Opportunities Ontario FSW Pilot Program
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has asked provinces and territories for assistance in reducing the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) backlog of applications submitted before February 2008 through the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot (FSW Pilot) initiative.
As per the parameters of this initiative, Ontario identified the following five (5) occupations in which applicants destined to the province will get an opportunity to apply for an Ontario nomination leading to permanent residency on an expedited basis. Ontario identified the following five occupations:
- Computer Analysts and Consultants (NOC 2171)
- Software Developers (NOC 2173)
- Interactive Media Programmers and Developers (NOC 2174)
- Financial and Investment Analysts (NOC 1112)
- Mathematicians (NOC 2161)
CIC contacted applicants in these occupations in February 2012 to seek their interest in participating in this Pilot. Contacted applicants are able to apply to Opportunities Ontario and are assessed under FSW Pilot program criteria as Ontario provincial nominees. Applications are to be submitted to Opportunities Ontario by May 31, 2012. There is no provincial fee with the application.
How does the recent federal budget announcement that federal skilled worker immigration applications and fees will be retuned to all applicants that applied to the federal government prior to 27 February 2008 affect my application under the FSW Pilot?
The Budget 2012 announcement will not affect the provincial processing of applications received under the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot. There is no fee for applicants applying to Ontario under this Pilot.
Prior to the budget announcement it was envisioned that nominees under the FSW Pilot would not be required to submit federal fees to CIC because of the fees they already submitted for the FSWP, and that applicants under the FSW Pilot not nominated by Ontario would retain their spot for continued processing by CIC. However, the budget announcement will have the following affect, if the proposed law is approved through Parliament:
- CIC would begin to return the full amount of fees paid by affected FSW applicants.
- FSW applicants who are not nominated under Ontario’s FSW Pilot will have their Federal Skilled Worker application closed and fees returned.
- FSW applicants who receive a nomination under the FSW Pilot are required to complete their Permanent Residence (PR) application within the validity period of the nomination. When submitting the PR application, Ontario’s nominees will be required to pay the same processing fee as any other PNP applicant. Once processing begins, the individual’s FSWP application would be closed and the fees refunded. (Please monitor CIC’s website to get the latest updates on the Budget 2012 announcements with respect to the FSWP backlog).
Does participation in the FSW Pilot guarantee a Permanent Residency (PR) status?
No. Opportunities Ontario can only nominate 600 applicants under this initiative. Opportunities Ontario reserves the right to process select applications among those received. Assessment by Opportunities Ontario does not guarantee nomination. Only applicants that are selected by the province and deemed to meet the eligibility criteria will be nominated.