As previously reported, last year Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) imposed a “temporary pause” on the acceptance of new Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP”) applications, which became effective on July 1, 2012. On December 19, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that the FSWP will once again begin accepting new applications on May 4, 2013.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
When Citizenship and Immigration Canada ("CIC") announced that it was cancelling the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker ("FSW") cases that were filed prior to 2008, several Provincial Nominee Programs ("PNPs") began offering some of those applicants the opportunity to apply for a provincial nomination under CIC's FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot (the "FSW Pilot"). As of November 5, 2012, eligible foreign nationals who have been nominated by a participating PNP under the FSW Pilot may now apply for one of 1,500 available province-specific open work permits; this will enable them to enter the labour market while their permanent residence cases are pending. Work permits issued under the FSW Pilot may be valid for a maximum of two years and cannot be extended.
On June 29, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published Operational Bulletin 438, which states that a temporary pause has been placed on new applications filed under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, excluding applications received under the PhD eligibility stream and those with a qualifying offer of arranged employment. A temporary pause has also been placed on all new applications filed under the federal Immigrant Investor Program.