On Saturday June 26, 2010 there were several major changes in Canadian immigration law. There were changes to Federal Investor, Federal Skilled Worker and Canadian Experience Class categories.

In the Federal Investor category there have been many significant changes. Effective June 26, 2010 there is a program freeze until implementation of the new program, expected for later this year (October). The new program will have net worth and investment requirements that will be twice as large as before. The new net worth requirement will be C$1.6 million. Previously it was C$800,000. The new investment requirement will be C$800,000. Previously it was C$400,000.

There will be priority processing of the new applicants that meet the doubled net worth and investment requirements. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) is proposing to process a blend of old and new applications under a proposed 2 to 1 ratio. CIC assumes an annual intake of 1,500 investments per year, of which there will be 1,000 from the old program and 500 from the new program. Applicants in the existing Investor inventory would have the option to reapply under the new program.

Quebec will continue to accept Quebec Investor cases under the present criteria of net worth C$800,000 and investment of C$400,000. Quebec will later amend its program requirements to match the new Federal Investor requirements of C$1.6 million net worth and C$800,000 when the new Federal rules come into effect later this year (October). If you are thinking of making an Investor immigration to Canada application you should consider using the Quebec Investor program while the current lower net worth C$800,000 and investment C$400,000 is still in effect.

There have also been several important changes to the Federal Skilled Worker category. There is now a cap on the number of applications to be processed per year. A maximum of 20,000 Federal Skilled Worker applications without an offer of arranged employment (approved job offer or work visa), will be considered for processing each year. Within the 20,000 cap, a maximum of 1,000 Federal Skilled Worker applications per National Occupation Classification (NOC) Code will be allowed per year. In calculating the caps, applications will be considered in order of the date they are received. For the unique purpose of calculating the caps, the first year will begin on June 26, 2010, and end on June 30, 2011. Subsequent years will be calculated from July 1st to June 30th.

The eligibility under Federal Skilled worker category will now be: application by person with an offer of arranged employment (approved job offer or work visa) or application from skilled worker with experience from an occupation on the eligible NOC occupation list which has now been reduced to 29 occupations. The 29 eligible occupations are:

Restaurant and Food Service Managers (0631)

Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)(0811)

Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management (1122)

Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners (1233)

Biologists and Related Scientists (2121)

Architects (2151)

Specialist Physicians (3111)

General Practitioners and Family Physicians (3112)

Dentists (3113)

Pharmacists (3131)

Physiotherapists (3142)

Registered Nurses (3152)

Medical Radiation Technologists (3215)

Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists (3222)

 Licensed Practical Nurses (3233)

Psycologists (4151)

Social Workers (4152)

Chefs (6241)

Cooks (6242)

Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades (7215)

Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades (7216)

Electricians (Except Industrial & Power Systems)(7241)

Industrial Electricians (7242)

Plumbers (7251)

Welders & Related Machine Operators (7265)

Heavy‐Duty Equipment Mechanics (7312)

Crane Operators (7371)

Drillers & Blasters‐Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction (7372)

Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service (8222)

Federal Skilled Worker and Canadian Experience Class applications received after June 26, 2010, must be accompanied by the results of the principal applicant’s English or French language proficiency assessment by an acceptable third party testing organization.