June 28, 2010

New In-Demand Occupations, New Application Procedure

Like what I have always been saying, Immigration Regulations are subject to changes and that the longer you delay your decision to apply, the more you are risking your eligibility. There is a new Ministerial Instruction affecting Federal Skilled Worker program applications. This is basically the change I was referring to in April 2010 Visa Bulletin.

Effective June 26, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process applications under Federal Skilled Worker program only for applicants with:

  • a valid offer of arranged employment, OR

  • one year of continuous full-time or equivalent part-time paid work experience in at least one of the 29 in-demand occupations

  • Temporary foreign workers and international students will no longer be part of the Federal Skilled Worker program. They may now apply under Canadian Experience Class.

    The new Ministerial Instruction also covered changes in the application procedures. Simplified Application Process is now totally wiped out.

    In sending your application to Centralized Intake Office (CIO), you now need to submit results of an independent language test (IELTS or TEF: Test d’évaluation de français) even if your first language is English or French. You also need to submit copies of documents required specifically by the Canadian Visa Office responsible in processing your application.

    What's in it for you?

    1. Filed to CIO before June 26, 2010, Waiting for Assessment Notice

    If your application was received by Centralized Intake Office (CIO) before June 26, 2010 even if and your occupation is no longer included in the new in-demand list, the changes will not affect your application at all.

    The Ministerial Instruction stated that if your application was received before June 26, 2010, it will be processed according to the rules that were in effect at that time. However, some say it wasn't clear if the basis is the receipt by Centralized Intake Office or Canadian Visa Office.

    To clarify, here's what was stated in Canada Gazette.

    All Federal Skilled Worker applications received by the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia, on a date prior to the Canada Gazette publication date shall continue to be considered for processing having regard to the first set of Ministerial Instructions. [Source]

    It was published June 26, 2010. It is clear that if your application was received by CIO before that date and that your occupation is no longer included in the new in-demand occupations, your application would still be processed.

    2. Interested to immigrate to Canada, Occupation not included in the new in-demand list

    If you are interested to live and work in Canada but your occupation is not included in the new list of priority occupations, you still have the chance to immigrate to Canada if:
  • You have an arranged employment in Canada, or

  • You have somebody to sponsor you under Provincial Nominee Program

  • This could be of help: How to find jobs in Canada.

    While at that, you should start preparing yourself for the IELTS Examination. You should also start preparing your documents. The objective is to be able to file your application immediately when the list changed and included your occupation.

    If you will prepare your documents only when your occupation is included, then it may be too late for you. Remember that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be imposing a cap on the number of applications it will process per occupation each year.

    Be ready!

    3. Filed before February 27, 2008, Occupation included in the new priority list

    If you have a pending PR Visa application, whether it's under FSW or PNP, and that your occupation is included in the new priority list, you may want to submit a new application to CIO in order to expedite the process. The Visa Office in Manila is yet to finish applications filed in 2004. It may take a while before applications filed in 2007 and 2006 will be processed.

    If you submit a new application, you will get the result within 6-12 months. The only disadvantage of doing this is that you may not be able to refund the processing fee you paid to the Visa Office before. You will need to pay another visa processing fee.

    4. Included in the list, Not yet filed to CIO

    If your occupation is included in the new list of in-demand occupations and that you are seriously considering the opportunity to live and work in Canada, YOU MUST FILE YOUR APPLICATION NOW!

    For the next twelve months, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will only consider a maximum of 20,000 complete applications under the occupation list. Within the 20,000 cap, a maximum of 1,000 federal skilled worker applications per occupation will be considered for processing each year.