Breaking News: Changes Announced for Three Canadian Immigration Programs

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced changes that will be made to three of Canada’s federal immigration programs effective July 1, 2011. In order to reduce the backlog of economic applications, CIC will be adjusting the intake of applications from certain immigration categories.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, applicants must have at least one year of paid work experience in one of the 29 eligible occupations or have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. CIC has just announced that the list of 29 eligible occupations will remain the same for the coming 12 months; however, fewer applications will be accepted for processing. As of July 1, 2011, only 500 applications will be accepted for processing per occupation and only 10,000 applications will be considered in total for the coming 12 months. Applicants who have a validated job offer from a Canadian employer will not be affected by the caps.

Attorney David Cohen encourages applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible, “These 29 open occupations will fill up very quickly. Speaking from my own experience, a number of our clients have anticipated that the same occupations would reopen and they already have their files ready for submission for July 1st. It is important that your application gets submitted quickly and that you get it right the first time. There will be no room for error as occupation caps will be filled quickly, especially in the popular occupations.”

Find out if you qualify for Canadian Permanent Residency by completing our Canadian immigration assessment form.

Federal Immigrant Investor Program

CIC has announced that as of July 1, 2011, the number of Federal Immigrant Investor applications accepted for processing will be capped at 700 for the coming 12 months. Canadian financial institutions, which act as facilitators in this program, are reporting that applicants will be required to submit government processing fees, a copy of their passport, and completed simplified forms to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia. All other supporting documents will be required at a later stage of the processing.

To qualify for the Federal Immigrant Investor Program, applicants must have:
• Prior business experience;
• A minimum net worth of C$1,600,000 CAN; and
• Make a C$800,000 CAN secured investment.

“Given the demand for this program, especially from Chinese nationals, we expect this imposed cap limit to be reached extremely quickly… probably within a matter of days,” says Attorney David Cohen. “Applicants should keep in mind that Quebec has its own Immigrant Investor Program which could be a great option for applicants who cannot submit under the Federal Investor Program as Quebec will be increasing the number of applications accepted under its program.”

The Government of Quebec is expected to make an announcement regarding its Immigrant Investor Program early next week.

Moratorium on the Federal Immigrant Entrepreneur Program

As of July 1, 2011, CIC will not be accepting any new Federal Entrepreneur applications. CIC has not stated when the Federal Entrepreneur Program will begin accepting new applications. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application to the Quebec Entrepreneur Program or to one of the various Business Immigration Programs offered by the provinces.

Are you an investor, entrepreneur, or self-employed? Complete our Canadian immigration assessment form to out if you qualify for Canadian Permanent Residency.

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