April 1, 2012

Options for Pre-February 27, 2008 FSW Applicants

The proposed legislation aiming to 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 will most likely be passed in the Parliament.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada thinks it has the power to put these changes in place. Whether this is legal or not, one thing is certain: It is a sad news for those affected by the changes.

Options for Pre-February 27, 2008 FSW Applicants

The question now is, what happens next? What are the options or remedy for those who will be affected?

On the question of how will this change may affect one's application, please refer to the Questions and answers: Changes that affect Federal Skilled Worker applications provided by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Q. Would I be affected if CIC removes the FSW backlog?

A. Under the proposed changes, CIC would close Federal Skilled Worker applicants’ files if they:

* applied before February 27, 2008, and
* have not had a decision made by an immigration officer based on selection criteria by March 29, 2012. (information on selection criteria is below)

We expect this would affect around 280,000 people including dependents.

If the proposed law is passed, CIC would begin to return the full amount of fees paid by affected FSW applicants.

[Source: http://cic.gc.ca]

We of course understand that it's not easy accepting this development specially if you have waited for almost 8 years already only to be told that your application will not be processed.

But all is not lost. For Canadian Immigration Consultancy clients, we will come up with a program how they can continue to avail of our services even though their file has been returned.

I'm still interested to live and work in Canada, what should I do?

The process has gotten more difficult. But for something as valuable as an immigrant visa to Canada, it is still worth it. For those with the skills, education and English ability there is no investment that is going to yield a higher return on investment than an immigrant visa to Canada. The investment is small, the risk is low, compared to the benefits an immigrant visa will bring to those so fortunate enough to get an immigrant visa to Canada. Take charge and pursue your goals, “Get Ready”.

Option No. 1: Submit a new application under the new Federal Skilled Workers program

The Canadian government is taking a bold step in clearing their backlog of immigration cases. The Canadian government feels they must be able to change more quickly to the needs of employers. It means anyone interested in immigrating to Canada in the future must be “Ready at All Times” to file their application when their occupation opens or when they get selected by a Canadian employer for a job.

Another Ministerial Instruction is expected to issued this coming July 2012. If your occupation will be included in the new priority list, you may have a very short window of opportunity. Preparation starts now. Take the IELTS Exam; get your documents ready; get your credentials assessed if your occupation is regulated in Canada. In other words, be ready to enter the door when it opens this July 2012!

Option No. 2: Provincial Nominee Program

Use your network of relatives and friends to help you find employers in Canada or to provide Provincial Nominee support. Here's how to find jobs in Canada.

Option No. 3: Student Visa

This option is for those who no longer have the ideal age to submit a new application. If you have children in university or newly graduated, another path is for them to take advanced educational courses in Canada. Your children may take the opportunity of working in Canada and then converting their visas to an immigrant visa. Even though the Canadian government is slowing down the reunion of parents, they are offering the super visa that will allow parents to go to Canada and live with their children.

This is unfair, I want justice! I want my voice to be heard!

In the past, there's always a Grandfather clause every time there are changes in Canada's immigration regulations. But this time, the Immigration Minister seems to be capitalizing on Bill C-50 which gave him the power to decide which application shall be process quickly, put on hold, or worst, to be returned unprocessed.

However, there are those who argue that the power given to the Immigration Minister was limited only to applications filed after Feb 27, 2008 and that returning the applications filed before the said that is unconstitutional.

A class-action suit may soon be initiated if they wipe out the backlog this way. Subscribe here via Email to get updates.