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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

CIO Refund Option: Foreign Electronic Funds Transfer Form applicants filed prior to February 2008

Recently an update from Citizenship Immigration Canada was issued regarding the refund from Centralized Intake Office for applicants filed under the Federal Skilled Workers program prior to February 27, 2008.

Due to some banking restrictions, the Receiver General of Canada can not issue checks that will be honored by banking laws of some countries including the Philippines.


The only payment option available given was to request that fees be returned to someone else who is not residing in applicant's country of residence.

A few days ago, the same Canadian Government office gave another option which is through, Foreign Electronic Funds Transfer.

The payment will be issued in the appropriate currency known to be accepted in the country where the electronic funds transfer will be sent.  The final amount will be calculated based on the exchange rate on the date of the payment.

If you are one of those affected by the changes (filed before Feb 27, 2008), you will be receiving an email from  FSWFeeReturn@cic.gc.ca for the instructions. It is important that you check the email add you used in your application if you do not see it in your inbox check your spam mail folder.

If you have not been sent an email yet, here is what it will contain:


Hello,
This message is in response to your refund request. Most fees will be returned in the form of a cheque from the Receiver General of Canada.  However, as a result of banking restrictions on foreign transactions in your country of residence, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will only return fees directly to you through an electronic funds transfer.

In order for these fees to be returned to you as quickly as possible, you must complete the “Return of Processing Fee, Right of Permanent Residence Fee or Right of Landing Fee” form attached as well as the separate “Foreign Electronic Funds Transfer” form accompanying this email and return both forms to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) within 60 days of the date on this letter.

The payment will be issued in the appropriate currency known to be accepted in the country where the electronic funds transfer will be sent.  The final amount will be calculated based on the exchange rate on the date of the payment.          

The required completed “Return of Processing Fee, Right of Permanent Residence Fee or Right of Landing Fee” AND “Foreign Electronic Funds Transfer” forms must be returned to CIC either by:

1)      E-MAIL (CIC preferred method) to: FSWFeeReturn@cic.gc.ca; or

2)      MAIL to:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
P.O. Box 9639
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 4B3
CANADA



Sincerely,
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Along with this letter are forms you need to  fill out and send to the Case processing center handling Canadian Government processing Fees refund for applicants filed prior to February 27, 2008.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Expression of Interest System - Canada Immigration

At the Annual Conference of the Canadian Network of National Association of Regulators, the Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney,  talked about the new Federal Skilled Worker program, among other immigration concerns.

You can read the Speaking notes for The Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism here.

 The new FSW program will be using the Expression of Interest System.

Following the publications will give you an idea that it might be implemented either late 2013 or by 2014. This is somewhat similar to the immigration system used by Australia and New Zealand, where they prioritize highly qualified applicants.

But of course, it would still be best if you will be able to file your application immediately once the program opens. 


Here is a portion of Mr. Kennys speech on the subject:

The system will allow us to more actively match the best qualified applicants with employers and the jobs that are available, rather than just taking those who are first in line and dropping them into the general labour market to sink or swim, in which case too many are struggling to keep their head above waters in the current system. 
  
 So our new system – it will eventually be called the Expression of Interest System for Skilled Workers – would essentially be a pool of applicants who are pre-qualified.

They’ve done a mandatory third-party assessed language test, which is a relative new feature of our system, if you can believe it.

They’ll have done the educational assessment. They will, based on the new points grid, be typically younger with higher levels of language proficiency. And they will be going into this pool of pre-qualified applicants.

We are working with employers, sectors and provinces to figure out how to give employers limited access to that pool of applicants – of course, respecting people’s privacy rights – so that they can identify people who are ready and willing to come to Canada, and who are pre-qualified. They will offer them jobs after they’ve done their due diligence and are satisfied that they can work at their skill level. And then we will bring those people into Canada within a matter of months."

In New Zealand's Expression of Interest system, the priority are those who get higher scores/points. The same could be used in Canada's new FSW program. 

Thus, you must maximize every factors where you may get additional points. The higher the points, the better your chance will be. Do not content yourself by just meeting the 67 points passmark. 

If you are married, I strongly suggest that you and your spouse both take the IELTS examination. It may mean additional cost, but it will definitely be to your advantage. 

In a Nutshell by late this year or early next year there may very well be two options for an applicant to apply in the Federal Skilled Worker program. 

1. Via the priority list of occupations and 
2.  Via the Expression of Interest system 

Both options may still have overall Caps or Quota's to allow the Citizenship and Immigration Canada better control to the number of applications that they are capable of processing. 

Those who can not file under the priority list will still be processed although to be conservative about it, its a great possibility that only those in Job Categories O-Managerial, B- Skilled and Trade and  A-Professional occupations can apply.

As a recap, to be qualified an applicants first task is to make himself eligible to apply by completing his full application package (Documents, forms and other special requirements, have his valuable documents certified/authenticated, then file his application as soon as possible.  Since the regulations always require complete documents at the beginning of all visa applications in Canada, prior planning is necessary to increase great chances of success.

The current FSW program now is a result of this transition from the current processing system to one where Canada hopes to implement to get the best Candidates for the program. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Important Update: Refund for pre 2008 applicants

We have just received an email from FSWFeeReturn@cic.gc.ca in response to our inquiry regarding the refund on processing fee for applicants who filed their application prior to February 2008.  

This applies to all applicants from the Philippines. 

 For those who is not familiar with this Canada has ruled that applicants who applied for a Permanent Residents Visa prior to February 27, 2008 under the old processing system, will have their applications returned and filing fee refunded by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada. 

 This was published in the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website in the last quarter of 2012. Together with this publication, they sent a check refund for that was for the applicant to fill out.  We have waited since then for the result of the refund until we got a message from the Centralized Intake office, the entity that handles the funds of the Canadian Government.

This message is in response to your inquiry about the return of the immigration fees paid in relation to your FSW application to immigrate to Canada.

    Most fees are being returned in the form of a cheque from the Receiver General of Canada.  However, as a result of banking restrictions on foreign cheques in your country of residence, you will not be able to cash a Receiver General cheque issued from Canada.  Alternative payment options are currently being investigated by CIC.

    In the mean time, the only payment option available to you is to request that fees be returned to someone else who is not residing in your country of residence.   If you choose this option, please complete another “Return of Processing Fee, Right of Permanent Residence Fee or Right of Landing Fee” form at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5741E.pdf and designate an alternate payee.  The form must be signed by the principal applicant for CIC to proceed with the payee change.

    Fees will be returned in the appropriate currency known to be accepted in the recipient’s country of residence.  The exchange rate will be calculated on the date of the fee return.            

    We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences of the delays you are experiencing and are doing our best to expedite the fee return process.

    Thank You,
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada

If you are one of those waiting for the refund from CIO, this explains the delay.  If you know someone in Canada whom you can trust, you may designate them to expedite the process. You can download the said form at the Canadian government website cic.gc.ca or by clicking this link:
 

Return of fees pre February 2008 appplicants