Update on Canadian Government’s slashing of pre-2008 Skilled Worker applications

As posted earlier, the Conservative government proposed to eliminate 280,000 applications filed before February 27th 2008 for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Here are some questions that you may have:

Will I be affected by the proposed changes?

Under the proposed changes, CIC would close Federal Skilled Worker applicants’ files if they:

  • applied before February 27, 2008, and
  • have not had a decision made by an immigration officer based on selection criteria by March 29, 2012.

It is expect this would affect around 280,000 people including dependents.

Who will not be affected by the proposed changes?

Any application that has received a file number after February 27, 2008 so you will not be affected if your file number was received after this date.

What is being done to respond to this decision by the Canadian government?

Immigration consultants are looking into a joint effort to stop the finalization of the proposal. It is expected that the changes will happen as the Conservative party holds a majority and it will receive enough votes to pass through.

There is a good chance that this issue will drag on and head to the Supreme Court. However, once or if it gets to that, it will not be for another few years as complaints against the government must go through many legal hurdles.

What options do I have if my application is removed from the backlog?

This depends on the individual applicant. Unfortunately, some applicants will not have any options under the new rules and regulations. There are currently over 60 immigration programs under both federal and provincial governments.

Will I receive a refund?

Your government application fees will be refunded. The professional fees will be treated as per the particular agreement each client has with their consulting firm.


  • My application is in process since june 2006 & it has been transfered from Damascus to Warsaw & i have been asked for upgrading my documents in November 2010 which i did & they received ot completeluy.in an email to ommigration office they replied that i am in background review process.what do u yhink about my status? Is it a choice that i would be in the 20000 that will remain in queue?

    • CICS Immigration editor

      This would depend on whether your application has passed the selection criteria phase. If it has, then you would be in the 20,000 that will remain in the queue.

      The background check could mean that you haven’t passed the selection criteria phase, and they’re checking on your work experience information, or it could mean that you are passed the selection criteria, and they are now doing a security check, in which case your application won’t be one of the 280,000 that will be closed. We recommend that you contact them and find out which is the case.

      If you need professional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact CICS Immigration by email or phone for a quote.

  • I submitted my application to Ghana Office in May 2006. Late last year and March 2012, I was advised that my application was in queue for review. Will this new development (inhuman decision) affect my application?

    I await your prompt response.

    • CICS Immigration editor

      You will most likely be affected by this decision unfortunately. Any one who applied under the Federal Skilled Worker Program and received their file number before February 27th 2008, which in your case is highly likely given your application was submitted in 2006, will be affected.

  • bhagwinder singh gill

    is there any fault on part of pre-2008 applicants?
    i applied for permanent immigration in july 2005, i paid $1250 as processing fees ,$ 2500 as consultancy charges, and other charges as well. i kept $20000 in my fixed deposits.had i invested it in purchasing a home the present market rate that home would have been $300000.now i will never be able to purchase home in india because what i am getting back from CIC is only $1250 paid as processing fees.
    the story is same with all pre-2008 applicants. they are being punished for the inefficiency of CIC.
    is this not a fraud committted by canadian government?

    please reply.

    • CICS Immigration editor

      Immigration Canada’s decision is a shock to everyone in the industry. We have many clients who have planned their lives around their immigration to Canada. The Canadian government’s justification for such an action has not been accepted by the immigration community and we are taking steps to take them to court. However, such a process takes time. Best thing to do is to find out whether you would be eligible to apply under another program. Quebec Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Worker are the only skilled worker programs where an offer an employment is not necessary. Federal Skilled Worker has reached its cap of 10,000 applicants but will be coming out with a new job list in July. Quebec Skilled Worker is still taking applications. I recommend that you fill out our online questionnaire to find out whether you’re qualified.

  • i applied in 2004,immigration asked me to send my immigration file number through a letter on 2008 and i send my complete updated file will my file be effected according to new rule of canadian immigration??

    • CICS Immigration editor

      Unfortunately, assuming you applied under the Federal Skilled Worker program, your application will almost certainly be affected, as you probably received your file number before the February 27th 2008 cutoff.

  • I applied for an immigration visa in around September 2006. I got a letter from the Canadian high commission in which they stated that they have started processing my file on 26th November 2006. They also stated that they will have no contact with me for approx 48-56 months. I applied for immigration under federal skilled worker class. Now according to this change, does it mean that my application will not even be reviewed by the immigration department? Or will they simply return the file with the processing fees?

    • CICS Immigration editor

      It looks like that your application will most likely be returned with the fees. We would like to do an assessment of your situation and see if you would be qualified for other programs. For this, you can go to our assessment page and fill our form.


    I am an applicant from Bangladesh for Canadian immigration under Simplified Application Process. I have applied on 4th June, 2007 on the basis of the rule of FSW(federal skilled worker). We got a Immigration File Number and in 2010 we have received a letter from immigration section asking whether they will continue processing our file or not. We agreed to process our file. That time immigration processing time had increased to 66 months.
    Recently we found on CIC website that they have decided to clean up all files which had been applied before February 2008. They are going to process few selected files and send back all rests along with drafts. We have full faith and respect on their decision but your recent announcement is too much shocking for me. Since 2007 me and my family is waiting for a positive response from you. We did not make any kind of asset for future so that we can save our money and settle to Canada. We did not involve our children in any extra curriculum so that they can start their new life-style in Canada. Me and my family had taken mental preparation to settle in Canada.
    Now what we will do ? Will we be affected ?

  • Hi

    I applied in 2006, went through back ground check. The background check was send to UK but was lost/ignored by them for 20 months till I took their attention by getting a letter from CIC Ottawa!
    I received my medical form last month, completed and returned back to UK two weeks ago.

    Do you think my file will be canceled or it’s between those 20,000 cases which will be proceed.

    Many thanks for your prompt response.



    • CICS Immigration editor

      Hello Homi,

      If you have received and done your medical, your application will most likely will not be returned.

      CICS Immigration

  • Dr. Hamid Ullah Khan

    Note: The below letter has been sent to many MPs and Senators to the Parliament of Canad:
    Immigration File #XYZ

    The Honorable Members of Parliament/Senators
    Parliament of Canada.

    From: Dr.Hamid Ullah Khan
    Veterinary Research Institute, Peshawar,
    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    Subject: Elimination of the applications of Federal Skilled Workers (FSW), who applied before February 2008, by the immigration authority

    Respected Members of Parliament,

    I would like to draw your kind attention to a very sad news recently been posted on website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (www.cic.gc.ca) that all those Federal Skilled Worker’s (FSW) applications, applied before 2008 in backlog would be eliminated merely on the pretext to reduce the burden of backlog.
    Respected Members of Parliament:
    I have been patiently waiting for more than 63 long months since August 2006, where as I have been informed vide first acknowledgement letter in August 2006 that the processing time will be 36-42 months. Later on, on 2nd April 2009, I have received a letter from the immigration section of Canadian embassy Islamabad, where I have been asked that are you still interested in immigration to Canada or not and I have replied in “yes”.
    In February 2008, a new expedite immigration policy was introduced. At that time it was clearly posted on http://www.cic.gc.ca that, this policy will not effect the processing time of the applications submitted before 2008 and would be processed under the policy/rules which were in effect at the time of submission of theses applications.
    Now after waiting for more than 63 months this sad news fell down just like a thunder on my head which no doubt, created a havoc in all innocent applicants who are patiently waiting for their turn. By forcing this new decision, the immigration authority intended to reduce the burden of backlog and punish the innocent applicants for the faults/mistakes/weakness lies on the part of the immigration authority and not on the part of the applicants. This is absolutely unfair and injustice with the applicants. I would like to mention out the cardinal principle of justice that “Justice should not only be done but it should be seen that the justice has been done.”
    Respected Members of Parliament:
    Keeping in view the above facts and figures I request to raise your voice inside and out side the parliament with the immigration authority to do justice with these pending applications and restrain the authority from punishing these applicants for a fault which is not on their part.
    I look forward to your kind reply please.
    With kind regards
    Dr.Hamid Ullah Khan Cell #: +92 300 5922157

  • Dear Sir

    Kindly confir whethersome backloger fron pre 2008 are geting medicals or not. I am 2004 apllicant
    I had been updated me file. I have experience in Elsctrical field

    With Regards


  • I applied in Nov. 2005., but I have listened nothing from CIC. Even that my fee is not refunded.

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