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Canadian Immigration Changes: A 10-Point Summary

1. Federal Entrepreneur program is closed. CIC is currently redesigning a new program with the goal of having it implemented by the end of 2012.
2. Investor program has been suspended and the current program has backlogs with a wait time of up to nine (9) years. CIC is currently looking at pilot programs to complement the existing program.
3. Provincial Nominee Programs now require minimum language standards for immigrants.
4. The Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Category was suspended in November 2011 and there is no substantive news on whether the new redesign will be as facilitative as the previous program. Online consultations for the parent and grandparent sponsorship program concluded May 25, 2012 and policy options are being considered. However, the details are not available and will likely remain unknown until CIC pre-publishes the regulations in 2013. The redesign is to be implemented in November 2013.
5. Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program is under official review and CIC is working with HRSDC to examine the feasibility of low-skilled pathway to permanent residence.
6. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) has been suspended. CIC is redesigning the program for the third time in the same number of years and is pre-publishing new regulations within the next few- months.
Changes will likely include:
  • minimum language standards for all applicants;
  • education credential assessment by a third party;
  • changes to the points grid to emphasize language ability, employment in Canada and age;
  • Skill trades — will be included in the redesign.
7. The Canada Experience Class categories (Student and Worker) will also be amended and regulations will be pre-published within the next few months. The federal goal is to have the new design in place by the end of 2012.
8. The Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, NY is closed. Canadian consulates in the US which are issuing visas to Canada are as follows:
A. United States of America – East of the Mississippi
New York:
  • for visitor visas only: Detroit and Seattle
  • for Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs), Rehabilitation and Authority to Return to Canada (ARC ) only: Washington, D.C.
B. United States of America – West of the Mississippi
Los Angeles
  • for visitor visas only: Detroit and Seattle.
9. CIC has opened a new processing centre for temporary residents currently in Canada with valid student or temporary foreign worker status. All such in Canada students or workers are required to submit their application for a new temporary resident visa to the Case Processing Pilot Office in Ottawa, or at the visa office that serves their country of nationality.
10. The government has advised that they intend to close the Arranged Employment Skilled Worker Category which is conditional on obtaining an Arranged Employment Opinion from Service Canada. This anticipated change will prevent the access to Canada of many potential immigrants.