Delay in processing, explained | Ministerial Instruction 2 applicants are being prioritized

Finally, the Canadian Visa Office in Manila spelled it out not just the usual reply that the application is in process and that applicants need to be patient.

On our follow up letter dated May 3, 2011 asking for specific explanation and status of several clients waiting longer than the promised processing period, this is their reply:

Changes to immigration law in 2008 allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(CIC) to set, through Ministerial Instructions (MI), the number and type of applications considered for processing each year, and the order in which these applications will be processed.

Under the first set of instructions (MI-1) CIC used this new authority under immigration law to control the type of applications received, but not the number. The number of applications received exceed the ability to process them in a timely way. CIC introduced caps on June 26, 2010 on the FSW program as part of the second MI. CIC has limited the intake of new FSW applications to better match the number CIC can actually process within the annual levels plan tabled in Parliament. FSW applications under the second MI are processed on a priority basis.

CIC has received enough FSW applications since February 27, 2008 to reach immigration levels for the next two years. Unfortunately, it will take longer to process those submitted under the first set of instructions (between February 27, 2008 and June 25, 2010) than originally projected.

This number represents more than twice the number of projected admissions under the program in 2011. Therefore, few applications received before February 27, 2008 (processed in the order they are received) are expected to be processed this year or next.

CIC’s goal is to make the immigration system more responsive to labour market needs. By giving priority to FSW applications received on or after June 26, 2010, CIC is responding to the most urgent labour market needs first. The length of time it takes to finalize an application under this program varies from one visa office to another since visa offices face different challenges. CIC continues to work towards global service standards and the use of departmental standard forms to minimize such regional
variations as much as possible.

Prior to this, similar notice but a more detailed one from Canadian Visa Office New Delhi, India was posted in other online forums for Canada Immigration. Here's the content:

We are in the process of working with HQ to update processing information globally in this program. For New Delhi, our revised standard replies will provide information along the lines below. Please note that the processing of cases who applied under Ministerial Instructions II before those who applied under Ministerial Instructions I, was a policy decision taken by the government of Canada.

If you applied as a Federal Skilled Worker on or after February 27, 2008 and before June 26, 2010 , your application will take two years or more to be processed. This is due to the fact that Canada received over 425,000 applications under this program during this period.

* Unfortunately, it will take longer to process federal skilled worker applications submitted under the first set of instructions (between February 27, 2008 and June 25, 2010) than originally projected.

* During this time, the department received applications for more than 425,000 people, and 144,000 of these have not yet received a decision.

* This number represents more than twice the number of projected admissions under the federal skilled worker program in 2011, so many of these applicants will have to wait two years or more to be processed.

Please advise your clients accordingly, thank you.

David Manicom
Minister and Immigration Program Manager
Area Director, South Asia
Canadian High Commis

So there. There is a backlog due to high volume of applications received under Ministerial Instruction 1 (MI-1).

I have said it before and I'm saying it again. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT the visa office via email or fax for status updatescas. You can check your application status online. But should there be an aspect of your application that is not routine and you are concerned that is what is delaying processing, then by all means contact the visa office. You need to understand that high volume of requests requires many hours of work on the part of the visa office to respond, and this is time that you would prefer they spend processing your applications thane responding to you status update requests.

Unfair for MI 1 applicatants? Yes. But it's not the worst. The Canadian Visa Office in Manila is yet to finish 2004 applications - those that filed prior to February 2008.

Patience is a virtue.


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