Today, Thursday, June 28, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney made a major announcement in a speech he gave to the C.D. Howe Institute in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Prior to today’s announcement, Citizenship and Immigration Canada had indicated that if a new General Occupations (Demand) List for the Federal Skilled Worker Class was not released on July 1, 2012 (as had been promised), the quotas for jobs on the existing General Occupations (Demand) List would reset to zero. Instead of releasing a new List and/or resetting the quotas, Minister Kenney today announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will place a temporary pause on new Federal Skilled Worker Applications as well as new Investor Applications and would continue the moratorium on new Entrepreneur Applications.

According to the Minister, the pause will allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada to make what it considers to be important changes to its economic immigration programs before accepting more Applications.

Application intake for the Federal Skilled Worker Class is expected to resume in January 2013, when proposed Federal Skilled Worker Class regulatory changes are expected to come into force. Those changes will be announced in the coming months. The pause does NOT apply to individuals with Arranged Employment or those wishing to apply under the PhD stream of the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Those Applications will continue to be accepted.

As for new Investor and Entrepreneur Applications, a moratorium will remain in place until further notice.

What does this mean?

If you are an existing client of Abrams & Krochak who has not yet applied for Permanent Residence and were expecting to have your Federal Skilled Worker, Investor or Entrepreneur Application filed on or after July 1, 2012, your Application will likely not be filed until January 2013, assuming you meet the new selection criteria that will be set out in regulatory changes. If you have questions regarding the status of your Application, please send us an e-mail to info@akcanada.com.

If you are not yet a client of Abrams & Krochak but wish to become one and you have received a favourable eligibility assessment from the firm, please send an e-mail to askus@akcanada.com and Abrams & Krochak will be more than happy to represent you on the understanding that your Application for Permanent Residence cannot be filed until January 2013 at the earliest, and on the assumption that your eligibility to immigrate is not adversely affected by regulatory changes. In the event that your eligibility to immigrate IS adversely affected, Abrams & Krochak will work with you to explore other options to make your proposed Canadian Immigration plans a success (i.e. Arranged Employment/Provincial Nominee Programs/ Temporary Visas (i.e. Work Permits/Study Permits), etc.).

With all of the changes taking place with respect to Canada’s Immigration system and all of the uncertainty that these changes have caused, one thing is certain: Now more than ever it is wise to have legal representation to help you understand and navigate the complex Canadian Immigration Application process.