BREAKING NEWS: Canadian Government Budget Slashes Immigration Backlog


The bad news: Quem aplicou antes de 28/02/2008 está fora do processo, indepentende da profissão.

The good news: Quem aplicou depois pode ter o processo finalizado entre 6 e 12 meses.

Special Edition: Canadian Government Budget Slashes Immigration Backlog
March, 2012

The Government of Canada announced on 29 March 2012 a plan to reduce the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications by returning all applications and government fees submitted prior to 27 February 2008. This will amount to a total of almost 300,000 returned applications, as well as approximately $130 million in refunded government processing fees.

Approximately 160,000 FSW applications, submitted after 28 February 2008, will remain in queue for processing.
The Announcement

This statement has been issued as part of the larger Federal Budget for 2012, which was released on 29 March. The budget includes information for reducing national deficit and creating more fiscally efficient government infrastructure, an integral part of which is tied to immigration policy and processing times. As part of this plan, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), is expected to reduce its operating costs by $179 million over the next three years.

The budget mentions that “Canada risks losing the global talent competition for the world’s best and brightest as potential immigrants choose to take their skills to other countries with more responsive immigration systems rather than remain in the queue to have their applications process in Canada”.

With this in mind, the decision was reached to not only return the approximately 300,000 applications, but to focus on creating a system that would streamline processing and “reduce duplication and overlap” in the overall structure.

Government Rationale

The applications being returned are currently only from the FSW program. No additional plans have yet been announced to address backlogs in other immigration categories.

CIC hopes that reducing application numbers will allow it to streamline its programs in a way that will eliminate overhead costs currently incurred by dealing with the backlog. For instance, some visa offices devote significant amounts of time and money to processing pre-2008 applications. With these out of the way, visa officers will be free to devote time and energy to processing applications that have a higher likelihood of approval under current government standards.

The decision is also part of a larger effort by CIC to “transition to a faster and more flexible economic immigration system”. This new system will be aimed at more accurately addressing Canadian labour market needs as well as better serving those applicants still in line to be processed. Currently, Canada is facing severe labour shortages, specifically in Western provinces where skilled tradespeople are in great demand.

It is important to note that, despite widespread austerity measures being imposed on most government departments, CIC is one of only five that are being asked to reduce operating costs by less than six percent. In fact, proposed upgrades to the Canadian immigration system are likely to cost over $25 million in upcoming years.

Advice for Returned Applicants

The promise of new, streamlined immigration systems is no comfort for the thousands of individuals and their families who have now seen their hopes for Canadian immigration come to an end.

“This is such awful news for the people who have been waiting patiently in line,” says Attorney David Cohen, “Of course, they are free to submit a new application, but that will be of little solace at this time. I truly feel badly for them”.

Applicants who will see their files returned but are still keen to come to Canada are by no means excluded from re-submitting an application, either through the FSW program or one of the over 60 other available Canadian immigration programs. As the government more thoroughly outlines its plans for immigration in the future, prospective applicants should make sure to keep abreast of new developments that may be of benefit to themselves and their unique skill sets.

To find out if you are eligible for the over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out our free online assessment.

Minister Kenney proposes to assess foreign education credentials before skilled workers arrive

Ottawa, March 28, 2012 – Canada is proposing a major change to how foreign skilled workers’ education credentials are assessed, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

The proposed new requirement would mean that applicants wanting to immigrate as Federal Skilled Workers would have their foreign education credentials assessed and verified by designated organizations before they arrive in Canada.

“Our Government is building an immigration system that is focused on economic growth and ensuring that all Canadians, including immigrants, are able to contribute to their maximum capacity,” said Jason Kenney. “By having their foreign education credentials assessed before their arrival to Canada, foreign skilled workers will have a better sense of how their credentials fit into the Canadian labour market and will be able to contribute their full skill set to the economy more quickly. This proposal is part of a broader package of transformational changes that will make Canada’s immigration policies work better for the Canadian economy.”

A pre-arrival assessment would let applicants know how their education credentials compare to Canadian credentials and it will give immigrants a sense of how Canadian employers are likely to value their education. This will also screen out people without proper education levels and is an important step in helping to address the problem of immigrants arriving and not being able to work in their field.

The assessment of international educational credentials would not mean that Federal Skilled Workers would automatically find employment in Canada commensurate with their skills nor would it guarantee that they would become licensed to practice in a regulated occupation. Applicants who intend to work in a regulated profession would likely need to have their qualifications assessed in greater depth for purposes of licensure by a regulatory body specific to their profession and intended province of work.

“Internationally trained workers make an important contribution to Canada’s job market and the economy,” added Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “That’s why our Government is working in partnership to improve foreign credential recognition so that skilled newcomers can put their knowledge and skills to work sooner.”

Minister Kenney also used the occasion to release the 2011 Government of Canada Progress Report on Foreign Credential Recognition, Strengthening Canada’s Economy. The annual report, led by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, highlights achievements made by Citizenship and Immigration Canada , Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and Health Canada to help foreign trained individuals integrate into the Canadian workforce.

Highlights of the report include:

•expansion of the Canadian Immigration Integration Program (CIIP), which is designed and managed by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. CIIP currently offers pre-arrival orientation sessions in up to 25 countries, based on demand;

•an innovative assessment and bridging program to help internationally educated nurses meet regulatory requirements for licensure across Canada; and

•the launch of the International Qualifications Network Website for stakeholders to share information and best practices in credential assessment.

To read the Government of Canada 2011 Progress Report on Foreign Credential Recognition, Strengthening Canada’s Economy, go to:

Calgary to lead economic growth

Region to produce 22,000 new jobs, expert says

Calgary is forecast to lead the country in economic growth between the years 2013-2016 averaging 4.1 per cent each year, according to the Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook Spring 2012 published Tuesday.

The report forecast Saskatoon to lead the country this year with real GDP growth of 3.6 per cent followed by Calgary at 3.5 per cent and Edmonton at 3.2 per cent.

In 2011, the board said Regina led all areas in economic growth at 6.1 per cent followed by Saskatoon (4.8 per cent), Edmonton (4.4 per cent), Vancouver and Calgary (each at 3.1 per cent).

"In 2012, overall activity (in Calgary) is expected to improve once more, thanks to continued strength in the manufacturing and business services sectors," the board said in its report. "Moreover, another solid year is expected in the wholesale and retail trade sector.

"Given the positive economic outlook, job prospects in Calgary will build on the momentum created in 2011."

The board said total employment is set to rise by another 3.1 per cent this year, which translates into roughly 22,000 new jobs in the Calgary region.

"With energy prices anticipated to remain relatively high in the coming years, economic growth in Calgary will reach 4.4 per cent in 2013, then average a nation-leading four per cent per year from 2014 to 2016, driving the unemployment rate down to 4.1 per cent by the end of the forecast," the report said.

The board forecast Canadian economic growth of 2.1 per cent this year and averaging 2.6 per cent between 2013-2016.

Ben Brunnen, chief economist at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, said the board's Calgary forecast is consistent with some of the indicators he's seeing in the city.

"The size of the investments coming in through the energy sector, the construction, building permits are really coming back quite strong. We've got the airport expansion underway," Brunnen said.

"From an economic activity perspective, there's a lot happening in our city. When we're looking at what's happening provincewide, Calgary tends to lag a little bit. When we look at the strong investment numbers from the province and see how those get manifested in the city, the Calgary economy tends to pick up a little bit after the provincial economy.

"The province has been strong. In 2013, without a doubt, we expect to see some strong growth in the city of Calgary as well."

He said investment drives job creation which drives people coming to the city.

The conference board report is forecasting economic growth of 3.3 per cent in Alberta this year followed by 4.0 per cent in 2013. The average growth is forecast for 3.5 per cent between 2013-2016.

"With investment expected to total in the tens of billions of dollars, Alberta's construction industry will be strong in 2012," the report said.

"Energy investment will also drive growth over the forecast, while output of minerals fuels and mineral services will expand rapidly as incremental activity comes online."

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Read more:

Parent and Grandparent Immigration Program

O ministério de imigração (CIC) está reformulando o programa de reunificação familiar e lançou uma pesquisa na internet para que o público pudesse participar e opinar sobre as possíveis idéias de mudança no processo. Quem estiver interessado em participar e ficar por dentro das possíveis mudanças acesse o link:

Ontario FSW Pilot Program

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has asked provinces and territories for assistance in reducing the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) backlog of applications submitted before February 2008 through the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot (FSW Pilot) initiative.

The province of Ontario identified five (5) occupations in which applicants destined to the province will get an opportunity to apply for an Ontario nomination leading to permanent residency on an expedited basis.

If you submitted an application for permanent residence in Canada under the FSW program and that you declared Ontario as your destination, you will receive an invitation to apply as nominee if your occupation is any of the following:

Computer Analysts and Consultants (NOC 2171)
Software Developers (NOC 2173)
Interactive Media Programmers and Developers (NOC 2174)
Financial and Investment Analysts (NOC 1112)
Mathematicians (NOC 2161)

Applicant to Opportunities Ontario under the FSW Pilot must meet the following criteria:

1. Intend to live and work in Ontario.

2. Be in one of the five occupations identified by Ontario (Computer Analysts and Consultants/NOC 2171, Software Developers/NOC 2173, Interactive Media Programmers and Developers/NOC 2174, Financial and Investment Analysts/NOC 1112, Mathematicians/NOC 2161).

3. Have a minimum of 3 years of related, paid, full-time verifiable experience in that occupation within the past 5 years.

4. Have a minimum of a 3-year degree from a post-secondary institution.

5. Have a minimum language proficiency of 6.5 for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or 4.5 for the Test d’evaluation du français (TEF).

6. Demonstrate a minimum level of savings/income to support yourself and your dependants. See 2011 Updated Settlement Funds Schedule for the amount you need.

If you received an invitation to apply under Ontario FSW Pilot Program, you must submit your application on or before May 4, 2012. Opportunities Ontario can only nominate 600 applicants under this initiative.


FSW Program Backlog Reduction - Pilot Program

E as mudanças já começaram...confirmando um post anterior, já tem gente recebendo a carta do consulado...pelo menos algumas pessoas que aplicaram antes de 27/02/2008.

If you submit an application for permanent residence in Canada under the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) program before Feb 27, 2008, there may be a good news for you.

We recently received correspondences from 3 Provincial Case Processing Pilot offices of Citizenship and Immigration Canada for 92 clients informing them of their opportunity to apply under Provincial Nominee Program. This is part of CIC's Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) Program Backlog Reduction Pilot program. The three provinces are Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba. If you declared any of this province as your destination in Canada and your occupation is included in the province's in-demand occupation, you will receive a letter of invitation from the province.

The aim of this pilot is to nominate FSW applicants with experience in any occupations under Provincial Nominee Programs.

If you receive this kind of letter, it is your chance to have an expedited process!

I will post more information later.


If you have a pending FSW application filed before February 27, 2008 and that you selected Alberta as your destination, you may be eligible under AINP - Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Backlog Reduction Pilot. This would mean an expedited process!

You will receive a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada inviting you to apply under this program if in your Federal Skilled Worker application you indicated that you were interested in moving to Alberta and that you work in one of four occupations in need in Alberta:

NOC 0211 – Engineering Managers
NOC 2131 – Civil Engineers
NOC 2132 – Mechanical Engineers
NOC 0911 – Manufacturing Managers

Criteria you must meet in order to be eligible for the AINP

At the time of application to the AINP, you the Candidate must:

1. Intend to and be able to live and work in Alberta
2. Be between the ages of 24 and 55
3. Meet the following education criteria:

- You have completed a post-secondary diploma or degree program at least two (2) years in duration at an accredited educational institution, in a field of study directly related to your current employment and work experience:

If you are working as a NOC 0211 – Engineering Manager, NOC 2131 – Civil Engineer or NOC 2131 – Mechanical Engineer, a related field of study includes an engineering technology diploma or degree, and

- You currently meet and/or met the licensing or registration requirements to perform the job duties of your current and previous jobs in the country in which you were performing those job duties (if applicable) OR

- You have a “Letter of No Objection” from the body regulating the engineering profession in Alberta, The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) or be registered with APEGGA as a foreign licensee.

4. Be currently performing the job duties of the occupation (NOC) identified in the letter you received from CIC advising you of this Pilot, and have a minimum of three (3) years paid, full-time work experience performing duties in this occupation since January 1, 2007

5. Have achieved a minimum overall band score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in the last two (2) years OR a minimum of Level 4.0 on the Test d’evaluation de français (TEF) in the last two (2) years.

6. Have accessible funds in a bank or financial institution of at least CAD $10,000 for the Candidate, and CAD $2,000 for each of the Candidate’s dependants (spouse or common-law partner and child)

Joint accounts with your Spouse/Common-law partner (if applicable) in which you are clearly identified as one of the account holders are acceptable.

Please note that meeting these criteria does not guarantee your application will be assessed, or that you will be issued a Nomination letter or a permanent resident visa.


Immigration changes will ease backlog: Kenney

The Canadian Press
Date: Wed. Mar. 7 2012 4:18 PM ET

OTTAWA — Major changes to the immigration system could include erasing a massive backlog of applications, the minister in charge said Wednesday.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said all options are on the table when it comes to modernizing the process of bringing in would-be immigrants.

"We must have transformational change to move to an immigration program that works for Canada and for newcomers," he said in a speech to the Economic Club of Canada.

He said the changes which will roll out over the course of 2012, will include one to give the provinces the ability to cherry-pick the immigrants they want.

He said Canada also has an eye on New Zealand, where a backlog of immigration applications was legislated away in 2003 and replaced by a pool of prospective applicants.

For now, a pilot program will allow provinces and territories to accept an additional 1,500 immigrants a year if they select them from an existing backlog of skilled worker applications.

"At this point we are looking at all options of dealing with these backlogs and coming up with a faster, more responsive system," Kenney told reporters after the speech.

A parliamentary committee report tabled Tuesday said there is currently a backlog of over a million applications, including as many as 460,000 in the skilled worker category.

Officials told the committee that without changes to the system that backlog won't be eliminated until 2017.

Kenney said the system as it stands is dysfunctional.

"We can't continue to tell people that they're going to wait for eight years for a decision on whether they can come to Canada," he said.

He said the government also needs to be more proactive when it comes to communicating with potential applicants about different routes into Canada.

But NDP Immigration critic Don Davies says while it's important to match immigrants with economic needs, there needs to be a more holistic approach to the issue.

"Immigration deals with people, it deals with families and human beings," Davies said.

"It's not just treating people like economic widgets in a machine that we can ruthlessly bring into our country."

And he said the idea of transferring more power to the provinces and in turn to employers, has risks.

"I don't think we want to be delegating the choice of who comes to the country to the private sector," he said.

Kenney said that wouldn't be the point of allowing more matching between jobs and immigrants.

"It's not about privatizing the immigration system, it's about a more active role of recruitment for people so they have jobs when they show up," he said.

"I'd rather have an engineer working as an engineer than a cab driver. That's really where we are trying to go with this."

Read more:

Minister Kenney outlines vision of a fast and flexible immigration system

Toronto, March 1, 2012 - In a keynote address to the National Metropolis Conference today, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney outlined his vision for a faster, more responsive immigration system that better meets Canada’s economic needs.

“Immigration is playing an increasingly important role in our economy and we need a system that does a better job of attracting the people who have the skills that are in demand and getting them here quickly,” said Minister Kenney. “We have made some great strides towards an immigration system that is fast and flexible, but know that there is more work to do.”

In his speech, the Minister highlighted recent changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, where current applicants must have experience in one of 29 occupations in demand, or have a job offer in Canada.

He also noted the growing success of the Canadian Experience Class, which allows certain foreign students and temporary foreign workers to translate their Canadian work and education experience into permanent residence. And he lauded the growth of provincial and territorial nominee programs, noting the role they have played in spreading the benefits of immigration across the country and addressing long-term regional labour needs.

While recognizing these improvements, the Minister indicated that more challenges lie ahead in seeing his vision realized. He noted, for instance, that the current points system used to assess federal skilled worker applicants needs to be more flexible and intelligent. It should place greater emphasis on the importance of language, he said, while recognizing that the language ability needed to successfully integrate in Canada is different for a doctor as opposed to a welder. It should also place greater emphasis on younger workers with high quality credentials that can be recognized quickly.

The Minister pledged to do a better job of attracting entrepreneurs and investors to Canada, noting that we lag behind the U.S., where half of the top 50 venture-capital backed companies are founded by immigrants.

While noting progress to date, he also promised to do more to reduce the legacy of backlogs, where there are wait times of seven years or longer in some categories.

“It makes no sense to tell people ‘apply now, but put your life on hold for a few years before we’ll even let you know if you qualify,'” said the Minister. “I will continue to make changes to create a faster, more flexible immigration system. Canadians need and deserve a system that boldly puts Canada’s best interests first.”


Supernatural Canada © 2013