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Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Workers, Immigration, Processing Times, Provincial Nominee Programs

Immmigration’s Summer Freeze

For the last number of years, July 1 has represented the day when the cap on certain immigration applications to Canada is reset allowing individuals who were not able to apply for permanent residency in the past year to make an application.

With every annual reset of the cap, there have also been changes to who is eligible to reply.  This summer is a bit chillier as many immigration applications to Canada have now been frozen.

The main categories that have been affected are the federal skilled worker class, the federal immigrant investor class, and the federal entrepreneur class.  Individuals looking to apply under these categories cannot do so as new applications are no longer going to be received.  In fact, the government will probably not re-open these categories  until they are entirely revamped some time in early 2013.

It should be noted that not all classes of immigration to Canada are frozen.  Individuals wishing to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to Canada can continue to do so as well as individuals applying under various provincial or federal nominee programs.  As well, there is no freeze on refugee applications and individuals who are already working in Canada or otherwise qualify for what is called “arranged employment”.  In addition, a special PhD stream is still open for individuals looking to immigrate to Canada.

As a result, individuals wishing to immigrate to Canada with no current connection to Canada in terms of an employer, prospective employer, family member, or in the case of some provincial nominee programs, friends, will no longer be allowed to immigrate.  While some provincial business programs are still available, the likely scenario is that there will be a flood of applications in these programs as the federal business programs close.

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About Reis Pagtakhan

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration law partner with MLT Aikins LLP. His extensive experience includes assisting businesses obtain temporary entry to Canada and permanent residency for their executives, employees and contractors from all over the world. Reis has lectured on and written papers on immigration law for the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Immigration Department officials and Manitoba Labour and Immigration. He has written articles on immigration for the CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, trade, industry and ethnic publications.

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