Canada will continue to process Federal Skilled Worker visa backlog

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Earlier this year Canadian immigration announced their plans to stop the processing of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) visa applications submitted before 27 February 2008 and reject these applications in order to reduce the backlog of visa applications. However, more recently, the immigration department has reportedly instructed its visa officers not to return the applications and continue processing the visas.

As part of Canadian immigration's plan to reduce the backlog of visa applications, the Canadian government announced in March they would be rejecting almost 300,000 Canadian visa applications made before 27 February 2008. Their applications were to be returned and $130 million worth of fees refunded to enable Canadian immigration to reduce the massive backlog they say has been standing in the way of major reform to the immigration system.

At least for now, plans to reject and return the backlog of visa applications will be halted until the Canadian government announces further instructions on how to proceed. The government has already directed Canada embassies not to return the applications and the processing fee and continue processing the applications.

Traditionally, Canada has had a first-in first-out system meaning that visa applicants wait in a queue to have their visa applications processed. Therefore, the decision to reject all of the applications in the backlog received before 27 February 2008 has proved detrimental to applicants who have been waiting for years for their applications to be processed.

Other Canadian immigration options that may be worth considering include the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program or one of the Provincial Nominee programs.

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