Immigration Applications are not Processed in the Order that they are Received

3rd Feb 2014 Comments Off on Immigration Applications are not Processed in the Order that they are Received

[Editor’s Note: The following appeared in the September 2012 version of The Canadian Immigrant.  In drafting a blog post about a similar topic I realized that I had never posted the article below to my blog. I am therefore posting this today. The title in The Canadian Immigrant article was “What Applicants Should Look for In New Immigration Rules.“]

People who follow Canada’s immigration system have undoubtedly had trouble keeping up with the rapid changes that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has introduced in the past several months. From the termination of 300,000 federal skilled worker applications to the proposed “Start-up Visa,” the announcements have been fast and furious, and each one has been debated extensively.

In discussing each individual change, however, the public discourse has largely missed the shift in the forest by focusing on each tree. There is a fundamental transformation underway in Canada’s immigration system, and it is important that anyone submitting a visa application understand this before applying.

First in, first processed

Traditionally, Canada’s immigration system operated on a first-come first-processed basis. Our immigration legislation created programs under which eligible applicants could apply. People submitted applications under various programs with the understanding that while they would have to wait in the queue behind those who applied before them, they could be certain that the Canadian government would process their applications before anyone who applied after them. Importantly, they could also be certain that their application would actually be processed according to the criteria that existed when they applied.

Enter the ministerial instructions

In 2008, however, the Government of Canada began abandoning the first-come first-processed system by introducing what are now commonly referred to as ministerial instructions. Ministerial instructions are directives by the minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

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Questions & Answers – FSWP Education Points and On-Campus Work Permits (IR-04)

20th Sep 2013 Comments Off on Questions & Answers – FSWP Education Points and On-Campus Work Permits (IR-04)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding Education Points under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, as well as a question about On Campus Work Permits.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 06, 2013

Dear Sir / Madam,

I have two questions:

1. For submissions under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, do applicants need to submit proof of completion of secondary school if their highest level of education is a bachelor’s degree (or higher)?  In other words, is documentation required for all secondary and post-secondary students, or just for the highest level of education claimed?

2. Is there a maximum number of hours that a student with a valid study permit can work ON campus?  I understand that Off-campus work permit holders can only work 20 hours and I was wondering if the same restriction applies to On-campus work.

Best regards,

Answer – May 27, 2013

1) As noted in the Federal Skilled Worker Program application guide, in order to meet the minimum education requirement, all applicants must submit proof of:

  • a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary credential, or
  • a completed foreign educational credential and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by an organization designated by CIC if their educational credential was obtained outside Canada.  The ECA report must confirm the equivalency of the completed foreign educational credential to a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential.

An applicant submitting proof of a Canadian post-secondary educational credential (or an equivalent foreign educational credential) does not need to also submit proof of completion of a secondary educational credential.

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Bridging Open Work Permits

Bridging Open Work Permits

17th Dec 2012 Comments Off on Bridging Open Work Permits

Last updated on October 26th, 2019

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (“IRCC”) International Mobility Program has a bridging open work permit program for temporary foreign workers currently working in Canada who have submitted permanent residence applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP“), the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC“), the Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP“), or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP“).

Bridging open work permits are a huge and positive development for Canadian employers with employees who have filed permanent residence applications under one of Canada’s economic programs.  CIC’s introduction of bridging work permits removes a significant issue which many temporary foreign workers previously encountered, namely that they were unable to extend their work permits during CIC’s processing of their permanent resident applications without their employers first having to obtain positive Labour Market Impact Assessments, an uncertain process which often takes months.


Temporary foreign workers currently working in Canada are eligible to apply for a bridging work permit if they:

  • are a foreign national in Canada;
  • have valid status on a work permit that is due to expire within 4 months;
  • be the principal applicant on an appliation for permanent residence under the FSWP, CEC, PNP or FSTC;
  • received a positive eligibility decision on their permanent residence application under either the FSWP, the CEC, the PNP, or the FSTP; and
  • they have applied for an open work permit.

The following individuals are not eligible for open bridging work permits:

  • foreign nationals in Canada working in Canada who are work permit exempt;
  • foreign nationals who have let their status expire and must apply for restoration in order to return to temporary resident status;

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Federal Skilled Trades Class to be Capped at 3,000 Applicants

10th Dec 2012 Comments Off on Federal Skilled Trades Class to be Capped at 3,000 Applicants

As previously discussed here, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) will be introducing a new Federal Skilled Trades Class (“FSTC”), which will facilitate the immigration of certain skilled tradespersons in Canada.  The Government of Canada originally “announced” the creation of the FSTC in August through the publication of regulatory changes, however, CIC today released new information which will be relevant to prospective applicants.

The FSTC will be open to individuals with experience in the following National Occupation Classification (“NOC“) B occupational areas:

  • Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades;
  • Maintenance and Equipment Operation Trades;
  • Supervisors and Technical Occupations in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production;
  • Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and Central Control Operators;
  • Chefs and Cooks; and
  • Bakers and Butchers.

Applicants to the FSTC will be required to meet the following four minimum requirements:

  1. Be working in Canada, or possess a LMO-supported offer of employment from up to two employers in Canada of at least one year duration, or possess a Certificate of Qualification from a provincial or territorial Apprenticeship Authority;
  2. Meet the same minimum language threshold as required by the concurrently to be introduced new Federal Skilled Worker Class, namely a 7.0 on every language ability;
  3. Have twenty-four months of work experience (after qualification/certification in the country where the work was performed, where applicable) in the same skilled trade as which they are applying under in the last five years; and
  4. Have qualifications that satisfy employment requirements as described by the NOC, except for certification and licensing requirements.

The FSTC will be capped at 3,000 applications in its first year.

Individuals who are keenly anticipating the launch of the new Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP“) should note that when the Government of Canada in August announced the creation of the FSTC,

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Changes to Language Requirements

20th Apr 2012 Comments Off on Changes to Language Requirements

New Language Requirements for Citizenship and PNP Applications

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has introduced new language requirements for citizenship applications and certain provincial nominee applications.  For citizenship applications, the changes will introduce objective language requirements for most applicantions.  For certain provincial nominee program (“PNP”) applications, the changes will introduce mandatory language testing.

The Citizenship Langugage Requirements  

Applicants for Canadian citizenship are required to demonstrate that they have an adequate knowledge of either English or French.  Currently, this is done through a multiple choice written test known as the Citizenship Exam, which also tests knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities of citizenship.

On April 21, 2012, the Government of Canada introduced regulatory changes that when they take affect will require that citizenship applicants enclose proof that they meet the language requirement with their citizenship application.  Acceptable means of proof will include:

  • A language test result from an authorized testing agency;
  • Evidence of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French; or
  • Evidence of completion and achievement of a certain level in a government-funded language training program.

Applicants submitting test results from an authorized testing agency will have to achieve a minimum standard of Canadian Language Benchmark (“CLB”) 4 in English or Niveaux de comeptence linguistique canadiens (“NCLC”) level 4 in French.  The areas that will be tested are speaking and listening.  For those familiar with the International English Language Testing System (“IELTS”), currently required for many permanent residence applications, this translates into a 4 in each category.

Applicants who provided mandatory language testing results as part of their permanence residence applications can submit those test results with their citizenship application, and will not be required to be re-tested.

The change will affect all adult citizenship applicants between the ages of 18 and 54.

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The Federal Skilled Worker NOC List

29th Jun 2010 Comments Off on The Federal Skilled Worker NOC List

As part of its recent changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP“), the government has changed which National Occupational Classification (“NOC“) categories are eligible under the program. In short, the FSWP requires that a prospective immigrant either have a job offer or sufficient experience in a designated NOC occupation. These are typically occupations of which there are a shortage of skilled Canadians.

The following table shows the eligible NOC categories before and after the changes. It shows which occupations have been removed, and which have been added.





Computer and information systems managers


Managers in health care


Restaurant and food service managers

Restaurant and food service managers


Accommodation service managers


Construction managers


Financial auditors


Geologists, geochemists, geophysicists


Mining engineers


Geological engineers


Petroleum engineers


Specialists physicians

Specialist physicians


General practitioners and family physicians

General practitioners and family physicians




Occupational therapists





Head nurses


Registered nurses

Registered nurses


Medical radiation technologists

Medical radiation technologists


Licensed practical nurses

Licensed practical nurses


University professors


College and other vocational instructors

Executive chefs
Executive chefs





Contractors and supervisors (pipes)


Contractors and supervisors,

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