Operational Bulletin 320 - June 27, 2011

Updated Ministerial Instructions: Centralized intake of applications under the federal Immigrant Investor Program

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Summary

Effective July 1, 2011, a cap of 700 new Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) applications will be considered for processing each year and all applications must be submitted to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Instructions are given to the field on what to do with applications received before and after this date.

Issue

The third set of Ministerial Instructions (MI-3), which comes into force on July 1, 2011, includes changes to the federal IIP.

Background

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

The first set of Ministerial Instructions (MI-1) was issued on November 29, 2008, and required that all Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications be submitted to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia for an initial eligibility review. The second set of Ministerial Instructions (MI-2) was issued on June 26, 2010.

MI-3 comes into force on July 1, 2011 and applies only to applications received by the designated CIC office on or after this date. MI-3 includes changes to the following programs:

  • Federal Entrepreneur Program: A temporary moratorium on new applications will be placed on this program (see Operational Bulletin (OB) 319 for more information).
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW): A cap of 10,000 new FSW applications, without an offer of arranged employment, will be considered for processing each year. Within the 10,000 cap, a maximum of 500 new applications per occupation will be considered each year (see OB 318 for more information).
  • Federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP): A cap of 700 new IIP applications will be considered for processing each year. In addition, as of July 1, 2011, all new federal Immigrant Investor applications must be submitted to the CIO in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

The full text of these instructions can be found at http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2011/2011-06-25/html/notice-avis-eng.html#d119.

Guidelines for new IIP applications submitted on or after July 1, 2011

Persons applying under the IIP on or after July 1, 2011 are required to submit their complete application to the CIO. The CIO will only begin accepting IIP applications which arrive at the CIO on or after July 1, 2011. Applications postmarked before July 1, 2011 but arrive at the CIO on or after July 1 will be accepted by the CIO.

For IIP applications received on or after July 1, 2011, the CIO will, as long as the annual cap has not been reached, assess whether the application is complete. An application must include all of the forms and documents listed in the document checklist for business class applicants to be considered complete by the CIO. For complete applications, the CIO will enter the application information into the Global Case Management System and recover the processing fee. CIO will then send these applications to the visa office for processing.

If the application is incomplete, the CIO will return the entire application package to the applicant. Any documents that the applicant provides which are not on the list of required documents set out in the document checklist will be returned to the applicant.

Any IIP application received by visa offices on or after July 1, 2011, even if the application is postmarked before July 1, 2011, will be returned to the applicant with a letter advising the applicant to submit their IIP application to the CIO.

Limit on the number of applications to be processed per year

As of July 1, 2011, a maximum of 700 new IIP applications will be considered for processing each year. In calculating the caps, applications will be considered in order of the date that they are received. Applications received on the same date will be considered for processing with regard to routine office procedures.

For the unique purpose of counting caps, the first year will begin on July 1, 2011 and end on June 30, 2012 unless otherwise indicated in future MIs.

Guidelines for applications submitted to visa offices prior to July 1, 2011

MI-3 does not apply to IIP applications received by visa offices prior to July 1, 2011. Applications submitted to visa offices prior to July 1, 2011 will be processed according to existing priorities. As per instructions issued in OB 252, visa offices should continue to process applications in a 2:1 case processing ratio—specifically two older cases submitted before June 26, 2010 to one case submitted on or after December 1, 2010.

Any IIP applications received by the CIO prior to July 1, 2011 will be returned to the applicant with a letter stating that the CIO will only accept IIP applications on or after July 1, 2011.

These changes apply only to applications received under the federal IIP. The receipt and processing of applications for permanent residence for investors selected by the province of Quebec under its business immigration program is not affected.

For further information on changes outlined in this OB, please contact Operational Management and Coordination Branch.

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