On March 29, 2012, the Government of Canada announced that it will reduce the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker Applications. To achieve this goal, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will return all Federal Skilled Worker Applications for Permanent Residence filed prior to February 27, 2008, unprocessed, together with applicants’ government fees.
By adopting this strategy, the Government of Canada will reduce the Federal Skilled Worker Class backlog by nearly 300,000 Applications, leaving approximately 160,000 Federal Skilled Worker Applications, filed after February 27, 2008, in the processing queue. According to the Government of Canada, the plan will ultimately allow the government to ensure skilled newcomers actually meet current labour market needs and processing times for the Federal Skilled Worker Class will be reduced dramatically to a maximum of six (6) to twelve (12) months, regardless of the applicant’s country of origin.
While the news is good for those whose Federal Skilled Worker Applications were filed after February 27, 2008, the news is obviously not good for those who filed prior to February 27, 2008 and who have been patiently waiting for years. Notwithstanding this fact, once these applicants are returned their Applications and their government fees, nothing precludes them from reapplying for Permanent Residence in Canada either as Federal Skilled Workers (assuming they meet current eligibility requirements and selection criteria) or in any other Canadian Immigration program (i.e. Provincial Nominee Programs, the Business Class, etc.).
Within the coming weeks, Abrams & Krochak will be contacting all of its clients who filed Federal Skilled Worker Applications for Permanent Residence in Canada prior to February 27, 2008 with further details/instructions as more information becomes available from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In the interim, those individuals are encouraged to regularly visit our website for any announcements from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that may be of benefit to them should they wish to reapply. Similarly, if they wish to have their eligibility to reapply for Permanent Residence in Canada assessed by Abrams & Krochak, they are encouraged to visit http://www.abramsandkrochak.com.