Canadian Government Aims to Reject Thousands of Applications


I would never have believed it had I not read it myself.

The Canadian government is aiming to reject / eliminate all Federal Skilled Worker applications submitted prior to February 2008.

The reason? It’s been so long that it would be difficult for the visa officer to assess the file, and in any case, criteria have changed and those applications are just not as relevant to current immigration policy as newer applications.

Of course as all applicants know, the delays in processing since 2008 (and before) are entirely the fault of the government who did not provide the resources to process those applications in a timely fashion, when they were relevant to the economic needs of the country and qualified under those previous rules.

I really sympathize with those applicants. Although they will be receiving a refund of their application fees, many of them spent thousands more on advice from immigration lawyers that can not be recovered (and won’t be paid by the government).

Even more, those applicants will not likely qualify now under the more restrictive skilled worker rules where qualifying occupations are severely limited. These people applied in good faith under the existing rules at the time and to have an application rejected out of hand (under no fault of the applicant) is not acceptable.

This will create a black eye for the immigration system. Potential applicants may think twice in future – who knows if their application will be processed or simply rejected years later?

The government will have to work hard to regain the trust of potential applicants by processing files in weeks or months instead of years, and processing applications under the rules which they applied.

Ultimately, I think the changes coming to the system are positive, but dealing with previous applications by simply rejecting them is unfair and unjust – and not what Canada is known for around the world.

I’m still hopeful the Canadian government will re-think this policy.

Here’s a link to a CBC article on the topic.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile