Ministerial Instructions 51 (MI51): Ministerial Instructions with respect to the submission of online applications for temporary resident visas and other documents due to reduced processing capacity during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
These Instructions are published in the Canada Gazette, in accordance with subsection 87.3(6) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
These Instructions are given, pursuant to section 87.3 and subsections 92(1.1) and (2) by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration as, in the opinion of the Minister, these Instructions will best support the attainment of the immigration goals established by the Government of Canada.
These Instructions are consistent with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act objectives, as laid out in section 3.
Authority for these Ministerial Instructions is pursuant to section 87.3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Instructions are directed to officers who are charged with handling and/or reviewing certain applications for temporary resident visas, work permits and study permits, by establishing conditions that must be met before the processing of an application or request.
Recognizing the declaration by the World Health Organization regarding the pandemic of COVID-19 (Coronavirus);
Recognizing how the related response measures have reduced Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s capacity for processing applications, both in Canada and overseas;
Recognizing Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s commitment to reducing inventories and processing times, including those that have been impacted by the pandemic, and that doing so requires measures that offer flexibility by allowing Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to continue to receive and re-distribute applications where processing capacity exists;
Noting that Canada’s immigration objectives, as laid out in section 3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, include the establishment of fair and efficient procedures, to maintain the integrity of the Canadian immigration system.
These Instructions apply to new applications for temporary resident visas, work permits and study permits, submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on or after the coming into force of these Instructions.
Applications Submitted from Outside Canada to be Submitted by Electronic Means - Temporary Residence
All applications for a temporary resident visa (including a transit visa), a work permit, or a study permit submitted by foreign nationals who are outside Canada at the time of application must be submitted using electronic means (apply online).
The following foreign nationals who are outside Canada and submitting applications for temporary resident visas, work permits, and study permits may submit these applications by any other means that is made available or specified by the Minister for that purpose:
- Foreign nationals who, because of a disability are unable to meet a requirement to make an application, submit any document or provide a signature or information using electronic means;
- Foreign nationals who hold an identity or travel document described in paragraph 52(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations that was issued by a country, that does not prohibit travel to Canada, that the foreign national may use to enter the country of issue and that is of the type issued by that country to non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons who are unable to obtain a passport or other travel document from their country of citizenship or nationality or who have no country of citizenship or nationality; and,
- Foreign nationals applying for a work permit who are intending to perform work under an international agreement or arrangement between Canada and one or more countries concerning seasonal agricultural workers.
Applications received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on or after the coming into force of the Instructions that were not submitted by electronic means will not be accepted and processing fees will be returned, except in the case of foreign nationals who may submit an application by any other means that is made available or specified by the Minister for that purpose, in accordance with these Instructions.
The following Instructions are repealed, effective March 31, 2022:
Ministerial Instructions 47 (MI47): Ministerial Instructions with respect to the submission of online applications for temporary resident visas and other documents due to reduced processing capacity during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, entered into force on September 1, 2021.
These Instructions take effect on April 1, 2022 and expire March 31, 2023.
Sean Fraser, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, March 29, 2022
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