ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 318 - June 27, 2011

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Updated Ministerial Instructions: New Cap on Federal Skilled Worker Applications

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Summary

Effective July 1, 2011, a cap of 10,000 new Foreign Skilled Worker (FSW) applications, without an offer of arranged employment, will be considered for processing each year. Within the 10,000 cap, a maximum of 500 new applications per occupation will be considered each year. Instructions are given to the field on what to do with applications received before and after this date.

Issue

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides guidance on FSW applications and the third set of Ministerial Instructions (MI-3), which come into force on July 1, 2011.

Background

On June 18, 2008, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was amended to give the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration the authority to issue instructions that would ensure the processing of applications and requests be conducted in a manner that, in the opinion of the Minister, will best support the attainment of immigration goals set by the Government of Canada.

The first set of Ministerial Instructions (MI-1) was issued on November 29, 2008 and established that new FSW applicants would be eligible for processing only if they had experience in one or more of the identified eligible occupations; if they had arranged employment; or if they had one year of legal, in-Canada work experience and status as a temporary foreign worker or international student. Under MI-1, all FSW applications were also submitted to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia, for an initial eligibility review. The final determination for eligibility and selection remained with the visa office.

The second set of MI (MI-2), issued on June 26, 2010, introduced a number of changes, including a revised list of eligible occupations, annual limits on the number of new applications to be processed in the FSW class, as well as revised eligibility criteria with respect to evidence of official language proficiency and work experience. In addition, the CIO was given the authority to make final eligibility determinations.

The third set of MI (MI-3) comes into force on July 1, 2011, and applies only to applications received by the CIO on or after this date. MI-3 includes changes to the following programs:

  • Federal Entrepreneur Program: A temporary moratorium on new applications will be placed on this program (see OB 319 for more information).
  • Federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP): A cap of 700 new IIP applications will be considered for processing each year. In addition, as of July 1, 2011, all new federal Immigration Investor applications must be submitted to the CIO (see OB 320 for more information).
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW): A cap of 10,000 new FSW applications, without an offer of arranged employment, will be considered for processing each year. Within the 10,000 cap, a maximum of 500 new applications per occupation will be considered each year.

The full text of these instructions can be found at http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2011/2011-06-25/html/notice-avis-eng.html#d119

Overview of Ministerial Instructions for FSW Applications – July 1, 2011

MI-3 applies only to applications received by the CIO on or after July 1, 2011. All complete FSW applications received by the CIO prior to July 1, 2011 will continue to be considered for processing with regard to the requirements in effect at that time.

Complete FSW applications [note 1] received by the CIO on or after July 1, 2011, not exceeding the identified caps and meeting either of the following criteria shall be placed into processing:

Applications submitted with an Arranged Employment Offer consistent with requirements of subsection R82(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;

or

Applications from skilled workers with evidence of experience in the last ten years under one or more [note 2] of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes specified in the MIs and do not exceed the identified cap of 10,000 new complete applications per year, with no more than 500 new applications in any one NOC code.

Limit on the number of applications to be processed per year

A maximum of 10,000 new FSW applications without an offer of arranged employment will be considered for processing each year.

Within the 10,000 cap, a maximum of 500 new FSW applications per NOC code will be considered for processing each year. The list of eligible NOC codes under MI-3 remains the same as those found in MI-2.

Complete applications supported by a valid offer of arranged employment, consistent with the requirements of R82(2), will be considered for processing without regard to either the global cap or the occupational list and its associated caps.

In calculating the caps, applications will be considered according to the date they are received. Applications received on the same date will be considered for processing with regard to routine office procedures.

For the unique purpose of calculating the caps, the cap year will begin on July 1, 2011, and end on June 30, 2012, unless otherwise directed in subsequent MIs.

Guidelines for new and existing applications

All new FSW applications will be considered according to the date they are received.

FSW applications received at the CIO before July 1, 2011

The third set of MIs does not apply to complete applications received prior to July 1, 2011. All FSW applications received by the CIO prior to this date shall continue to be considered for processing having regard to the requirements in effect at that time.

FSW applications received at the CIO on or after July 1, 2011

MI-3 applies to applications received at the CIO on or after July 1, 2011. The CIO will assess complete applications received on or after July 1, 2011 against the MIs to determine whether applicants are eligible for processing. The CIO will make a final eligibility determination, and those determined to be eligible will be placed into processing. Applications that receive a negative eligibility determination will not be processed and will receive a full refund of the processing fee. The application and documentation submitted will not be returned.

Submitting the application

All new FSW applications will continue to be sent to the CIO. Applicants are required to submit their complete application, together with all supporting documents, to the CIO. This includes all documents listed both on the CIO and document checklists specific to the visa office.

The CIO will review applications for completeness and, if the application is incomplete, the entire application package will be returned to the applicant.

Final eligibility determination at the CIO

The CIO will assess the applicant’s submission based on the documentation submitted and make a final determination of eligibility. To be eligible for processing, the applicant must meet all the criteria described in the MIs. If the applicant’s submission is determined to be ineligible for processing, the applicant will be informed and will receive a refund. The application and documentation submitted will not be returned. If the CIO makes a positive eligibility determination, the application will be placed into processing and the applicant will no longer be eligible for a refund.

Updates to the OP 6 manual chapter are forthcoming.

For further information on changes outlined in this OB, please contact Operational Management and Coordination Branch.

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1. In order to be considered, applications must be completed according to the application kit requirements in place at the time the application is received by the Centralized Intake Office.

2. Applicants will have one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in at least one of the listed NOCs and not combined partial year experience in multiple NOCs. This work experience will reflect the actions described in the lead statement for the occupation as set out in the occupational descriptions of the NOC, including the performance of a substantial number of the main duties and all of the essential duties described.

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