ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 438 - June 29, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Fifth Set of Ministerial Instructions: Temporary Pause on Certain Federal Skilled Worker and on Federal Immigrant Investor Applications

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Summary

Effective July 1, 2012, a temporary pause has been placed on new applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), excluding those applications received under the PhD eligibility stream and those with a qualifying offer of Arranged Employment (AE). A temporary pause has also been placed on new applications under the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP).

Issue

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides guidance on processing FSWP and IIP applications under the fifth set of Ministerial Instructions (MI-5) which come into force on July 1, 2012. Instructions are provided with respect to FSWP and federal IIP applications received before and after this date.

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 will ensure applications are processed in a manner that, in the Minister’s opinion, will best meet the immigration goals set by the Government of Canada.

MI-5 came into force on July 1, 2012, and includes changes to the following immigration categories:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Class: A temporary pause on new applications in this class, except for those applications made under the PhD eligibility stream and those with qualifying offer of Arranged Employment.
  • Federal Immigrant Investor Class: A temporary pause on new applications in this class.

These temporary pauses in accepting new applications will remain in effect until otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction.

As per Instructions that came into force on July 1, 2011, a temporary pause remains in place for all new applications in the Federal Entrepreneur Class. A temporary pause also remains in place for all new sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents in the Family Class as per instructions that came into force on November 5, 2011.

The full MI-5 text is available at the Canada Gazette website.

Processing Instructions

Effective July 1, 2012, no new FSWP applications, except those made under the PhD eligibility stream and those with a qualifying offer of arranged employment, will be accepted for processing. Furthermore, no new federal IIP applications will be accepted on or after July 1, 2012.

Applications from skilled workers selected by the province of Quebec and investors selected under the Quebec Investor Program are not affected by the temporary pause, and will continue to be accepted and processed according to the policies of the province of Quebec and per established priorities.

FSWP and federal IIP applications received on or after July 1, 2012

Only FSWP applications from foreign nationals with a qualifying offer of arranged employment in Canada and from eligible international students who are currently enrolled in, or who have completed a doctoral (PhD) program from a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada no more than twelve months prior to the date their application is received, will be processed by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

All other FSWP and federal IIP applications received by the CIO on or after July 1, 2012 will be returned to the applicant with a letter advising them of the temporary pause.

Processing fees shall be returned in full to the applicant.

Limit on the number of PhD eligibility stream applications to be processed

With respect to applications under the PhD eligibility stream, complete applications will continue to be put into processing until the annual cap of 1,000 is reached, as established by Ministerial Instructions that came into force on November 5, 2011.

The current cap year for the PhD stream ends on October 31, 2012, and unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction, the cap will be automatically reset on November 1, 2012.

FSWP and federal IIP applications received before July 1, 2012

No new FSWP applications can be accepted for processing, except those made under the PhD eligibility stream and those with a qualifying offer of arranged employment, regardless of the date of receipt at CIO, given that the global application cap of 1,000 applications covering July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 has been met.

Additionally, no new federal IIP applications can be accepted for processing regardless of the date of receipt at CIO, given that the one-year cap of 700 applications covering July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 has been met.

Humanitarian and Compassionate requests

Requests made on the basis of Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds made from outside Canada that accompany any permanent resident application affected by Ministerial Instructions, but not identified for processing under the Ministerial Instructions, will not be processed.

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