s back in operation. One thing is certain: it will require a much higher investment than the previous one, which amounted to $800,000. Some people say that this will create a veritable ethnic segregation, as to collect and immobilize such huge amounts of money it is only possible for reach Chinese applicants.