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Central intake office revises federal skilled worker document checklist

I previously reported that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) had published Ministerial Instructions, which affected the Federal Skilled Worker Class. These Ministerial Instructions imposed a mandatory language proficiency assessment on all Federal Skilled Worker cases, even those submitted by native English or French speakers and even where they did not require language points to qualify.

Following the issuance of these Ministerial Instructions, CIC also revised its IMM 5612 Document Checklist, which is used for the initial filing of Federal Skilled Worker applications with the Central Intake Office (“CIO”). The language proficiency assessment was an expected addition to IMM 5612. However, what was not expected is the requirement that applicants also submit all documents listed on the specific visa office document checklist applicable to the consular post where the application will be processed.

Prior to this change, the CIO did not require supporting documentation with the initial filing. Instead, applicants submitted a simplified application consisting primarily of relevant forms and the filing fee, without any supporting documentation. Once the CIO had screened the application and forwarded the case to the consular post, the applicant would be expected to provide any relevant supporting documentation to the post directly.

Based on the current IMM 5612, the applicant must now submit a complete application, including all supporting documentation at the time of the initial filing with the CIO. This can cause considerable delays since documents such as police clearance certificates can take months to obtain from certain countries.

Another more serious question is whether the CIO will forward the supporting documents to the consular post after it has done the initial screening. Prior to this change, the CIO did not forward the application forms to the consular post. It simply entered information contained in the forms into CIC’s database. If all supporting documentation must now be filed initially with the CIO, it is uncertain whether these documents will now be forwarded to the consular post once CIO has screened the application.

The Canadian Bar Assocation National Citizenship and Immigration Law Section is attempting to seek clarification of this issue but the CIO has not yet responded.

Henry J. Chang
Blaney McMurtry LLP

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Henry J. Chang

Corporate immigration lawyer at Blaney McMurtry LLP
Henry J. Chang is a partner in the business immigration group of Blaney McMurtry LLP. A recognized authority in the field of United States and Canadian immigration law, Mr. Chang lectures extensively on the subject in both the United States and Canada. His written works have appeared in numerous nationally and internationally recognized legal publications, including Immigration Law and Procedure, which has been cited in over 300 federal court decisions. Read more
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