Canada suspends major immigration programmes

Canadian government has temporarily stopped taking new applications from foreign nationals applying for immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Immigrant Investor categories.

The decision has come into effect from July 1, according to CIC News, an online Canadian Immigration newsletter.

Quoting Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Minister Jason Kenney, the newsletter said that the minister on Saturday announced a temporary freeze against the backdrop of huge backlogs of applications under the two major immigration programmes.

Currently, around 110,000 applications for the FSW and 25,000 for the Immigrant Investor are awaiting decisions.

The minister expects that the pause would give CIC the opportunity to make important changes to the programmes before accepting new applicants. In this way, CIC believes that Canada would make a transition to a "faster, more flexible immigration system".

Kenney also explained that by not accepting new applications, CIC would be able to better address those applications that have already been submitted, thus eliminating the programmes' current backlogs.

He also added that despite the freeze, immigration levels to Canada would not be decreasing during this time period. Current applications would continue to be processed, meaning that "current immigration remains at historic levels".

Last year, Canada welcomed approximately 250,000 new temporary and permanent residents through its borders.

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