ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 148 – September 16, 2009 (expired)

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Priority Processing – Response to the Situation in Iran

This Operational Bulletin has expired.


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has developed the following special procedures to respond in a flexible and humane manner to the operational situation in Tehran.

These instructions provide procedures for officers inland and overseas to assist Iranian nationals applying for temporary residence in Canada, particularly those with close family ties to Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Canada.


A) Overseas – New applications for temporary residence

Effective immediately, Damascus, Abu Dhabi, and Ankara are designated as processing offices to receive and process new applications for temporary residence from Iranian nationals still in Iran for the purposes of section 11 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. Due to legal restrictions on the movement of Iranian passports across international borders, applicants applying to the three new missions may choose to submit their applications in person. Alternatively, they can submit their applications with the corresponding fee and a photocopy of their passport by mail or by courier, following the procedures of each mission pertaining to the submission of fees. When the visa office has made a determination on the application, they will notify the applicant of the decision. Those who have been approved will be asked to submit their original passport in person to the visa office where they applied.

Priority processing will be applied to applications for temporary residence from applicants with family emergencies or other compelling humanitarian and compassionate circumstances that would justify priority processing. The visa office will continue to identify, where possible, those cases in their temporary resident inventory to which these factors apply.

Should the operational situation in Iran change, the visa office will prioritize temporary resident applications from Iranian nationals who can demonstrate that they are negatively affected. It remains the applicant or sponsor’s responsibility to demonstrate that they are negatively affected.

B) Medical and security requirements

The safety and security of Canada remain CIC’s top priority. All immigration requirements, including security and medical criteria, must still be met.

Cases which require further investigation will be processed as usual. Visa officers must continue to follow established security screening protocols.

C) Enquiries to the Call Centre

In situations where general advice is being sought, for example where Canadian citizens or permanent residents are inquiring about how to advance the priority of a relative’s temporary resident visa application that is already in process, they should be advised to instruct their relative overseas to demonstrate to the visa office that they are negatively affected, if they have not already done so.

D) In–Canada – Temporary residents (extensions for visitors, work and study permits)

No priority processing is required as applicants have implied status until a decision is made and they are notified [R183(5)]. Where a client has identified a hardship due to the situation in Iran, the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Vegreville will take this as an additional factor to be considered within existing guidelines. No special measures have been created due to the events in question.

E) Landings of protected persons (that include a person residing in Iran)

Existing applicants in Canada – CPC–Vegreville

If the applicant has already submitted an application for landing as a protected person to the CPC in Vegreville, and the application includes a person overseas who has been directly affected by the situation in Iran, these cases will be processed on a priority basis as well.

The onus is on the client (sponsor or protected person in Canada) to identify existing applications by notifying the Call Centre. They must provide information regarding their application and their relatives in Iran (including the HPM receipt number).This information will be forwarded to the appropriate CPC or inland local office, which will retrieve the application and take appropriate action.

Upon notification that the file has been forwarded to the visa office, the onus is on the sponsor or in–Canada applicant to inform the overseas relative(s) to contact the visa office.

F) Processing fees

There is no fee exemption unless already prescribed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations.


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