On November 28, 2008, Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Canada Minister Jason Kenney announced the new instructions for the processing of all Federal Skilled Worker applications received since February 27, 2008. Since that time, this category of Canadian immigration has continued strong, albeit with more stringent requirements. A comprehensive review of the requirements and the change in processes are outlined here.
The Action Plan for Faster Immigration was created to reduce Federal Skilled Worker application processing times to 6 to 12 months. The new requirements and processes apply only to applications submitted on or after February 27, 2008. All those submitted prior to then will are processed based on previous assessment criteria and processing times.
Under the Immigration Minister’s instructions, Canadian Immigration Visa Officers reviewing Federal Skilled Worker applications are to process applications from three types of candidates. Applicants must either:
1. Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in one of the 38 qualifying occupations, which have been identified as the most in-demand occupations in Canada at this time; or
2. Have been living in Canada with legal status as a Temporary Foreign Worker or an international student for at least one year; or
3. Qualify for Arranged Employment with a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer.
Each type of applicant has its own application submission process:
1. Applicants with Arranged Employment are to submit their applications directly to the Canadian immigration visa office responsible for the applicant’s country of nationality or residence (if the applicant has been legally residing in that country for at least one year).
2. Applications made by Temporary Foreign Worker or International Student currently residing in Canada, who have been legally residing Canada for at least one year, are to be submitted to the Canadian immigration visa office in Buffalo, New York, or the visa office serving the applicant’s country of nationality.
3. All other Federal Skilled Worker applications, with work experience in the 38 occupations are to be submitted to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Nova Scotia. These applicants will submit forms and certain basic documents to the CIO, which will forward applicants who meet the basic work experience requirements to the appropriate Canadian immigration visa office abroad. At that time, the CIO will notify qualified applicants that they must submit their complete application to the visa office abroad in a 120 day period. Those who do not qualify based on the CIO review of work experience qualifications will have their applications returned and their processing fees refunded.
These changes do not affect the requirements or the processing methods of any other category of Canadian immigration.
Ministerial instructions are designed to reflect the needs of the Canadian economy and Canadian society. As economic conditions change, requirements may be adjusted.