Backgrounder - Ministerial Instructions

  • The following ministerial instructions are directed to CIC’s visa officers and identify the immigration applications and requests that will be given priority processing.
  • The instructions come into force on their date of publication in the Canada Gazette.
  • The instructions apply only to applications and requests made on or after February 27, 2008.
  • All applications and requests made prior to February 27, 2008, shall be processed in the manner existing at the time of application.
  • The instructions comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and support the economic, family reunification and refugee protection goals of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • The instructions do not apply to refugees or protected persons or persons making a request on humanitarian or compassionate grounds from within Canada.
  • The instructions respect all previously established accords and agreements, including the Canada-Quebec Accord, and all agreements with the provinces and territories.
  • Any categories for which instructions are not specifically issued shall be processed in the usual manner.

Economic Class Applications

  • All economic class applications, with the exception of federal skilled worker applications, shall be placed into processing according to existing priorities, including:
    • Canadian Experience Class
    • Investors
    • Live-in Caregivers
    • Quebec economic applicants
    • Provincial nominees
  • Federal skilled worker applications submitted on or after February 27, 2008, and that meet the following criteria shall be placed into processing immediately upon receipt:
    • Applications submitted with an offer of arranged employment; or
    • Applications submitted by foreign nationals who have been residing legally in Canada for at least one year as temporary foreign workers or international students; or
    • Applications from skilled workers with evidence of experienceFootnote 1 under one or more of the following National Occupational Classification categories:
      • 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
      • 3142 Physiotherapists
      • 3143 Occupational Therapists
      • 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
  • Overseas requests for humanitarian and compassionate consideration that accompany a federal skilled worker application not identified for processing under the ministerial instructions will not be processed.
  • No other humanitarian and compassionate requests are affected by the above instructions pertaining to federal skilled workers.

Family Class Applications

  • Family class applications will be processed in the same manner and with the same priorities as usual. Specifically, applications for sponsored spouses, partners and dependent children shall continue to be placed into processing immediately upon receipt.

Temporary Resident Applications

  • All applications for temporary residence, including temporary foreign workers, foreign students and visitors, shall continue to be placed into processing immediately upon receipt.


  • Unless the Minister has otherwise instructed that applications be retained, federal skilled worker applications received on or after February 27, 2008, that do not meet the assessment criteria described above shall not be processed, and the processing fee shall be returned.


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