Canada’s Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, has announced important changes to three of the country's federal immigration programs, effective 1st July 2011, aimed at further reducing the backlog of economic applications, while focussing on Canada's labour market needs. “If we don't keep putting reasonable limits on new applications, backlogs and wait times will grow,” said Minister Kenney.
Federal Skilled Worker Program - Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) has confirmed that the list of 29 eligible occupations will remain the same for the coming 12 months, however as of 1st July 2011, only 500 applications will be accepted for processing per occupation and only 10,000 applications will be considered in total over the coming year. Applicants with a validated job offer from a Canadian employer will not be affected by these caps.
John Lironi, Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant (CSIC) of the Migration Bureau advises that "these new caps mean that candidates for Canadian immigration should lodge their applications as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, as quotas for some of the 29 occupations will fill up quite quickly. Applicants should also ensure the accuracy and correctness of their visa application because errors could result in lengthy delays or outright rejection".
Investor and Entrepreneur Categories - Also from 1st July 2011, there will be a cap on the number of applications accepted for processing under the Federal Immigrant Investor Program. Only 700 will be accepted over the next 12 months. Applicants under the Investor class must possess a total net worth of at least C$1.6 million and invest C$800,000 of this amount with the Canadian Receiver General for 5 years. Again, there is likely to be a rush to beat the new cap, so potential business migrants are recommended to lodge their application sooner rather than later.
The CIC has advised that as of 1st July 2011, they will not be accepting any new applications under the Federal Entrepreneur Program, although there will be a review of this program in the near future.
Potential new applicants should remember that the province of Quebec may offer some additional opportunities, for skilled workers or business migrants, beyond those offered at the federal level.
For details of all these new changes and for comprehensive assistance with your Canadian visa application, please contact the Migration Bureau now