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Breaking News: Changes Announced for Three Canadian Immigration Programs

Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced changes that will be made to three of Canada’s federal immigration programs effective July 1, 2011. In order to reduce the backlog of economic applications, CIC will be adjusting the intake of applications from certain Immigration categories.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, applicants must have at least one year of paid work experience in one of the 29 eligible occupations or have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. CIC has just announced that the list of 29 eligible occupations will remain the same for the coming 12 months; however, fewer applications will be accepted for processing. As of July 1, 2011, only 500 applications will be accepted for processing per occupation and only 10,000 applications will be considered in total for the coming 12 months. Applicants who have a validated Job Offer from a Canadian employer will not be affected by the caps.

Federal Immigrant Investor Program

CIC has announced that as of July 1, 2011, the number of Federal Immigrant Investor applications accepted for processing will be capped at 700 for the coming 12 months. Canadian financial institutions, which act as facilitators in this program, are reporting that applicants will be required to submit government processing fees, a copy of their passport, and completed simplified forms to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia. All other supporting documents will be required at a later stage of the processing.

To qualify for the Federal Immigrant Investor Program, applicants must have:

• Prior business experience;
• A minimum net worth of C$1,600,000 CAN; and
• Make a C$800,000 CAN secured investment.

The Government of Quebec is expected to make an announcement regarding its Immigrant Investor Program early next week.

Moratorium on the Federal Immigrant Entrepreneur Program

As of July 1, 2011, CIC will not be accepting any new Federal Entrepreneur applications. CIC has not stated when the Federal Enterprenuer Program will begin accepting new applications. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application to the Quebec Enterprenuer Program or to one of the various Business Immigration Programs offered by the provinces.