September 1, 2012

September 2012 Visa Bulletin

The waiting could be over for those whose occupations were not included in the previous lists of priority occupations for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.  Consider this as an early Christmas present.  You will now have a chance to file your application under the new Federal Skilled Worker Program!

Eligible Occupations for Federal Skilled Worker Program

According to Immigration Minister himself, the New Federal Skilled Worker Program will no longer be limited to particular occupations (Priority List).  This means that all occupations classified as NOCs 0, A and B will be eligible to apply!  It's basically like back to pre-February 27, 2008 wherein about 350 job classifications are eligible under the program.  The huge difference, however, is that there will be a limit on the number of applications to be accepted and that a new points system will be implemented. 

New Federal Skilled Worker Program Points SystemThe details of the new Federal Skilled Worker Program Points System was unveiled last August 17, 2012. In summary, the following would be the changes:

  • 1. Making language the most important selection factor by establishing new minimum official language thresholds and increasing points for language.  The maximum points to be awarded from IELTS Exam results is now 24 points.  You must not have score lower than Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7/IELTS 6 in any of the four areas (Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking)
  • 2. Increasing the emphasis on younger immigrants, who are more likely to acquire valuable Canadian experience and remain in the workforce longer.  Ideal age now is  18 to 35 years old, which will be awarded 12 points.  There's a reduction of one point for every year after 35 years old.
  • 3. Increasing points for Canadian work experience and reducing points for foreign work experience.  The maximum points to be awarded for work experience was reduced from 21 points to 15 points.  You need at least 6 years experience to get the maximum points.
  • 4. Simplifying the arranged employment process to prevent fraud and abuse yet enable employers to staff positions quickly.  In order to receive points for arranged employment, applicants will need to have a LMO from HRSDC, plus an indeterminate job offer.
  • 5. Awarding points for spousal language ability and Canadian experience.  Additional points from Spouse will no longer be coming from Spouse's education.  It will now be based on Spouse's IELTS Exam results.
For more information about the New FSW Points System, read the full text for the proposal from Canada Gazette.

Get Ready For January 2013!

Most of you did get ready when we told you to be ready last July 2012.  But everybody was surprised by the decision Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  Just the same, we are once again reminding you to be ready.  If you are serious about your dream to live and work in Canada, you really need to be ready at all times.

To really have a good chance, the following documents must be ready on or before July 1, 2012:

1. IELTS Examination results. Visit to check and schedule your test, if you haven't done yet. Ideally, the results must be available before January 1, 2013.  You must not have score lower than 6 in any of the four areas.

2. Settlement Funds. The amount required depends on the number of family members. Back Certificate is required.

3. Employment Certificate and other supporting documents. Get in touch with your Assigned Agent

4. Application forms. Log on to to fill out and complete the forms.

5. Visa Processing fee

Legal Option for Pre-February 27, 2008 ApplicantsStarting September 29, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada may start returning applications filed before February 27, 2008 that have not received a decision as of March 29, 2012.  This is as a result of Bill C-38 which was passed into law a couple of months ago.  The objective is to wipe out Canada's immigration application backlogs.

This move is being challenged by various immigration lawyers, charging a fee for those who want to join the litigation. You may consider the following information in making a decision whether to join or not:

1. There is a move to challenge the legality of s. 87.4 of the law which basically authorizes the Immigration Minister to return the affected applications unprocessed. If it will be recognized as a class action lawsuit and succeed, then everybody may benefit including those who did not join the litigation. Otherwise, a possible compromise agreement may be reached and those who joined the litigation may be exempted from those that will be returned. 

If you want this option, you may contact ACT NOW CANADA.

2. Another lawyer's approach was to lodge an application seeking an order to have the application processed within a specified period. This move was initiated even before the law was passed and was able to get a positive result last June 14, 2012.  This lawyer will try to include additional cases and the last filing would be on September 4, 2012.   If the additional cases filed will not be admitted by the court, then it will become part of class action lawsuit to be filed.

If you want this option, visit

Check Your Status Online
For those who have submitted their original passports and is expecting the visa issuance, please note that the release of visa varies, normally within 90 days.  You may check your application status online by clicking here.  If the status you see is Decision Made, expect your visa within a week or two.

For Canadian Immigration Consultancy clients, you may log on to to check your application status.