Operational Bulletin 218 - June 28, 2010

Ministerial Instructions and Federal Skilled Worker Class Applications

Purpose/Issue

On June 18, 2008, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was amended to give the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration authority to issue instructions that would ensure the processing of applications and requests be conducted in a manner that, in the opinion of the Minister, will best support the attainment of immigration goals set by the Government of Canada.

The first set of Ministerial Instructions (MI) was issued on November 28, 2008. The second set of MIs, issued on June 26, 2010, introduced a number of changes, including a revised list of eligible occupations, annual limits to the number of applications to be processed in the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) class, as well as revised eligibility criteria with respect to evidence of official language proficiency and work experience. The second set of MIs also includes instructions for the federal Immigrant Investor Program and the Canadian Experience Class that will be addressed in separate operational bulletins (OB). The full text of the Instructions can be found at: http://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2010/2010-06-26/html/notice-avis-eng.html.

Overview of MIs – June 26, 2010

The second set of MIs applies only to applications received by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) on or after June 26, 2010. It does not apply to any application received before June 26, 2010. All complete FSW applications received by the CIO on a date prior to the Canada Gazette publication date shall continue to be considered for processing having regard to the first set of MIs.

FSW applications received by the CIO on or after June 26, 2010, accompanied by the results of the principal applicant’s English or French language proficiency assessment [ Note 1 ], not exceeding the identified caps and that meet either of the following criteria shall be placed into processing:

  • Applications from skilled workers with evidence of experience in the last ten years under one or more [ Note 2 ] of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes specified in the MIs up to a maximum of 20,000 new, complete applications per year with no more than 1,000 applications of this maximum in any one NOC category;

or

  • Applications submitted with an Arranged Employment Offer (AEO) consistent with requirements of subsection R82(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Note: As of June 26, 2010, the stream for temporary foreign workers and international students living in Canada for one year no longer exists. Students and temporary foreign workers applying in the FSW class on or after June 26, 2010, must meet the criteria of the second set of MIs in order to be eligible for processing.

Limit on the number of applications to be processed per year

A maximum of 20,000 FSW applications, without an AEO, will be considered for processing each year.

Within the 20,000 cap, a maximum of 1,000 FSW applications per NOC code will be considered for processing each year.

In calculating the caps, applications will be considered in order of the date they are received. Applications received on the same date will be considered for processing having regard to routine office procedures.

For the unique purpose of calculating the caps, the first year will begin on June 26, 2010, and end on June 30, 2011. Subsequent years will be calculated from July 1st to June 30th, unless otherwise indicated in a future MI.

Guidelines for new and existing applications

All FSW applications will be considered in order of the date they are received.

FSW applications received at the CIO before June 26, 2010

The second set of MIs does not apply to complete applications received prior to June 26, 2010. All FSW applications received by the CIO on a date prior to the Canada Gazette publication date shall continue to be considered for processing having regard to the first set of MIs.

FSW applications received at the CIO on or after June 26, 2010

The second set of MIs applies to cases received at the CIO on or after June 26, 2010. The CIO will assess complete applications received on or after June 26, 2010, against the MIs to determine whether applicants are eligible for processing. Those determined to be eligible will be placed into processing. Applications that receive a negative determination of eligibility will not be processed and will receive a full refund.

Submitting the application

All FSW applications will continue to be sent to the CIO. Applicants are required to submit their complete application, together with all supporting documents, to the CIO. This includes all documents listed both on the CIO and visa-office-specific document checklists. Official language test results from a designated language testing agency must be submitted with the application.

The CIO will review applications for completeness pursuant to section 10 of the IRPR. If the application received is incomplete, the entire application package will be returned to the applicant.

Final eligibility determination at the CIO

The CIO will assess the applicant’s submission as-is and make a final determination of eligibility. To be eligible for processing, the applicant must meet all the criteria described in the MIs. If the application is eligible for processing, the applicant will be informed and the entire application will be forwarded to the visa office requested. Once processing has begun at a visa office, the cost recovery fee is no longer refundable.

If the applicant’s submission is determined to be ineligible for processing, the applicant will be informed and will receive a refund.

Updates to the OP 6 manual are forthcoming.


1 Only test results from a third party language testing agency designated by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism will be accepted (see section 11.5 of OP 6).

2 Applicants will have one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in at least one of the listed NOCs and not combined partial year experience in multiple NOCs.

Date Modified: