In our May 17 post we talked about the new governmental initiative to reduce the backlog by returning the FSWP applications submitted prior to the changes in the program back to the Applicants and refunding their application fees. In his March press release the Minister emphasized the importance of reducing the backlog that prevents Canada to be more responsive to the changing labor markets. This new initiative is part of the federal Implementation Bill that is expected to pass next month, and when it does, the pre-2008 FSWP applications will be abolished.

Today, we would like to talk about how this initiative is affecting the applicants and what consequences Canada might suffer as a result of this.

Vancouver Sun in its May 21 edition published a story about an applicant for the FSWP program that after 8 years of submitting his application was advised that his application will be among 280,000 others being cancelled and returned by the government.

Preet Deep Singh, Newport University MBA graduate applied through the FSWP in 2004. He, along with his wife – holder of a master’s degree from Panjab University, was sure that their chances to immigrate to Canada were good. The couple passed on opportunities to immigrate to England, Australia or US in hopes that their Canadian application will come through. Eight years later their application was cancelled. In addition, under the new criteria Mr. Singh’s skills were no longer listed as high priority. Despite the repeated assurance that Mr. Singh’s application will be reviewed in order it was received, in 2009 he accepted an offer of residence from the UK and is currently holds the position of a regional manager for the Kingfisher Beer Company.

Mr. Singh is part of the Canadian Back loggers Pre-2008 Association that is calling on the Immigration Minister to reverse his decision and to process the applications. In addition, Mr. Singh is part of a legal action involving approximately 800 litigants asking the federal Court not to allow the cancellation of the applications while the issue is before the courts.

While we are yet to taste the fruits of the new Skilled Worker Program one thing is clear – at this point Canada is losing highly qualified applicants to the countries with a speedier and more predictable skilled immigrant programs.

To read the full article in the Vancouver Sun click here