Effective May 1, 2014, a maximum of 25,500 new Federal Skilled Worker applications without an offer of arranged employment (including 500 applications in the PhD student/graduate stream), 5,000 new Federal Skilled Trades applications, and 8,000 new Canadian Experience Class applications will be considered for processing between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction.
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration recently issued a fourth set of Ministerial Instructions (MI-4), which came into force on November 5, 2011. According to MI-4, the Federal Skilled Worker program will now have a new eligibility stream for international students pursuing doctoral (PhD) studies at Canadian institutions. This adds an additional 1,000 numbers to the current cap of 10,000, which are available to FSW applicants who do not have arranged employment.
During the recent Canadian Bar Association Citizenship and Immigration Conference in Gatineau, Quebec, representatives of the Central Intake Office ("CIO") in Sydney, Nova Scotia, provided some helpful insight into its processing of Federal Skilled Worker ("FSW") applications. The CIO screens all FSW applications in order to verify that submitted applications satisfy the Ministerial Instructions, which currently restrict who can apply under the FSW class.