The re-opening of the Federal Skilled Worker programme (FSW) for immigration applicants to Canada has been postponed, as well as the re-opening of the immigrant Investor Program (IIP), according to the Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC).
The new date of resumed intake of applications is January 2013.
The intake of applications under these programmes was expected to re-open on July 1 this year.
However, both programmes are under review and expected to resume no sooner than January 2013.
"This temporary pause on new Federal Skilled Worker applications will allow us to set the program on a new course as we intend to launch revised selection criteria soon,” was Canada's Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney quoted as saying.
Both the programmes have been criticized for their restrictive set up, as soon after the opening of applications intake some of the categories were filled within days, and applicants needed to wait for another year to be eligible.
"Consequent to changes introduced in 2008, the intake of FSW applications has been limited to a few occupations, tied to the past work experience of the applicant.
“Further restrictions included capping the number of applications each year.
“Thus, starting July 2011, CIC accepted only 500 applications for each occupation on the list and overall 10,000 applications," explains Deepak Kohli, an immigration consultant and president of Transcend Consultants in Canada.
"The Federal Immigrant Investor Programme (FIIP) allows individuals with business management experience or senior executives with high net worth (at least CDN$1.6 million) to immigrate to Canada with their families.
“A cap of 700 applications was also introduced on this programme in July last year, which was reportedly filled in 2 days," he adds.
Although it is unclear what changes to the programs can be expected, Deepak says that they are likely to benefit the younger immigrant with work experience in Canada and better language skills.
"In addition to the selection criteria, the new programme may also have revised pre-requisites for application or the supporting documents," he says.