Canada


New bill to lessen visa backlog in Canada becomes law

by Ray Clancy on July 25, 2014

Canadian visa applications still backlogged in the federal Immigrant Investor Programme and Entrepreneur Programme have now been terminated after a new law designed to sort out the backlog was officially implemented.

This means that if a decision regarding applications caught in the backlog was not made by an immigration officer before 11 February this year, the applications have been terminated.

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CIC will contact those whose applications have been terminated

A spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) said there are a small number of cases where a selection decision was made on or after February 11, 2014, and the application was processed to completion and a final decision was made before the Bill became law. These applications are not affected by the legislation.

“If your application was terminated, CIC will contact you, directly or through your immigration representative, to provide information on how your fees will be returned. CIC has set up a central task force based in Ottawa to handle the fee return process,” he explained.

Visa application fees will be returned, but CIC will not reimburse other application costs such as language tests, financial audits, bank charges or representative fees.

He also pointed out that eliminating the longstanding backlog of applications in the IIP and EN will allow CIC to focus resources on immigration programmes that will bring maximum benefit to Canada’s economy.

“Large backlogs of applications, particularly in economic immigration programs, are the biggest challenge to Canada’s immigration system. The large backlog of IIP and EN applications acted as a drag on the immigration system as a whole. It was one of the last remaining impediments to the creation of the type of fast and flexible economic immigration system that best contributes to Canada’s economic success,” he added.

The next step in the transformation of Canada’s immigration system will be the launch of Express Entry in January 2015. Express Entry aims to recruit the best candidates who are most likely to succeed, rather than the first person in line.

“If you are still interested in immigrating to Canada, there are several pathways to permanent residence designed for economic immigrants,” the CIC spokesman said.

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