Federal Skilled Workers “The Backlog” – Immigration Canada
On March 30th, 2012 the Government of Canada has announced that in order to reduce the backlog of applications under the Federal Skilled Worker category, around 280,000 applications will be returned and the processing fees paid by these applicants will be returned. The Government is focusing on meeting the current economic needs of the country and from the Government’s point of view applications that were filed before 2008 are too old to meet the new demands.
There are only a few applications that have been started to be processed, the rest of the applicants have been waiting for at least 4 years, some of them have been waiting for over 5 or 6 years and now they are just a about to get the breaking news regarding this big change.
Some people are gathering together to file a complaint or to try to sue the Government of Canada for what they call “a horrible injustice”. However, it is important to know how the system works in Canada and that it will be very difficult to fight this matter in the Federal Court of Canada and to succeed. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) you can only apply for Judicial Review after an application has been processed and the permanent resident visa has been denied, this applies to Federal Skilled Workers. In this case, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is not processing the files to the end and the visas have not been refused per se. By returning the processing fees, the government is protecting itself from further legal actions.
In order for the General Governor in Council (Cabinet) to implement new Regulations for the admission of foreign workers and selection of new immigrants under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the proposed Regulations must first be refereed by the House of Commons to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. From my perspective that proposal is going to pass as the current government has a majority. Once this becomes official it will be part of the IRPA/Regulations and there will be not much left to do since these two resources are at the top of sources of immigration law applicable to Foreign Nationals.
It is also important to consider that this new proposal is actually meeting the objectives of the Canadian immigration system which according to A3 (1)(a) and (c) are the following: “to permit Canada to pursue the maximum social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration” and “to support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy, in which the benefits of immigration are shared across all regions of Canada”.
Now the next big change will be coming next June 2012 and according to the information provided by some experts we are expecting changes in the evaluation criteria and the list of current occupations in demand. Some occupations may be taken off the list and instead some others will be added.
By: Maria Campos