April 17, 2012 – Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny announced that the Ministry would soon be enacting legislation that will give the Minister additional powers to allow certain applications to move forward in the queue, according to labour market needs. In addition to these new Ministerial Instructions, the legislative changes will also allow new regulations to be applied retroactively to applications currently in the queue. This means that recent and proposed regulatory changes will apply to those who have long since filed their skilled worker applications and have not yet received a decision.
Those seeking permanent residence currently have the option of applying as a Federal Skilled Worker with one year of full-time experience in one of 29 listed occupations in the National Occupation Classification.
In his announcement, Minister Kenny stated that the government will favour younger workers, Canadian work experience, and high proficiency in either English or French. Each of these is a factor in the current point system, a way of selecting candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker immigration stream. An applicant needs 67 out of 100 points. Age, work experience, language proficiency, education, and adaptability are all factors considered. The new regulations will modify some of these current requirements. Among the proposals are:
Applications in the Federal Skilled Worker category that were submitted before February 27, 2008, but not selected for processing by March 29, 2012, will be returned to the applicant.
Temporary foreign workers applying in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream will need only 12 months of full-time work experience, down from 24 months, within the 36-month period preceding an application.
The government is currently developing the Federal Skilled Worker Program, which will look to recruit workers from the construction, transportation, manufacturing and service industries.
The Immigrant Investor Program isn’t taking applicants until July 1, 2012, and already reached its cap of 700 in 2011. The government is having round table discussions regarding this program, suggesting changes that would still attract investors while focusing on job creation. In the past, government has simply taken a five-year, interest free loan of $800,000 from each investor.
Only applications received before July 2, 2011 in the entrepreneur class will be reviewed. The Ministry is in consultation with various stakeholders, such as members within in the private sector, to develop a new Start-Up Visa. This will partner recently immigrated entrepreneurs with industry players in order to provide guidance for these new businesses.