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2009 Immigration Outlook & Changes to Federal Skilled Workers Applications

The Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that Canada will maintain its immigration level in 2009, welcoming between 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents. The 2009 plan includes up to 156,600 immigrants in the economic category; 71,000 in the family category; and 37,400 in the humanitarian category. These levels are among the highest for this country over the past 15 years and reflect a continued commitment to an immigration program that balances Canada's economic, humanitarian and family reunification goals.

Minister Kenney also issued new instructions for how Canadian immigration visa officers will treat Federal Skilled Worker applications, including all those that have been submitted since February 27, 2008.

The Action Plan for Faster Immigration calls for visa officers to process the Federal Skilled Worker applications of candidates who have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the last 10 years in one of 38 qualifying occupations that are in high demand in Canada or who have an offer of Arranged Employment in Canada or who have been legally living in Canada for at least one year as a temporary foreign worker or international student.

"We expect new federal skilled worker applicants, including those with arranged employment, to receive a decision within six to 12 months compared with up to six years under the old system," said Minister Kenney. He also added that "these steps this Government has taken to improve our immigration system will help ensure that Canada remains competitive internationally and responsive to labour market needs domestically"

New federal skilled worker applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined above will not be processed, and the application fee will be fully refunded. It is important to note that an application, which is returned is not considered to be refused or rejected and presumably can be resubmitted at a later date, when the processing queues become shorter. These regulations have been put in place to reduce the backlog of applications in the system and to speed up the processing times of existing immigration applications.

Applicants who aren't eligible for the federal skilled worker category may qualify under many other categories such as the Provincial Nominee Program, or as temporary foreign workers, which could then put them on a path to permanent residency through the new Canadian Experience Class.

List of Qualifying Occupations

  • 0111 Financial Managers
  • 0213 Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • 0311 Managers in Health Care
  • 0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • 0632 Accommodation Service Managers
  • 0711 Construction Managers
  • 1111 Financial Auditors and Accountants
  • 2113 Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists
  • 2143 Mining Engineers
  • 2144 Geological Engineers
  • 2145 Petroleum Engineers
  • 3111 Specialist Physicians
  • 3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • 3141 Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists
  • 3143 Occupational Therapists
  • 3142 Physiotherapists
  • 3151 Head Nurses and Supervisors
  • 3152 Registered Nurses
  • 3215 Medical Radiation Technologists
  • 3233 Licensed Practical Nurses
  • 4121 University Professors
  • 4131 College and Other Vocational Instructors
  • 6241 Chefs
  • 6242 Cooks
  • 7213 Contractors and Supervisors, Pipefitting Trades
  • 7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
  • 7217 Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Construction Equipment Crews
  • 7241 Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)
  • 7242 Industrial Electricians
  • 7251 Plumbers
  • 7252 Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers
  • 7265 Welders and Related Machine Operators
  • 7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • 7371 Crane Operators
  • 7372 Drillers and Blasters - Surface Mining, Quarrying and Construction
  • 8221 Supervisors, Mining and Quarrying
  • 8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service
  • 9212 Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities

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