Canada Visa Application Online Bulletin September 2011

Canada Federal Skilled Workers Application update about the Old process – Ministerial Instruction 1 - MI1, Ministerial Instructions 2 - MI2 and Ministerial instruction 3 - MI3

At present there are four application types that is being processed at the Canadian Embassy.

This write up is to try and distinguish between all of them.

Old Process

Applications filed from 2004 until February 27, 2008, which are currently being processed within 7 years. The reason for this is because of the huge backlog (close to 1 million) that accumulated at that time.

In this system, there were more than 350 occupations being considered for Immigration. These were those that were in National Occupations Classification of Canada, O-Managerial, A-Professional and B-Skilled and trade occupation categories.

Applicants who filed during this time may have received approximate processing times by the Embassy when they were given the file number, unfortunately, it is not followed.

For our clients we have been constantly following up the Embassy for updates, but last time the Canadian Embassy wrote us asking to defray from making follow ups because the time they spent answering to our queries will be more productively used in processing our clients applications. Unfortunately, for the time being we can not do anything but wait. Under this batch of applicants, the most recent applicant who got their Visa were those filed November 9, 2004.

The most recent Visa notice that was issued were those filed, November 15, 2004.

If you were filed under this system, you can constantly check the E application Status of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, click on this link:

Client application Status

Both our Consultancy and you will be notified if you will already be asked to undergo the next phase, if upon checking you find out that your status says “on process” this means that you have to wait.

Although in preparation for the next stage, you have to review for the Internatilan English Language Testing – IELTS exam. You have to prepare for the General Training. From our experience you might be asked to take it. Although we are not telling you to take the exam right now, it would be best to start reviewing, here are some of the free IELTS blogs available in the internet:

Exam English

If you are not confident with your skill in the English language, there are a lot of review center’s for IELTS like, 9’ers.

Ministerial Instruction 1 - MI1

Last November 2008, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada, published the modifications on the Federal Skilled Workers class, permanent residents application for Canada. This was tagged ad Ministerial Instruction 1. Under this program, there were 38 high demand occupations identified as the eligible occupations for FSW application processing.

They limited the number of applications available to only 38 occupations (clicking on the link will show you the list) for reasons that they made processing faster, 6 to 12 months.

Not foreseeing the number of applications that they will receive, an huge influx of cases created another backlog, they applications for FSW MI1, is now being processed within 1 year and 6 months. The last application visa we received under this program was filed March 19, 2010.

Ministerial Instructions 2

Not wanting for the new backlog to worsen, Citizenship and Immigration Canada again, revised the Federal skilled Worker program last June 26, 2010, this time only limiting the applicants those with experience in the 29 in demand occupations (clicking on the link will show you the list) they called this change as the Ministerial Instructions 2.

Moreover, to insure that no backlog will be experienced once again, they added a few control measures.

A timeline of one (1) year will be observed. All future changes in the eligible list will start on July 1 and end on June 20 of the following year.

A cap or quota of 1000 applications per occupation was set

All applicants must have their full application package at the beginning of the application

This time the regulation change worked, applications in this system is processed with in the intended timeline, the last Visa we received for this regulation were filed April 6, 2011.

Ministerial instruction 3 - MI3

Wanting to fix the backlog in the previous processing systems, last July 1, 2011, they have retained the eligible list of occupations (clicking on the link will show you the list) in the previous Ministerial Instruction in Ministerial Instruction 3. Since the processing period takes 6 months to a year no visa has been issued yet but we have received positive assessments from the Centralized intake office (click on the link to read about the CIO), for applications filed July 9, 2011.

If you want to read about the details of Ministerial Instructions 3, please click on my previous blog post:

PR Visa Canada - FSW processed within 6 to 12 months

If you have work experience in the list of eligible occupations – 29 in demand Occupations, you have to file your application soon, otherwise miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

Give us a call! Act right now!

To answer your concerns about processing here are some of the Frequently asked questions with answers.

Will my fee be refunded if my application is returned or refused?

If you applied before February 27, 2008, the date the changes to the immigration law took effect, your application will be processed. You will not get a refund unless you choose to withdraw your application before it is processed.

If you applied on or after February 27, 2008, and your application is not eligible for processing, you will get a full refund. If your application is processed and it is refused, you will not get a refund.

Is the simplified application process still being used for skilled workers?

No. Changes have been made to the way skilled worker applications are processed. As a result, applicants are now asked to submit a completed regular application (IMM 0008).

Changes to federal skilled worker and investor immigration programs

Why are you introducing a cap?

We are now receiving more federal skilled worker applications than we can process and accept each year. We have more than enough applications on hand now to fill many of our needs. A cap is the only guaranteed way to limit the number of applications we receive. Without the cap on applications, processing times will get longer and a new backlog could be created.

We will continue to admit the same number of federal skilled workers as in previous years, and in fact we believe that there will be higher economic admissions this year in support of the recovery and further reductions in the backlog.

Changes to federal skilled worker and investor immigration programs

Is the annual cap by calendar year, fiscal year or from the date the instructions are published?

The cap for the third set of instructions begins July 1st, 2011, and ends on June 30th, 2012 (unless otherwise indicated in a future ministerial instruction).

If my occupation is part of the eligible list will my application be prioritized?

Sad to say no. Based on the current operations manual of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, you are given the option to either withdraw your old application and file a new one under the current Ministerial Instruction or file a new application simultaneous to your old one. Both options has pros and cons. If you withdraw your old application and file a new one, and you did not file on time and the cap for your occupation has been reached, then not only can you not file your application in the new rule, you no longer have that old application to look forward to.

If you file a simultaneous application, you will have to pay another set of filing fees.


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